Saturday, March 2, 2013

Sustainable Living Off Grid; heating studio

Heating the studio.
When we decided to move from the camper into the garage it was mostly for more comfort. Rewiring the garage for 12 volt was not that difficult. This allowed us to have low voltage appliances run directly on 12 volts. You can run 12 volt appliances on 110, most appliances come with a converter to reduce the voltage. For lighting we used low voltage LED, so that we did not have to run 110 and convert it. I would not recommend this to anyone if you do not know what you are doing. My husband is a contractor and electrician.
Heating with radiators
Using PEX Pipes, we ran hot water to radiators placed throughout the studio. Red PEX pipe for the hot water coming from the hot water heater and blue PEX pipe for the returning water to the water heater. Using a low voltage circulater pump we ordered from West Marine, this is how the water was pushed from the water heater into the radiators. A thermostat switch hooked to the pump help to control the usage of energy and the temperature in the studio. This worked for a while but was more of a usage on our power source then we needed. This system provided a nice even heat while in the winter we had less sun for storing energy.
Time for a new source of heating. Investing in a wood stove. Found a nice used one on craigslist was no problem. Replacing the seal around the door and clean it up a little it was like new. There are lots of trees on the property giving us a natural source for energy. This was a great replacement for the radiator but not our last. Our next step was working on building a solar water heater that would function as it's own conventional circulater system.
In the summer time I set up an outdoor shower using a teak outdoor shower with a hose running on the top of the camper collecting heat.
Taking our time working on the studio garage gave us ideas for when we would build the house. Start small and all of our mistakes will be a small cost. Learning what will work best for us will prevent bigger costly mistakes for the future. One mistake I made when running the radiators was burning up the pump. While working on the water storage tank the pump to pressurize the house was shut off while the radiator was still on. Not a problem while no water has been used to take the water pressure down. I came into the house to use the bathroom and forgot all about this. Flushing the toilet reduced the water pressure and caused the circulater pump to burn up. It cost me $40.00 to learn we need to have a switch to shut off the pump if there is no water pressure.
Studio Bathroom
Moving into the studio was a great deal better then living in a camper. Now I have a regular bathroom with a bathtub. Having the creature comforts of a bathroom with hot and cold water is a must for any woman. Living off grid doesn't have to mean no comforts.
Live Life Love Life

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Sustainable Living Off Grid thanks for fallowing, would love for you to share.