What’s Inside: In this article, I provide several ways to stay warm without electricity. Some of the ways use things you already have in your home. Other tips require a bit of advance planning. If you want to stay warm when the power goes out, this is the article for you!

Staying warm is a basic human need, especially during extreme weather conditions like winter storms or power outages. In such situations, electricity may be lost, leaving you without your typical heating sources. Knowing alternative ways of staying warm becomes crucial without the ability to rely on electric heating. 

You can stay warm without electricity by using alternative heat sources, such as wood stoves, fireplaces, propane heaters, and hot water bottles. Alternative heating methods, such as blankets, layering clothing, and candles, can work well if you properly insulate your home. 

While most people may not be accustomed to living without electricity, there are many ways to stay warm without relying on it. I have compiled a few basic guidelines to keep yourself and your family warm and comfortable, even without electricity. 

Key Takeaways:

  • One way to stay warm without electricity is to use an alternative heating source such as a wood burning stove, fireplace, or portable propane or kerosene heaters.
  • You can use candles, combined with clay pots, to make a portable heater.
  • Sleeping in an insulated tent inside of your home is another way to stay warm.
  • One of the best ways to stay warm during a power outage is to insulate your home well, using weather stripping, insulated curtains, draft stoppers, and rugs.
  • For safety reasons, be sure to use proper ventilation, and carbon monoxide detectors when using alternative heating methods such as portable propane heaters.

This article includes affiliate links.

Ways To Keep Warm Without Electricity 

Cold temperatures can be unpleasant, but if you rely on electricity to heat your home and keep your family warm, you may be in a predicament if the electricity goes out during cold weather. 

Snow and ice, strong winter winds, or even a simple grid outage during winter can leave you in the cold unless you have a way to stay warm without electricity. 

In this article I’ll explore different methods of staying warm when electricity is not an option. Some methods use items you may already have in your home. In contrast, others require some planning and preparation to ensure you are ready for the possibility of an electrical outage in winter. 

Use Alternative Heat Sources to Stay Warm Without Electricity 

When electricity is unavailable, finding alternative heat sources to heat your home and keep you and your family warm is essential.  

Some of these options require that your home has certain features. If your home does not have these features, it may be worthwhile to consider adding them to combat the cold without electricity. 

Use a Fireplace to Stay Warm Without Electricity 

use a wood burning fireplace to stay warm without electricity
A wood-burning fireplace is a great way to stay warm without electricity.

A fireplace in your home can be an excellent heat source and a way to stay warm without power. Many older homes have fireplaces installed because it was the main method of warming the home before the invention or popularization of modern heating sources. 

A fireplace usually only heats the main room where the fireplace is located, but you can use this room as your main living quarters and even sleep in the room to stay warm at night.  

A fireplace can even be a means of cooking food, which is also a consideration when the electricity is out. Check out my article, How to Cook Without Electricity if you would like more information on this aspect of living without electricity. 

Ensure you have enough wood to keep the fire burning in the fireplace and remember to practice safety precautions when starting and maintaining a fire. 

A Wood-Burning Stove Can Keep You Warm Without Electricity 

use a wood stove to stay warm without electricity

Wood-burning stoves are an excellent source of heat during power outages. They are also safer than fireplaces because the fire is contained within the stove rather than exposed to the room. 

The fire in the stove heats the stove body, radiating heat into the room and warming the air in the space. 

Wood-burning stoves are efficient and can heat up large areas. Make sure you have enough wood and kindling to keep the stove burning. 

Pro tip: Use a fan like these on Amazon to distribute the heat from the wood stove throughout the home. These fans operate without electricity, so they are perfect for heating your home during a power outage.

Use Solar Heat to Warm Your Home Without Electricity 

If you have large windows or skylights, you can use the sun to create solar heat in your home. Open the curtains during the day to let the sun in and heat up the air inside the room. 

Close the curtains at night to isolate the windows from the room and prevent the heat from escaping through the glass. 

This method works similarly to the greenhouse effect and can heat a room significantly, but it depends on the sun shining during cold weather. 

If your cold weather is accompanied by cloudy skies, rain, and snow, the solar heating method may not be an option for your home. 

Use Propane and Kerosene Heaters 

Propane and kerosene heaters are excellent heat sources during power outages, but there are safety precautions you should implement when using these methods of staying warm without electricity. 

The Mr. Heater F232050 MH9BX Portable Buddy Heater is highly rated. At the time of this writing, it’s “Amazon’s Choice” for portable heaters.

This particular heater heats up to 225 square feet, and the average bedroom size in the U.S. is 200 square feet.

Check out the current price on Amazon.

Ensure you have enough fuel to keep the heater running during the winter and remember to practice safety precautions when using them. We will cover some safety considerations for heating without electricity further in this article.

For now, let me encourage you to pick up a carbon monoxide detector, such as this battery powered one, from Amazon.

Hot Water Bottles Can Keep You Warm Without Power 

If you have an extended power outage, you likely have an alternative means to cook food without electricity. 

If you don’t already have an alternative cooking method, I recommend picking up a camp stove (Amazon)

Use your alternative cooking method to heat water and fill hot water bottles (Amazon). You can place the hot water bottles under a blanket or on your lap to provide warmth. I recommend having at least one for each bed. If finances are a concern, you can pick up several no-frills ones like this one, on Amazon. 

Personal story: I can personally attest to how well hot water bottles work to warm up a bed without electricity. I once travelled through India with a friend. We stayed in a beautiful haveli (mansion). It was old, and had no electricity. And it was winter. They put hot water bottles in our beds to warm them up, and they worked really well!

Use Body Heat to Stay Warm Without Power 

Cold weather without electricity can be an excuse to get close and cozy! Snuggle together under blankets so that your collective body heat can keep you warm without the need for electricity. 

Another way to use your own body heat to your advantage is to layer your clothing correctly to keep your body heat in while allowing moisture to be wicked away from your skin.  

Long underwear (Amazon) is a great place to start since it’s made to fit well under other clothing. Long underwear, worn under thick sweat pants is a fantastic way to stay warm without wearing anything too bulky or uncomfortable. I also recommend wearing gloves, heavy socks, and a stocking hat (all on Amazon), to keep warmth from escaping through your extremities.

Pile on the Blankets!

Of course, it almost goes without saying that when you need to stay warm without electricity, it’s a great idea to use extra blankets. Wool is well-known as a safe bet when it comes to warm blankets. However, wool blankets are often scratchy. To avoid the scratchiness of wool, give fleece blankets a try. They have many of the same attributes of wool, without the scratchiness.

Down comforters, such as these on Amazon, are well-known for keeping you warm during cold weather.

Another tip is to have multiple layers of blankets, even if they are lightweight. Your body heat gets trapped in between the layers of blankets, and thus hold in more heat.

Alternative Heating Methods 

In addition to traditional alternative heat sources, there are different heating methods for staying warm without power.  

Many of the items we recommend in these methods are already present in many homes, but you can prepare for power outages during winter by stocking up with these supplies before the cold winter weather arrives. 

How To Keep Warm Without Electricity Using Candles 

Candles put out a surprising amount of heat. You can use them to provide heating in small spaces. The open flame on a candle can provide some warmth, but you can amplify the heat from a candle by using certain additional household items. 

Clay plant pots are ideal for getting as much heat from a candle as possible. The heat from the candle flame heats up the clay pot, which then radiates the heat into the room. 

You can put the candle in the bottom of the clay pot, or you can place the clay pot over the top of the candle. Just ensure there is an opening at the bottom of the clay pot for heat to escape and to allow the flame to breathe. 

Place candles in a safe location where they will not be knocked over, and away from curtains and other household fabrics. Never leave burning candles unattended.

A Demonstration of the Tea-Light Candles and Clay Pot Heater

Check out this video for an example of how easy it is to create a heater using tea-light candles and clay pots.

What I like about his method is that it’s one of the safer setups, since the candles are in a muffin tin, and the muffin tin is set on top of a cookie sheet.

Here’s a list of what you need to follow the instructions in his video. You can pick up all of them from Amazon:

Note that the comments section of the video has some great suggestions, such as putting a layer of sand on the cookie sheet to keep the cookie sheet from getting too hot.

Thermal Blankets Can Keep You Warm When the Power is Out 

Thermal blankets (Amazon) are designed to reflect body heat and can be used to keep warm when the power is out.  

The great thing about thermal blankets is they are lightweight, easy to store, and inexpensive. In an emergency, you should check your first aid kit, as most of these kits usually include a thermal blanket or two. 

It is a good idea to stock up on a few thermal blankets for each person in your household if you live in a region with extreme winters or unpredictable winter storms. 

Pitch A Tent Indoors to Keep Warm Without Electricity 

Sleep in a tent indoors to stay warm without electricity.
Packing the entire family into a tent indoors is a great way to stay warm during a power outage. Plus, the kids will think it’s a fun adventure!

Insulated tents (Amazon) can be used to provide warmth during power outages. They make a smaller enclosed space that is easier to keep warm, especially if two or more people occupy the tent. The body heat alone can help to heat the inside of the tent.  For best results, be sure to choose a tent that is insulated, but any tent that you can close up will do.

Small camping stoves can also heat the inside of the tent, but extreme caution should be exercised when using these stoves inside a tent. Children should not be allowed to use these methods on their own. If you use a stove or portable gas heater in a tent, be sure to use a battery powered carbon monoxide detector (Amazon). I personally would not use any type of open flame in tent.

Hot water bottles are another way to stay warm in your indoor tent and keep the cold at bay. 

Use Insulation to Keep Warm Without Electricity   

Properly insulating your home is an effective way to keep your home warm when the power goes out, and it will make your alternative heating options more effective. 

I have listed some home insulation options you should consider to help keep your family warm without electricity. Here are some of the products I like on Amazon.

  • Weatherstripping. You can use weatherstripping to seal windows and doors and prevent heat from escaping. It is easy to install. 
  • Insulated curtains. Use insulated curtains to prevent heat from escaping through windows. Insulated curtains are available in different sizes and thicknesses. 
  • Draft stoppers. Place draft stoppers under doors to prevent cold air from coming in.
  • Carpets and rugs. Carpets and rugs insulate floors and prevent heat from escaping. They are available in different materials and sizes. 

By insulating your home, you can keep warm without relying on electricity. Use these insulating methods in combination with other heat sources and alternative heating methods to create a warm and comfortable living space. 

Safety Considerations for Alternative Indoor Heating 

When using alternative indoor heating methods, it is crucial to consider safety precautions to prevent accidents.  

Here are safety precautions you should always consider when using alternative heating sources. 

  • Ventilation. Make sure there is adequate ventilation when using alternative heating sources indoors. Lack of ventilation can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning and other health risks. 
  • Fire safety. When using candles or combustible heating sources, ensure they are placed safely away from flammable materials. Never leave them unattended. 
  • Carbon monoxide detectors. Carbon monoxide detectors can be lifesavers and should be installed in your home when using alternative heating sources. They can detect high levels of carbon monoxide and alert you before it becomes dangerous. I recommend using one that works on batteries, such as this one, on Amazon.
  • Fuel storage. When storing fuels like propane or kerosene, ensure they are stored properly in a cool, dry place away from heat sources, pets, and children. 

You can stay warm without risking your health or safety by practicing these safety precautions. It is important to read and follow all instructions when using alternative heating sources to prevent accidents. 


Staying warm without electricity can be challenging, but it is possible with a little creativity, planning, and preparation. Practicing safety precautions with alternative heating methods is important to prevent accidents and protect your health.  

With some basic planning and preparations, you can stay warm and comfortable during power outages or other situations where electricity is unavailable. Remember to stock up on supplies and stay informed about weather conditions to stay safe and warm. 

If you enjoyed this article, you’ll likely enjoy these related articles:

Books for Off-Grid Living

If you’re interested in preparing for living without electricity, or simply being prepared for power outages, here are a few books worth checking out, all available on Amazon:

Note: In addition to my own experience and ideas, I got some of the ideas for this article from Survival Mom.

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