How to Live Comfortably Off the Grid
The challenges of building off the grid
Chris Koehn’s clients want a wood-burning cook stove and a fireplace, and they’d like to include some solar panels in their overall plan. Yet they’re concerned the bathroom and an upstairs bedroom may be too far from the heat source to be comfortable.
In a post at the GreenBuildingAdvisor Q&A forum, Koehn wonders whether these parts of the house can be warmed by a radiant floor heating system. Would the pumps circulating hot water put too much of a strain on photovoltaic panels? What other options does he have?
Renewable energy seems manageable when the house is tied to the grid. But an off-the-grid home is an altogether different proposition. It takes not only a tight building envelope and sensible design, but a new way of looking at energy use and home management. That’s the focus of this week’s Q&A Spotlight.
More resources for living off the grid
These panels may seem like a good choice for an off-the-grid house, but the need for electric pumps will probably make off-grid home builders think twice about solar hot water.