We woke up to lost power this morning. Big snow dump last night. Well, not no power. The batteries of our solar system still had some power but was low enough they should have been charging from the grid...
So I got up and unplugged the freezer (the fridge and freezer being the largest draw of electricity in our house). I then broke out the extra blankets and covered the freezer with about 5 layers to stop cold leak from freezer. Safety warning here- You MUST unplug it first. If it comes back on without you noticing, it will have the opposite effect, it will melt stuff inside and potentially start a fire or rune the motor.
This buys me time to get other things done. This is one reason why I keep several extra blankets. They can be picked up cheap at second hand stores. 2 - 5$. I try to get the wool ones first.
Sooo....Say, an EMP, solar flare, cyber attack on the electrical grid, something big goes boom or major storm knocks down your electricity for an extended time. The amount of food stored in the freezer and to a lesser extent, fridge, represents a good chunk of my food storage. Given enough time, we would can, dehydrate or consume what is in the freezer first.
In an emergency, I will have much more important things to do over the next week than worrying about what is in the freezer.
That is why, the FIRST thing I do in an emergency (if the solar panels aren't working) is to wrap the unplugged freezer and fridge in as many blankets as I have. Since I already have water covered, This is the First Job before I do anything else.
There are many other uses for those blankets than just your bed so have a BIG stack of them.
Quick note to self- Next time the freezer is empty, put some high density foam and plywood under the freezer since cool air sinks.
So, I only put 5 blankets on today since I figured it would be short. It was....but what I want you to picture is about a foot of insolation over it with a string around the bottom to hold it together.
This should also be a good place to talk about the many other uses of blankets and why in the old days, people kept a closet set aside just to be filled with blankets.
Lets start with the bed in winter. Putting several layers of wool blankets UNDERNIETH you keeps your heat from escaping through your mattress. I lived in several rolling homes, wintering in the Canadian Rockies, often without heat... so I learned to live under 10 inches of blankets. It can be done.
If you put in a covered four post bed, just like the old days, hanging blankets means you have created a micro climate that traps your lost heat.
Blankets can be hung over windows and drafty doors in the winter. Then again during heatwaves to keep heat out. They can also be hung on badly isolated walls. This is how tapestries developed. On your body. Heat the body, not the space. On the floor as emergency rugs.
Second hand store blankets are a very cheap source of cloth and can be remade into clothes. They can be handed out to refugees or emergency visitors.
They can cover plants if a frost sneaks up on garden or in your greenhouse over hoops if its going to drop below freezing overnight.
You can slow cook with them by bringing the water in a pot to boiling, taking it off the stove and wrapping it in several blankets.
That's all I got. If you can think of more uses, feel free to ad or show pics.
Hi Ross, i live in south florida where it doesn't get to cold. it's actually 70 degrees right now and feels like 80 when i stand in the sun. But my question is if you left a deep freezer or cooler outside wouldn't that act as a freezer even not being plugged into power? or couldn't you just put stuff into ziploc bags and bury it in the snow? sorry if the question seems dumb but i know i can leave a pan out in the sun here and it will get hot enough to cook eggs. so using the weather to our advantage can help save on our electric bill
chip sanchez wrote:But my question is if you left a deep freezer or cooler outside wouldn't that act as a freezer even not being plugged into power? or couldn't you just put stuff into ziploc bags and bury it in the snow?
My guess is that his deep freezer is inside for convenience.
I don't actively do this at this point because I share the home with family, but one great way to save energy is to use the principle of a 'freezer' seasonally [in a cool to cold climate like mine.] Keep a small freezer running to store prepared meals and such, but make use of thermal mass [2.5 gallon water jugs mostly filled with enough gap for ice expansion work great for this] to produce a freezer powered by the cold night air. Every night after the temperature drops below freezing it gets opened for a few hours to release any accumulated heat into the atmosphere.
This actually works quite well with the butchering cycle that's been common for temperate humans, slaughtering large meat animals in the late autumn/early winter. Basically the freezer just contains the cold so it works better sooner in the season, and keeps pests away from the meat.
chip sanchez wrote:Hi Ross, i live in south florida where it doesn't get to cold. it's actually 70 degrees right now and feels like 80 when i stand in the sun. But my question is if you left a deep freezer or cooler outside wouldn't that act as a freezer even not being plugged into power? or couldn't you just put stuff into ziploc bags and bury it in the snow? sorry if the question seems dumb but i know i can leave a pan out in the sun here and it will get hot enough to cook eggs. so using the weather to our advantage can help save on our electric bill
There are no dumb questions...Just ones I forget to get back too. lol
Yes. many people keep their freezer in an unheated garage or barn. Even plugged in, if it is cool enough, it simply wont turn on. This saves a wack of electricity. That wont work for us because we would have to shovel our way there and then shovel the door open. Putting your food in snow is hit and miss. It might even raise the temperature a bit because snow will stay at zero
Chip It's a little weird freezers and refrigerators in unheated spaces. Counterintuitive but those appliances are meant to be in a heated or room temp space. Say the temp drops to around 30 the compressors don't run and a freezer set to a cooler than 30 temperature will go to outside ambient temp in time. So your freezer is set at 0 the food though frozen might actually warm up to the spaces ambient temp of 30. A refrigerator compartment could freeze because it too would go to that ambient temp.
A fridge can do all kinds of weird things when it gets real cold and has a no frost feature.
Our inability to change everything should not stop us from changing what we can.
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