With the winter months behind us, you might be thinking more about your air conditioning bill than how to warm your home right now. If you’re living off the grid, however, keeping warm is a serious need in many parts of the world. The sun goes down and things get chilly.
Heating a living space has been a need since long before people had electric heat. In this article, we’ll explore several ways to sustainably heat a reasonable-sized living space using natural resources and no power.
Use a Wood Stove or Fireplace
This method is probably the go-to for most people, and for a good reason. Wood stoves were once a staple in nearly every home. These days, air quality laws have made it difficult for people to use wood-burning stoves in many places. However, in the wilderness, you would be wise to have one available and to take advantage of it when the mercury drops.
It’s entirely possible to heat a house built with proper insulation efficiently using a wood-burning stove. A quality fireplace or wood-burning stove not only adds a heating element, but it is also an aesthetic component in your home. Make sure you have an ample supply of dry firewood. Before winter arrives, it’s a good idea to stock up on an energy-dense wood like madrone, ash, maple or oak. Depending on your needs, you may want to select a hardwood that will burn longer, or a softwood that lights easier and burns hotter.
A High-Tech Take on Burning Wood
As an alternative to more traditional wood-burning methods, newer pellet-burning stoves can heat a space with a minimum of smoke and soot. Pellets provide consistent, even heat, and are available in hardwood or softwood varieties in 40-pound bags designed to provide one 24-hour day of heat. So you’ll not only enjoy an easy-to-use solution, but you’ll be able to calculate your heating costs with little effort.
Your Gas Stove or Oven
Have you ever cooked a meal and realized the temperature in your home increased five degrees? That’s because your stove or oven puts out a lot of heat, and if you have gas appliances, you can use these to heat your home without electricity. Of course, this is not the most efficient way to heat a large home, but in smaller spaces, it can be reasonably economical. Just make sure your insulation is well sorted out.
Speaking of Insulation
None of the methods here will do much if you have a home with no insulation and single-pane windows. None of the heat you produce will stay in the home without the help of some well-placed fiberglass insulation, weatherstripping and quality windows. If you know you have a specific part of the house that insulates well, you may want to declare that your warm room and focus your efforts on heating that space to maximize efficiency.
It’s not all that difficult to keep your home warm without electricity. Mostly, you’ve just got to be up to the task of chopping some firewood or hauling a few bags of pellets around. Maybe brush up on your flint-and-tinder skills before next winter, so you’re not reliant on those expensive firestarters. A quality hoodie doesn’t hurt either. Keep warm, friends!