Tired of high utility bills? Nowadays, it’s possible to create a self-sufficient home, generating all your own electricity, heating and water. Such sustainable measures can be expensive to install, but you’re certain to make your money back in the long run as you’ll never have to pay a utility bill again. Here’s how you can ditch the energy providers and run your home off-grid.
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[ctt template=”4″ link=”N03yC” via=”yes” ]Tired of high utility bills? Here are a few ways you can ditch the energy providers and run your home's utilities off-grid.[/ctt]
Taking Your Home’s Utilities Off-Grid with Heating, Water & Electricity
The most common way to generate your own electricity is through solar panels. These are commonly installed on a property’s roof where they are exposed to the most amount of sunlight. Even in cloudy climates, solar panels can still generate a lot of power, although you may need to install more of them than you would do in a sunny region. You’ll want to keep your solar panels clean to keep them working efficiently – too much dust could prevent them absorbing solar energy.
It’s also possible to generate electricity through wind power. Whilst not as effective as solar power, it could be ideal for those living in windy areas that don’t get as much sun all year round. Home wind turbines can be fitted on the roof – some people may even use them in conjunction with solar panels.
There are multiple ways to take your heating off-grid. One way could be to use solar panels to provide electric heating. Solar heating can be very effective, although you will need a lot of solar panels if you’re also planning on using solar power for general electricity.
Another means of off-grid heating is to use oil or propane. This is not particularly eco-friendly, not is it economical (you’re likely to spend more than mains gas), however for providing an effective heat source to hostile locations it can be the best solution.
There’s then the most traditional heating source, which is to burn wood. Modern pellet stoves are a lot more efficient than old-fashioned fireplaces and stoves. By shopping around for the best pellet stove, you’ll be guaranteed more effective heating. Pellet stoves generally require electricity to feed the pellets, so bear this is mind.
For the full homestead experience, some people may also want to take their water supply off-grid. This is one of the most costly transitions to make as you need to collect and purify your own water, as well as creating a sustainable sewerage system.
A well is the most traditional way of collecting water – it can be great if you’re at a low point near the water table, but not so great if your live up high in the hills. Rainwater harvesting is the other main means of collecting water, which is great if you live somewhere that gets regular rainfall, but no so good if you live in a desert. Once you’ve got a means of harvesting water, you’ll then need to add a purification system, as well as a means of pumping the water from its source.
As for wastewater, the most common way to collect this is to install a septic tank – your waste can then be collected regularly from here. You can also install a greywater recycling system which recycles waste water from your sink and shower (but not your toilet) to be used for gardening purposes and toilet flushing.
This is a contributed post.
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