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Jaimie lives with her husband on their off-grid homestead known online as An American Homestead. My husband is originally from NW Arkansas, and when we visited his family there years ago, the ladies went to Eureka Springs while the men went golfing.
You are off grid so you deal with humping that heavy wieght of water daily and I bet you are very good at recycling water and it’s many uses.
Your comments about hot water made me think of a video I watched recently and I wanted to pass it along. I understand the little red light they are in smoke detectors, we also have an alarm on our home and ths red beam, catches you when you move.
Taking control of an essential utility service, by becoming your own power provider, can be an empowering experience, especially when it is also sustainable.
This article focuses on the use of naturally produced electricity rather than on its production. In many part of Canada, extreme cold temperatures extend for a period of approximately 14 days each year.
Where fossil fuel equipment is chosen, whether cook stove, hot water heating, furnace or boiler, it is best to avoid glow bar ignition which uses too much power. Air conditioners and heat pumps use a compressor which needs more electricity than is practical for an off-grid system.
Natural AC combines a tightly-insulated envelope, well-positioned windows, light coloured roof and south wall, a solar power-vented attic, roof overhangs, tree shading of walls and roof, and natural ventilation.
Consider anti-gravity venting which requires a 24v to power open a damper inside ductwork which allows the air to naturally rise to the exterior. Well pumps often demand more power than any other equipment in the house so it’s wise to be conscientious of water use in the first pace. Water pressure is increased with the use of water softeners and filtering so testing water before sizing the pump has its advantages. Decreasing water use translates to less power required, which may justify the use of non-electric composting toilets.
A luxury for off-grid installations, however, possible when combined with thermal solar panels for heating the water, but avoid using the water jets which draw excess power. Pirate lights The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy estimates that pirate lights, the small lights on stove clocks, coffee makers etc that rob power,  constantly consume 50watts in the average household. Natural lighting is achieved with interior reflective surfaces, windows, and light tubes between the roof and the interior spaces.
The amount of electricity an appliance uses is important, even when choosing propane appliances.
Drawing cold outside air across a compressor and the evaporator coils will reduce the amount of heat transferred to the room in warm weather but provides no other energy savings. Efficient DC dishwashers offer the option of manually switching to air drying instead of electric heat. The premium for off-grid with no propane vs off-grid with propane is approximately $10,000, however, the payback offers continuous free energy.
Before beginning to design your off-grid house, it is important to understand how your present activities affect power consumption. Once on the fringe, about 750,000 off the grid American households pioneer green living by tapping sustainable energy from the wind, sun, and earth. Green living: Bill and Paula Cirone have sacrificed no modern comfort in their new wind- and solar-powered home, which is completely off the grid and powered with sustainable energy from wind turbines and solar panels.
Get more photo about Home Decor related with by looking at photos gallery at the bottom of this page. It was nice, a lovely place, but I wasn’t used to living in hilly land and got really tired! While I do not live off the grid I did spend over 13 years in the military and I was always popular as I carried a small propane stove in the field and could make warm water even for a spit bath. I think many preppers don’t realize just how heavy water is nor do they think about how much water is needed to run a household if they had to move the water daily instead of just turning on a tap. There are also some other videos on his channel which use heat (such as from a wood stove) to heat water fairly effortlessly. Sustainable methods of electricity generation include photo voltaic [PV] panels, wind generation or hydro generation.

During the balance of winter the average temperatures are half of the extreme, therefore a secondary system is the option for those colder periods.
Natural ventilation induces cool outside air to enter at low levels and exit at a high levels. They move water very slowly and, as with DC-powered pumps, rely on an elevated storage tank for gravity feed to plumbing fixtures. Typically a circulation pump is required to move water through the panel, however, no electricity is required when the storage tank is located above the panels.
They can empty a battery of all its power over the course of one night requiring approximately 1.5 panels designated to satisfy their continuous collective demand. For charging batteries, it is a good idea to have a DC outlet specific for charging batteries.
When propane appliances are used, codes require that 120v wiring be installed, so there is no saving there.
When choosing a defrost option go for a manual switch so that you are in control of when it cycles into defrost.
The alternative is a raw diet, solar oven which function similarly to conventional when there is sunshine, BBQ or designing the kitchen to become an alternate ‘summer kitchen’.
For $30 plus, you can track your present use with a handheld electricity meter, panel energy monitor or plug-in meters. You become more committed to your choices of equipment, more conscious of your everyday activities and involved in a community of like minded individuals who support a better environment. Hall, an outdoor-skills instructor, and his wife, Alicia Bliss Hall, a natural healer, live in a kind of off-the-grid neighborhood with another young couple: Jason Brake, a professional muralist, and his wife, Diana Styffeler, a mountain bike excursion leader.
Air panels are beneficial during sunny days and require no power, while thermal panels provide stored energy around the clock.
Evaporative cooling, known as ‘swamp cooling’ draws dry outside air across water and increases comfort while requiring one or two PV panels to operate the fans, yet not effective during humid weather. A similar method can be designed for conventional pump operation, whereby a tank fills at peak solar times and remains shut off until the next peak period. The solution is to install all receptacles at a high level for easy un-plugging of equipment, or circuit all unessential power through a switch in each room. A disadvantage of popular halogen fixtures is that they produce more heat per watt of input than do incandescent. Customizing the kitchen to include an insulated enclosure around the fridge will save more power.
Imagine a screened-in porch that is closed off from the main house in summer and then in winter becomes a weather tight space open to the rest of the house.
Your new home system will have a meter that will give real-time feedback on how much power is being produced and used.
Their two cabins, nestled in temperate rain forest, are powered with electricity that comes exclusively from solar panels mounted on a wagon that they wheel around the property to catch the best rays. That could work as a hot water holding tank if you can’t afford an Igloo jug at this time. Using nature – the sun, wind, water, and the earth itself – they cheaply warm and cool their homes and power everything from a blender to a giant flat-screen TV to a raging hot tub. There are many options that utilize wood or pellets, however, most pellet stoves require power. And with the constant concern about global warming and messy dependence on fossil fuels, it's natural that growing numbers of Americans – "the foot soldiers" of energy independence, as one expert calls them – would begin taking steps to untether themselves from the grid.
They're installing a hydropower system in the stream that will add to the solar power.Their existence appears quite rustic – and the "sustainable" lifestyle depends a whole lot on them to sustain it with such work as wood chopping and wagon pulling. Kmart has a camp shower with battery powered pump that you can fill with hot water that is under $45.00. But they say they have all the creature comforts they need, and – if February's record snowstorm is any gauge – some their neighbors need, too.
Hall.• • •Off-the-grid living for Paula and William Cirone has a more suburban look and feel, as well as a different motive.
Their hearts were set on buying and building on woodland near Farmington that he had hunted and fished two decades before. But an issue over easements meant the utility company could not extend lines to connect to their new home. Cirone was initially nervous, not wanting to give up her comfortable lifestyle – being able to throw in a load of laundry, or flip on the TV or microwave, whenever she felt like it.
But the Cirones built a comfortable, spacious home powered entirely by wind and solar energy, with a geothermal system for heating and cooling."It was a little scary at first, wondering if this was all going to work," says Ms.

In an age of extreme economic insecurity plus concern about the effects of using fossil fuels – witness the BP oil spill and a host of recent coal-mining disasters – living off the grid gives people a feeling of structural, financial, and emotional independence. It liberates them from the grip of government regulators and utility companies – not to mention reducing their utility costs, after the initial investment is paid off. And it hints at the potential of a different energy future, free of the environmental and social costs of using fossil fuels.Mr. Rosen estimates that the number of people living off the grid in the US is growing by about 10 percent per year. For others, going off the grid is an intentional part of "downscaling to a simpler existence," as Rosen puts it.Most clean-energy experts don't see off-grid living as the solution to the nation's energy crisis. Hall figures that once the hydropower system is finished on his property, he will have invested about $15,000 on energy systems. Most North Carolinians spend several hundred dollars a month for electricity, water, and heat.
So the Halls will have paid off their investment in a decade.Cirone says he doesn't expect to see a financial payoff anytime soon on his $100,000 investment in higher-end, higher-capacity systems, but the nonmonetary benefits are many.
Their two sons, an electrical engineer and a doctoral student with an energy focus, are so enthused about the potential of off-the-grid living that they are launching a renewable-energy consulting company."There's a lot more return on investment than just money," Cirone says. We hope this proves to anyone who even considers [going off the grid] that if you don't want to give up anything in your lifestyle, you can use alternative energy and still have all the amenities you want."• • •Solar energy is the most popular and fastest-growing way to generate your own power. Improving technology, a glut of solar panels on the world market caused, in part, by the end of European subsidies that had driven production, and American government incentives mean solar power is an increasingly affordable option. San Diego, like some other cities, has started a program to lend money to home-owners for the purchase of solar panels, with loan payments added to the property tax over 20 years.Though the Southwest and South are solar hot spots, studies show it is a viable option in seemingly gloomy locales like the upper Midwest and the Northeast.
Homes typically use "small wind" power – with turbines that generate less than 10 kilowatts. But "small wind" is not a new concept – wind power has been harnessed for hundreds, if not thousands of years, for such things as transportation, milling, and pumping water. The "small wind" market grew 15 percent in 2009 despite the recession, says Ron Stimmel, small systems manager for the American Wind Energy Association. The five-kilowatt turbines needed to power an average home range from 30 to 140 feet tall and cost about $30,000.
Turbines that produce less than one kilowatt – to supplement solar panels or electricity from the grid – can cost less than $10,000.Wind turbines aren't as easily suited to a wide range of buildings and geographic locations as solar panels, because they usually require up to an acre of space, unobstructed by tall buildings, hillsides, or trees.
Wind turbines can be mounted on roofs or parapets – as in the Bronx apartment complex featured on page 29 – but only if the structure is strong enough. Zoning restrictions can make it difficult to install wind turbines, so proponents are pushing for wind-friendly codes.And generating one's own electricity isn't the only way to bypass or reduce dependence on commercial utilities. In many homes, a large amount of electricity is used to run air conditioners, and electricity, natural gas, or oil is used for heating.
The simplest way is through architecture that naturally keeps the home at a stable temperature, as John Sagebiel's home near Reno, Nev., featured on page 30, demonstrates. Windows are placed to maximize sunshine exposure when desired, and thick concrete floors and walls hold heat. Recently developed "smart" windows and drywall even react to the temperature outside by keeping heat out or drawing heat in.Geothermal energy is a high-tech, relatively expensive way to heat and cool a home. But for individual homes, geothermal cooling and heating systems pump water through underground pipes that heat or cool the water to the constant temperature of approximately 55 degrees F. There are different models, but all essentially rely on fluid circulated through tubing that can be installed up to about 200 feet deep vertically, or horizontally about 10 feet deep and roughly as wide as the property. In winter, the fluid is warmed below the earth, then heats air using a compressor and standard technology known as the refrigeration cycle.
In summer, the cycle is reversed so heat is essentially extracted from the home and sunk back into the earth.In relatively soft or sandy soil, pipes for a geothermal system can be run horizontally or in a variety of loops.
On top of hard bedrock, one must drill down – a more expensive proposition – to create a "standing column" system where fluid is circulated through a vertical cylinder with a "riser pipe" in the middle. As it has become more economically practical, geothermal systems also have gained "cachet" as a status symbol, says Andrew Collins of the New York City firm P.A.
The firm has designed geothermal systems at the new Liberty Island Retail Pavilion and for upscale homes in Tribeca, the Upper East Side, and on Long Island.Meanwhile, on or off the grid, experts say the cleanest, cheapest energy is the energy not generated at all. Weatherizing a home is the best thing for the environment and the wallet."It's great to have geothermal or photovoltaic [solar], but we like to stress you don't need those technologies to have a real energy-efficient home," says Nate Kredich of the US Green Building Council.

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