How To Heat Your Home While Living Off Grid
In this series of articles I have been looking at what it takes to live off grid – something many people aspire to. To illustrate, I have been using the example of an Ontario couple who have been living off grid for 20 years.
Today I look at heating, because living off grid means finding a way to power the ‘energy hogs’ (heating and cooling, clothes dryers, cooking).
Due to their house design, they don’t need to expend much energy to cool their home, so from a cooling point of view, it’s relatively easy for them to live off grid.
Heating their home in winter (it can go down to -20F / -30c) is important and requires a lot of energy, so living off grid provided challenges for them.
Initially they used propane (bottled gas) for space and water heating – but because it’s a non-renewable resource (a by-product of oil drilling and coal mining), they wanted to switch to something more eco-friendly.
Gradually they added more solar panels, got rid of the propane, and opted for a wood-burning stove.
Rather than finding an older refurbished unit, they installed an updated and airtight replica of grandma’s traditional wood cookstove, which includes a water heat-recovery unit. The cookstove can therefore do triple duty during the cooler months:
- heating the house
- cooking the food
- providing hot water
They use the microwave and electric convection oven for cooking during the summer months.
Next: An eco-friendly cooking method that YOU can use at home or on holiday
Photo Credit: mother earth news