More and more American families are choosing to live off-grid or at least adopt some of the practices of homesteaders in order to make a more positive impact on their environment. Even if you are not planning to live completely off the grid, these alternative heating and cooling options can help you reduce energy consumption and may even be able to help you save some money in the long run.
Tips for Off-Grid Heating and Cooling
Here are some tips for heating and cooling for those who want to live off-grid:
- Make sure that your home is well-insulated.
One of the most important first steps in transitioning to off-grid heating and cooling is making sure that your home is well-insulated. A significant amount of energy is wasted when poor insulation allows warm or cool air inside the home to escape. By checking that your home is well-insulated and fixes any problem areas, you can help increase energy efficiency.
It is important to note that this is vital for any homeowner, not just those who are living off-grid. Making sure that your home is well-insulated will help you reduce the amount of energy needed to heat your home in cooler months and cool it down during warmer seasons. If you have an older home with an attic, make sure that you check this insulation. Any cracks or leaks in doors and windows should also be sealed as these areas often let air escape.
- Harness the power of the sun.
Solar energy is not only great for producing electricity, but it can also be used to heat your home. With passive solar heating, you can heat your home by designing your property to allow sufficient amounts of sunlight in. This type of solar heating requires special modifications such as dark colored floors, many windows, and insulation. Active solar heating involves using solar collectors to heat water that is used to maintain a comfortable temperature throughout the home.
There are also solar air conditioning options which allow you to harness the power of the sun in order to cool your home down. A DC air conditioner runs on solar power during the day and solar-powered battery by night. These air conditioners sometimes require a larger up-front investment. However, there is often a quick return on investment given that they do not use electricity to run.
- Heat your home the old-fashioned way.
One of the most common off-grid heating options is the use of fire. Throughout history, this has been one of the most popular heating methods because it is fairly simple and quick to implement. This is also one of the more cost-effective options for those who are not able to implement solar technology right away.
Though heating with fire can be effective, it can only cover so much of an area. Back when fire was the main source of heat, families would heat the main living areas, allowing the bedrooms to become heated through convection and using blankets and layers of clothing to keep warm during the night. If you want to heat the entire house, you would need to have a fireplace or wood-burning stove in each room of your home. Due to the fact that most homes do not have these accommodations, this off-grid heating option requires some lifestyle changes.
Do you want to find ways to save energy without going completely off-grid? We would love to talk to you about your energy efficient heating and cooling options. Give us a call today.