We had two gas-fired heat sources in the house: a fireplace and a cute little stove that put out a lot of warmth. As for the bedrooms, we figured enough heat would seep over to them.
Year one went so well, we thought we were clever.
Year two was more typical for our climate. It brought temperatures well below zero, for weeks. We connected with our pioneer ancestors in new ways and learned the steps to survival without central heat:
1. Bake. The residual heat from the oven is nearly as delicious as the chicken pot pie.
2. Take a bath. Do this daily, and your toes will be warm once a day.
3. Invest in a feather bed, down comforters and duvet covers. They're much cheaper than a furnace and they have old fashioned charm. In the morning take the bed apart, grip the corners of the feather bed and shake vigorously to restore its loft. At night, climb in and work out every possible draft-inducing gap between comforter and feather bed. Wait until your body heat radiates around you and drift into the soundest sleep you've ever had. (This was actually the best part of our central-heat-free experience.)
4. Learn the art of tea. Husband traveled to China during this period and brought back all kinds of herbal varieties, some of which were supposed to be good for the circulation. I don't know if they really were. I just know I felt warmer when I drank them.
5. Use your pets to their full potential. A cat is a natural heater.
6. Keep throw blankets around the house. If you stop moving, you're gonna need them.
7. Borrow money for a new boiler.