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Tue Feb 16, 2021, 10:14 AM

Tips for surviving inside your cold house

Last edited Thu Feb 18, 2021, 12:08 AM - Edit history (4)

My family and several friends live in the Dallas Ft. Worth, Texas area. Watching a WFAA TV News feed this morning they had a short interview with Chrystal Smith from the local American Red Cross. She offered a few tips for conserving heat energy inside your home. Thought this might help someone out there in the extreme chill this AM.

(1) Shut all doors in your home and place towels under each door to conserve heat energy
(2) Wear loose fitting clothing and lots of layers
(3) All people in one room


She also said that several Warming Centers had been opened providing cots, blankets, water and snacks. Check your County Website or with the American Red Cross for more information.

These are just 3 tips that can help and I'm sure there are more. Hoping others hear have helpful and practical suggestions or experience to share. Also, check on elderly neighbors and others who may need assistance right now. Many are without power or heat trying to get through this dangerous and historical weather event.

EDITED TO ADD:I posted this today for 2 reasons. First was to make ideas and suggestions available to those who could immediately put them to work. It did that.

Second was to get ideas on this subject for my afternoon phone call today with my Senior parents in DFW. They are doing fine and are safe tonight!

I thank everyone who responded. Another fine example of the kind and resourceful people here on DU. If these types of posts (from this one and others) have helped even one person be a little warmer, or a little less afraid or even just a little bit safer, then it has been worth everyone’s effort!
__________. __________. __________. __________. __________

EDIT 2: Here's another link to a similar and helpful thread by Peacetrain earlier today. Thank You!:

Good ideas to share with all the DU'er's stuck in the freeze zone.
https://democraticunderground.com/100215116550
__________. __________. _________. ________. ________. ________

EDIT 3:
ADDING AN IMPORTANT LINK FROM THE CDC SITE ON CARBON MONOXIDE POISONING

CO poisoning is entirely preventable. Protect yourself and your family by learning the symptoms of CO poisoning and how to prevent it.

“Never run a motor vehicle, generator, pressure washer, or any gasoline-powered engine less than 20 feet from an open window, door, or vent where exhaust can vent into an enclosed area.”

“Never use a charcoal grill, hibachi, lantern, or portable camping stove inside a home, tent, or camper.”

“Never run a generator, pressure washer, or any gasoline-powered engine inside a basement, garage, or other enclosed structure, even if the doors or windows are open.”


More at link:
https://www.cdc.gov/nceh/features/copoisoning/index.html

Another link at the CDC to their "Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Website" with more information.
https://www.cdc.gov/co/default.htm
__________. __________. __________. __________. __________

There were LOTS of Posts in the last couple of days (not referenced here) with helpful info and experiences from other DU'er's. Search them out and stay warm out there!

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Arrow 44 replies Author Time Post
Reply Tips for surviving inside your cold house (Original post)
LazySusanNot Feb 16 OP
flor-de-jasmim Feb 16 #1
Duppers Feb 16 #18
hlthe2b Feb 16 #2
dalton99a Feb 16 #3
marble falls Feb 16 #4
LazySusanNot Feb 16 #7
Turbineguy Feb 16 #8
littlemissmartypants Feb 16 #14
neohippie Feb 16 #23
BobTheSubgenius Feb 16 #35
Shermann Feb 16 #5
FailureToCommunicate Feb 16 #28
Cairycat Feb 16 #6
marble falls Feb 16 #9
UpInArms Feb 16 #10
drray23 Feb 16 #11
drray23 Feb 16 #12
BobTheSubgenius Feb 16 #37
UpInArms Feb 16 #38
BobTheSubgenius Feb 16 #43
Delphinus Feb 16 #41
LazySusanNot Feb 16 #13
Irish_Dem Feb 16 #17
LazySusanNot Feb 16 #39
Irish_Dem Feb 16 #40
AllaN01Bear Feb 16 #15
blue sky at night Feb 16 #16
MontanaMama Feb 16 #22
Shermann Feb 16 #29
Ramsey Barner Feb 16 #24
rickford66 Feb 16 #19
LazySusanNot Feb 16 #21
randr Feb 16 #20
MontanaMama Feb 16 #25
LazySusanNot Feb 16 #26
CaptainTruth Feb 16 #27
bucolic_frolic Feb 16 #30
NutmegYankee Feb 16 #44
Peacetrain Feb 16 #31
LazySusanNot Feb 16 #36
FailureToCommunicate Feb 16 #32
LazySusanNot Feb 16 #33
FailureToCommunicate Feb 16 #34
LazySusanNot Feb 16 #42

Response to LazySusanNot (Original post)

Tue Feb 16, 2021, 10:17 AM

1. Towels on windowsills - hang sheets over curtain rods for extra layer over windows

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Response to flor-de-jasmim (Reply #1)

Tue Feb 16, 2021, 11:52 AM

18. We did that once.

Even pulled the mattress off the bed in spare bedrm & covered the one window there.

We put our then 1yr old kiddo in his snowsuit (remember those?), put 4 or 5 blankets on our king-sized bed & all 3 of us pretty much stayed in bed. We didn't freeze. Electricity was off for 3 days. When the streets were cleared enough, we went to a Burger King to really warm up tho.

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Response to LazySusanNot (Original post)

Tue Feb 16, 2021, 10:18 AM

2. Down comforters, a warm doggy, and don't be afraid to wear gloves and face mask inside to keep warm

Double the wool socks. Put on a hat. You will be amazed at how comfortable you can remain if your hands, feet, and face (nose) are not cold.

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Response to LazySusanNot (Original post)

Tue Feb 16, 2021, 10:25 AM

3. Also, fill the gaps around your garage door

They are visible in the daytime and can be felt.

Gaps around doors that are too small for towels can be filled with cardboard, paper towels, folded strips of paper, blue masking tape, etc.


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Response to LazySusanNot (Original post)

Tue Feb 16, 2021, 10:25 AM

4. Light candles, put Steppinwolf on the box, burn incense, roll doobies and relive the sixties ...

... we two old relics are doing fine. I shoveled snow yesterday for the first time in over twenty years. Shovel 10 minutes, go inside for a half an hour. Repeat.

Powers been staying on for three or four hours and then off for three or four since Sunday.

They announced opening a warming center, but they almost seemed to discourage anyone from using it here in Trumpland.

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Response to marble falls (Reply #4)

Tue Feb 16, 2021, 10:44 AM

7. I love it.

Glad you old relics are doing fine!

Kicking for exposure.

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Response to marble falls (Reply #4)

Tue Feb 16, 2021, 10:48 AM

8. An excellent suggestion!

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Response to marble falls (Reply #4)

Tue Feb 16, 2021, 11:43 AM

14. Magic Carpet ride, long version...

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Response to marble falls (Reply #4)

Tue Feb 16, 2021, 12:21 PM

23. put your candles in a metal can

I read the other day that putting your candles into a metal can will let the candle heat the metal and can raise the temp around the can by 20 degrees, amplifying that heat source may work with glass too

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Response to marble falls (Reply #4)

Tue Feb 16, 2021, 01:09 PM

35. A quite underrated band, IMO. Not everyone's taste, for sure, but John Kay not only...

...coined the phrase "heavy metal", but wrote some good songs.

Who from those days would have ever thought that we'd be rolling in an ocean of better weed than we could have dreamed of?

Keep having fun, ya old geezers!

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Response to LazySusanNot (Original post)

Tue Feb 16, 2021, 10:26 AM

5. Political conversations with relatives

Things tend to get heated when that happens.

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Response to Shermann (Reply #5)

Tue Feb 16, 2021, 12:43 PM

28. Excellent idea!

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Response to LazySusanNot (Original post)

Tue Feb 16, 2021, 10:28 AM

6. A hat or hood

covering your head can help you feel warmer

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Response to Cairycat (Reply #6)

Tue Feb 16, 2021, 10:49 AM

9. Makes a big difference. Makes the cat look at you funny, too.

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Response to LazySusanNot (Original post)

Tue Feb 16, 2021, 11:08 AM

10. I have an entire layer ensemble

For when I feed my horses ...

Close fitting undershirt
Long sleeve turtleneck
Light wool sweater
Sweatshirt

Knee socks
Crew socks
Footies

Fleece leggings
Levis

Down vest
Coveralls
Lined work coat with hood

Fleece Ear band
Wool scarf
Knitted cap

Sub zero muck boots

ETA: two pairs of gloves

Have also found wearing a face mask helps to keep my cheeks warm

Don’t know if that will help anyone stay warm, but it is currently -15 and I will be out in the weather for at least 45 minutes and I do not get cold

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Response to UpInArms (Reply #10)


Response to UpInArms (Reply #10)

Tue Feb 16, 2021, 11:24 AM

12. I guess another option you have if you are desperate

is going to lie with your horses in the hay. That should keep you warm.

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Response to UpInArms (Reply #10)

Tue Feb 16, 2021, 01:16 PM

37. I once went to the Yukon because of my job, and was supposed to be transferred to a very cold place.

That transfer fell through, but I still have a down vest and a down-filled parka that's supposed to be good to -40. I don't know about that, empirically, but I was outside in weather where wind chill took us to -30, and I was toasty warm.

Oddly, I don't use them much, since settling in a place where people freak out if a flake falls from the sky. I just can't bring myself to get rid of them, though.

(This year, we had TWO snow days, back to back, each setting a record. Total accumulation, about 25cm, or about 10 inches. So far, little rioting and looting, but we expect it.)

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Response to BobTheSubgenius (Reply #37)

Tue Feb 16, 2021, 01:18 PM

38. I moved from Austin in 1992

And ended up 14 miles south of iowa ...

I learned that there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes

When I got here, all of my clothes were bad 😂😂

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Response to UpInArms (Reply #38)

Tue Feb 16, 2021, 04:33 PM

43. That kind of expression is SO typical of local folk wisdom.

For quality and quantity of funny sayings, though, TX is hard to beat. My favourite:

"If you wanted to be a bigger idiot, you'd have to put on weight."

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Response to UpInArms (Reply #10)

Tue Feb 16, 2021, 02:22 PM

41. That is

impressive!

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Response to LazySusanNot (Original post)

Tue Feb 16, 2021, 11:27 AM

13. I did a search for "foods that help your body stay warm"...

and came up with a few. I have not looked into the scientific efficacy of any of these so do your own research.
Here a just a few of the ones I found. I’m sure there are others.

Whole grains and complex carbs
Cumin
Fresh Ginger
Banana’s
Turmeric
Cinnamon
Dried Fruits
Eggs
Cayenne Pepper
Brown Rice
Peanuts
Coconut oil
NOT ALCOHOL

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Response to LazySusanNot (Reply #13)

Tue Feb 16, 2021, 11:51 AM

17. Thanks for this list, I am changing my menu for the day to incorporate

some of these foods.

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Response to Irish_Dem (Reply #17)

Tue Feb 16, 2021, 01:56 PM

39. Glad it gave you ideas for things you may already have in the pantry

I also read in a couple of articles about drinking ice water or iced coffee to help warm up. I had always thought this would help lose body heat instead of gaining it. According to one of the articles about ice water:

"Seems counter intuitive, don’t it? Your whole life you’ve been raised to believe that warm drinks like hot chocolate are perfect winter beverages. But your basal body temperature will fluctuate to try and counteract the effects of hot liquid, meaning your body temperature will drop from drinking even one cup of cocoa. Cold water has the opposite effect, raising your core temperature to counteract the chilly liquid."

https://www.tastemade.com/articles/7-food-and-drinks-scientifically-proven-to-warm-you-up-and-one-that-won-t

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Response to LazySusanNot (Reply #39)

Tue Feb 16, 2021, 02:18 PM

40. Bottom line is to stay hydrated. Cold drinks in summer make me quite cold.

I am not sure how it would work in winter.
My body thermostat does not work very well any more.

Yes I added some of the spices and foods you listed for lunch and snacks.

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Response to LazySusanNot (Original post)


Response to LazySusanNot (Original post)

Tue Feb 16, 2021, 11:49 AM

16. I burn wood

In my very efficient cast iron wood stove...never been without heat since 1981. I like procuring my own fuel as I get a real workout in all phases of it.

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Response to blue sky at night (Reply #16)

Tue Feb 16, 2021, 12:19 PM

22. There is something about getting your own wood, IMO.

Preparing for a long winter is comforting and you’re right, great exercise.

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Response to MontanaMama (Reply #22)

Tue Feb 16, 2021, 12:53 PM

29. When you cut your own wood, it warms you twice

I remember seeing that corny saying was on a wall hanging of one of my neighbors growing up. It kind of stuck with me.

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Response to blue sky at night (Reply #16)

Tue Feb 16, 2021, 12:25 PM

24. You're probably familiar with this quote:

"I had an old axe which nobody claimed, with which by spells in winter days, on the sunny side of the house, I played-about with stumps which I had got out of my bean-field. [T]hey warmed me twice, once while I was splitting them, and again when they were on the fire, so that no fuel could give more heat." - Henry David Thoreau

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Response to LazySusanNot (Original post)

Tue Feb 16, 2021, 12:04 PM

19. Avoid carbon monoxide sources

Some ventilation is needed under any circumstances.

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Response to rickford66 (Reply #19)

Tue Feb 16, 2021, 12:18 PM

21. Good reminder rickford66. Lots of good safety tips out there in various threads...

along with this from the CDC.
CO poisoning is entirely preventable. Protect yourself and your family by learning the symptoms of CO poisoning and how to prevent it.

“Never run a motor vehicle, generator, pressure washer, or any gasoline-powered engine less than 20 feet from an open window, door, or vent where exhaust can vent into an enclosed area.”

“Never use a charcoal grill, hibachi, lantern, or portable camping stove inside a home, tent, or camper.”

“Never run a generator, pressure washer, or any gasoline-powered engine inside a basement, garage, or other enclosed structure, even if the doors or windows are open.”

More at link:
https://www.cdc.gov/nceh/features/copoisoning/index.html

Edited to add another link at the CDC to their "Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Website" with more information.
https://www.cdc.gov/co/default.htm

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Response to LazySusanNot (Original post)

Tue Feb 16, 2021, 12:07 PM

20. Leaving water dripping from faucets can prevent freezing

Especially pipes located on exterior walls

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Response to LazySusanNot (Original post)

Tue Feb 16, 2021, 12:25 PM

25. Put a lit candle under an overturned terra cotta pot.

Lots of ways to build these simple heaters...YouTube has dozens of how-to’s.

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Response to MontanaMama (Reply #25)

Tue Feb 16, 2021, 12:40 PM

26. This is great. Brings out the MacGyver in me. Thank you for posting

I'm going to try this to get a feel for how well it works. Also a reminder for anyone with opens flames (even small ones) and sealed up rooms. See above in Reply’s #19 and #21 for safety considerations. Good ideas here to help stay warm - but be safe in the process!

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Response to LazySusanNot (Original post)

Tue Feb 16, 2021, 12:42 PM

27. If you have a sleeping bag, use it.

Not sure many folks go camping anymore, but I used to do a bit of winter camping (the Grand Canyon is beautiful in January, with the snow, & you have the campground to yourself, just you & a couple other people crazy enough to be there in freezing temperatures!) so I had a good sleeping bag. If I was stuck in freezing Texas with no power & no (or little) heat I would be in that bag.

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Response to LazySusanNot (Original post)

Tue Feb 16, 2021, 12:55 PM

30. Your hot water heater is still warm

If the water runs, you could put it in metal pots in your room and gain a few hours of diminishing warmth.

If your hot water tank is poorly insulated and the outside is warm, put something cold on the top - a pot of water with a lid, or a brick, and when that warms up, move it to your living space.

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Response to bucolic_frolic (Reply #30)

Tue Feb 16, 2021, 04:39 PM

44. If a natural gas fired hot water heater, you'll still have hot water.

Run a shower on full hot. The bathroom will become a sauna. If you plug the drain, the ~120 degree water will heat the room for a hour.

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Response to LazySusanNot (Original post)

Tue Feb 16, 2021, 12:57 PM

31. Oh I missed seeing this thread..

and started one of my own.. I am going to cross reference your thread in mine.. great ideas in here: hi:

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Response to Peacetrain (Reply #31)

Tue Feb 16, 2021, 01:11 PM

36. I just read your OP and will link to it here. Thank you Peacetrain!

Here's another link to a similar and helpful thread by Peacetrain:
Good ideas to share with all the DU'er stuck in the freeze zone

https://democraticunderground.com/100215116550

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Response to LazySusanNot (Original post)

Tue Feb 16, 2021, 12:58 PM

32. Awful. My son & fianc are near Dallas and they had to evacuate their apartment building due..

to flooding from frozen pipes (flooding and frozen pipes in other units).

And no one had power for lights or heat because of the "rolling blackouts"... that don't seem to be rolling.

They sat in their cars last night trying to stay warm (aware of the danger of exhaust gas).

The notion of going to warming centers is fraught with it's own peril these days with the pandemic, so that's not a great option.

It's a crumby situation. We're hoping that their coping skills are sufficient to get thru this.

Unfortunately, the weather prediction is for more ice and snow and below freezing temps for the next several days. Yikes.

Ironically, parts of New England are above normal temps. Also, our buildings and houses are built to somewhat better deal with extreme cold.

So sorry for all of you having to go thru this bizarre cold weather.

-FTC

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Response to FailureToCommunicate (Reply #32)

Tue Feb 16, 2021, 01:03 PM

33. "going to warming centers is fraught with it's own peril these days with the pandemic"

Yes. It's so easy in the face of a new disaster to forget (for a second) the one we've been living with for so long.

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Response to LazySusanNot (Reply #33)

Tue Feb 16, 2021, 01:05 PM

34. Yes. But mask up, bundle up, stay warm if you can. You'll get thru this.

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Response to LazySusanNot (Original post)

Tue Feb 16, 2021, 03:32 PM

42. After thoughts on OP as this floats down the page

See OP at top for edit about this post. Thanks to all who contributed!!!

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