Looking for great reasonably priced way to heat an off grid home

Michelle Nason Aug. 8, 2018, 1:48 p.m.

Concrete slab floor with frost wall

Responses (1)

Ecohome Aug. 10, 2018, 9:10 a.m.

 

Hi Michelle,

I will run with the assumption that your house is not yet built otherwise you would already have a heating solution, is that correct? If not let me know.

From the beginning, your best bet is to have a very good thermal envelope to reduce the heat load and, if possible, orient the house for passive solar heating. Both of those design priorities will reduce the size of the heating system you require as well as the amount of energy it will consume during operation.

The cheapest way to set yourself up would be a wood stove, but they are not the most efficient system, and home temperatures tend to vary more when wood is the primary heat source. It also requires that you be there to continually feed the fire. They’re fun to sit around and excellent to have in an emergency but they are a bit of a hassle. I speak from experience here, I like my wood stove but it’s a lot of work, so I use my electric heat as much as possible.

If your slab hasn’t been decided on yet, check back with us soon as we will be starting construction on our next demo house in about 3 weeks (September, 2018), which will have solar-heated air panels feeding air tubes in the slab floor. Solar air heating panels are a lot less hassle and risk than solar water heating panels, and a lot more affordable than photovoltaic solar panels. We expect this to be among the more affordable off-grid heating solutions as it will only take a small PV panel to run the fan that will then deliver heat.

We already have the answers you’re looking for no matter what stage of design or construction you’re at, here are the pages that will help; and if they don’t, please don’t hesitate to drop us another question.

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