Off the Grid Homes
Advice about Living in One

When it comes to off the grid homes, you need to keep in mind what types of grid homes are suitable for the changeover. It may be a simple log cabin in the middle of nowhere. It could also be a modern home in suburbia. The decision is yours to make.

In selecting your off the grid home, however, remember you need to look at related, in fact integral and integrated, aspects of living off the grid. These are efficiency, energy conservation, insulation, orientation and best power source. If you don't consider these different factors, your shot at living cleanly, efficiently and energy effectively off the grid will fail. It will be essential that you pay attention to detail.

House Design

The best way to achieve high levels of energy efficiency and conservation is to design your house to meet these demands. You can do so by:

  • Building on land with a south facing slope - this encourages passive (free) off grid heating
  • Ensure you have windows facing south
  • Insulate the walls, windows, ceilings and floors with heat-absorbing material
  • Have overhangs - these help to regulate solar gain
  • Window coverings are another means of retaining heat
  • Make sure there's ventilation to help spread warm or cold air evenly

If you can't design your house from the beginning, you still can retrofit. This will help you achieve higher levels of energy conservation. The most common methods of retrofitting involve insulation. You may also find it best to upgrade the energy-efficient level of various appliances and electronics. From ranges to radios to computers, make sure they all are using the lowest amount of energy in the most optimum way possible.

Power Source

Individuals who live off the grid also need to consider what power sources that will be compatible with their appliances, electronics and off the grid houses. While solar energy is among the most popular, it may not be the most effective or economical means for your situation. It's possible, for instance, that the energy source capable of moving your house off the grid is wind.

Alternatively, you could turn to either geo-thermal or micro-hydro power as the answer. It depends upon the location of your home, the type of power easily accessed and the legislation regarding its usage.

One further factor to consider is cost. You may not be able to afford solar or wind-powered sources to run your home. The factors may have nothing to do with geographical location. The reason can be that the costs are too prohibitive. Alternative energy can be affordable, but the initial outlay may be too costly for some individuals.


Before you decide to embrace the concept of living in off the grid homes,it's absolutely essential that you consider what all it entails. You need to look at the design and construction of your house. Geographical location plays a role in the design, as well as the choice of power systems to run the home. Make sure you don't enter into the decision without first closely examining all the possible options currently available.

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