Going “off-grid” has been a tantalizing choice for homeowners for a long time, especially those who don’t want to be at the mercy of the prices of utility providers and might want to cut their bills by changing how they get the resources they use on a daily basis. However, many assume there’s a lot more work to be done to go off-grid than might actually be true. Here are a few of the steps you might need to take to bring your home off the grid, but you might not necessarily have to do them all.
If you live with the sun, make use of it
The biggest consideration you need to make when it comes to off-the-grid living is how you’re going to power your home. There are various different options, many of them may be cleaner and safer than how you’re currently powering the home. However, the greenest option available, by far, is to look at installing solar panels in your home. However, it’s worth taking the time to have an engineer take a look at your home and to give you a reliable estimate of how much of your power you might be able to derive from solar power. Some people will be able to power their homes throughout the year on solar alone, but most people are going to need some kind of backup power.
Know your off-grid power options
Solar power will work well for some people. However, it won’t be the right solution for some. Depending on where you live, it might very well be less cost-effective to rely on solar 100% of the time. To that end, look at alternate fuel sources. Propane is a cleaner and safer option than most existing home heating systems and you can stock up on propane with the help of teams like Annapolis Propane to power the whole home throughout the upcoming seasons. Get to know the different off-grid power options that are available to you, their up-front costs of installation, and how much you stand to save in the long run to get a better idea of which is most worth it.
Providing heating for the home
You need to make sure that you have a reliable and easy way to not only get energy but also to make sure that it’s used as efficiently as possible. This is most important, perhaps, when it comes to your heating. Winters can get real cold and if you don’t prepare your home to retain heat as best as possible, then you could be in for frosty nights, which can get genuinely dangerous depending on where you are. Adding a slow-combustion wood fire to the living room can help you ensure that you have an easy source of heat so long as you have access to wood, but you might also want to get in touch with teams like Complete Home Solutions so that you can give the home the insulation that you need.
Heating your water
In some cases, you may find that one energy option is the most efficient and cost-effective for powering every aspect of the home. However, you should also look specifically at the water heating options that you have. Water heaters from teams like AO Smith can be powered in a wide range of ways. How they work is that you place an insulated tank that fills up with water and is connected to a heating element powered by the fuel of your choice. If you live in an area that is able to provide a decent amount of solar power but not enough to fuel the whole home, then you might be able to at least get 100% of your hot water needs met by energy from the sun.
Ensure that you have a backup
Having a main power supply is going to make sure that you have an efficient source of power to help you get through the day-to-day. With routine monitoring, you should be able to make sure that you’re in good supply when it comes to powering the home for plenty of time. However, what happens if you were to accidentally let your power supply run out or if there was a malfunction that stopped it from working? Having backup generators and an off-grid battery bank can make sure that you always have another option to help you get things back up and running should your regular power source go down.
The question of water
You may choose to have water connected to your home even when you don’t use any other on-grid resources simply because access to clean, drinkable water is that crucial for our survival, it’s not a surprise some might not want to take any chances. However, there are plenty of ways to find water off the grid, such as by creating your own source of well water, living close to a natural spring, or collecting and cleaning rainfall. Of course, you may also want to buy and store clean water to use in cases where you run out of your natural supply. In terms of wastewater, you should look at creating your own home septic tank.
Consider learning some homesteading basics
It’s not essential by any means, but a lot of people who go off the grid want to become more self-sufficient in any way that they can. This can include new approaches to how you get your food. Learning your homesteading basics can help you live a lot more cost and energy-efficient by seeing more of your food grown at home. It is likely that you’re going to have to supplement this with store-bought foods, but a lot of people find homesteading very rewarding and can even make a little extra money off of the surplus crops they grow on their property.
There’s no denying that it’s going to require investment and some work to go off-grid with your home. However, the savings and peace of mind that it offers could be well worth it.