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Globally, the need to embrace eco-friendly energy options are more evident than ever before. As a way of reducing greenhouse gases to save the planet, more people are now opting for an off-the-grid home system. In simple terms, an off-the-grid home system means running your home without being connected to the power grid and, in some instances, other public utilities, like sewage and water.
But, living in an off-the-grid home doesn’t mean living in a home that doesn’t have electricity. It only means using alternative sources of power to support a modern, comfortable lifestyle. People opt to install an off-the-grid system for various reasons. These include the desire to be self-reliant and to reduce environmental footprints.
Though getting the system to work may seem like an uphill task, it’s not entirely farfetched, particularly if you have spent time out there camping.
If you have plans to convert your home into an off-the-grid home, here’s how you can get it done:
The traditional way of generating your own power is through the use of natural gas, propane, or diesel. While these sources are great for generating backup power, they’re far more costly than the main grid. They’re also not desired to be used for the long term and produce higher amounts of greenhouse gases compared to grid systems.
When you decide to convert your home to use an off-the-grid system, opt for renewable energy sources, such as wind power, fuel cells, geothermal, and solar. You also need to consider an option that’ll work in your region and fits your budget. For instance, wind power will work well if you live in a windy region. However, it can be extremely costly to install on small scales.
In the same way, geothermal energy is only available in some regions and not others. In a home setting, this energy source makes economic sense when used for heating as opposed to generating electricity.
Fuel cells, on the other hand, are a modern technology that’s used to convert fuels, such as natural gas into electricity. While they cause less pollution than generators, the amount of greenhouse gases is more or less the same. The cost of using fuel cells to power your home is currently higher than that of using grid power.
Solar energy is a common source of energy for off-the-grid homes. The cost of generating electricity using solar panels is lower than grid power and can be installed on a small scale. It also works well in all regions of the world as long as there’s sunshine.
Alternative sources of energy have different limitations. Since most homes opt for solar energy to power their homes, they’ll need to store the energy for use during the night as there’s no sunshine at night. Fortunately, batteries allow you to store solar energy that’s generated during the day.
Most solar installation companies include energy storage batteries in their package. This means that when you contract a solar installation company, it’ll fix solar panels on your rooftops and fix the batteries in a safe space. Alternatively, you can buy a home battery that’s specially made to store energy for off-the-grid homes or businesses. Irrespective of the alternative energy source you choose to power your home, ensure that you have backup batteries for your home.
As you move your home off the grid, you need to consider strategies for keeping your home powered throughout the year. This is because weather elements, such as snow, reduced sunshine levels, and lower wind speeds can reduce your energy generation. One way of preparing for such situations is to have more home batteries, maintain an on-the-grid connection, or install generators to serve as backups when your power runs out.
There are not many changes in the wiring of the home when you move it off the grid. However, you’ll need to make several changes in your home to make it off-the-grid compliant. For instance, you’ll need to replace appliances that use electricity, like an oven, water heater, cloth dryers, and forced-air heating with those that use less energy.
For instance, you can get appliances that use propane energy, like a propane oven, water heater, and cloth dryer. When it comes to heating your home and air conditioning, get an expert to carefully plan it to ensure that it works well and is energy efficient.
Moving your home off the grid has many benefits. Other than keeping your energy costs low, it’s also a great way of reducing greenhouse emissions and protecting the planet.
There are various energy sources that you can consider. However, the decision comes down to cost and how easy it is to install the solution on a small scale. To make your transition from grid power to an alternative off-the-grid power source, follow the three steps discussed above.
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