Energy Efficient Appliances For Living Off The Grid

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Whether you’re thinking about getting off the grid or you are already off the grid, you’re probably interested in knowing what types of energy efficient off grid appliances are available for you to choose from. Today we’ll be taking a look at some of the kinds of appliances you might want to purchase for your new “green” home.

Green Refrigeration Options

When it comes to selecting off the grid refrigerators, you’ll have a few options. You can purchase refrigerators that are especially designed for homes that are off the grid. One thing that they’ll all have in common is that they will be insulated better than a standard refrigerator. You can select from AC or DC units depending on how you would like to go.

When you’re selecting a freezer, I highly recommend that you go with a horizontal deep freeze model. The main reason is that when you open the door on an upright freezer, a bunch of cold air pours out and into the room. When you lift the lid on a deep freeze, most of the cold air stays in the unit because cold air is heavier than hot air and it will tend to stay settled inside of the freezer.

Of course you can do what we did and skip the refrigerator all together if you feel like roughing it. If you’re in the mood to read about how we were able to get by without a refrigerator for eight years, here’s a link to that article: How We Got By Without A Fridge At Our Off The Grid Home.

Green Water Heating Options

You’ll have more options when it comes to selecting an off the grid water heater. My favorite is to go with a solar water heater. You can purchase commercial solar water heaters or you can build your own homemade solar water heater without too much effort.

Next to using the power of the sun to heat your water, my favorite choice would be to go with an “on-demand” water heater. These green appliances don’t have a huge storage tank that requires energy to keep the water warm during those times when you don’t have a need for hot water. They simply flash-heat the water to the desired temperature at the exact moment you need it. Most of the energy in a standard water heater goes towards keeping that huge tank of water hot which is a big waste of energy.

You can choose between electric, propane, or natural gas on-demand units. Depending on how much energy your off the grid home is producing, an electric unit might be the way to go. That is assuming that your system is capable of generating enough electricity to keep up with the demand of one of these units.

Green Heating Options

Again, my favorite choice when it comes to off the grid appliances for heating your living spaces would be a solar heater. You can purchase commercially manufactured models or you can build your own. As a matter of fact, I’m in the process of building one right now with recycled aluminum cans and other recycled building materials. Be sure and watch for an upcoming article on this project!

Another option is to install a geothermal heating system. I have a detailed article here at called, “How Does Geothermal Heating Work?” that you might take a minute and read if you want to learn more about heating your home this way.

Lastly, you could choose to heat your home with a wood burning stove. Depending on how you feel about burning wood, this is often a good option because wood is a renewable resource and it is abundantly available in most areas. If you decide to go with this option, be sure and purchase a very efficient wood stove that releases the least amount of pollution into the atmosphere.

Green Laundry Options

Some off the grid diehards wash their clothing by hand and let it air dry. This is certainly one option but it demands a lot of your time and effort. A more realistic option would probably be to purchase a very energy efficient washer and dryer. Some of the latest models are significantly more efficient than those of the past. Perhaps a nice compromise would be to purchase an energy efficient off the grid washing machine and air dry your clothes since the drying process will likely consume more energy than the washing process.

Green Entertainment Options

When it comes to the choice of entertainment options for your new green lifestyle, you may have to make some compromises. If your renewable energy power source is struggling to keep up with the demand that your home is placing on it, you might need to give up that 65″ HD Plasma TV. A big home entertainment system like this will likely consume a lot of electricity so downsizing a bit could save quite a bit of energy.

What Sacrifices Are You Prepared To Make?

The bottom line is that you may have to make some sacrifices if you are committed to getting off the grid and going green. In addition to outfitting your home with green kitchen appliances, a big part of living a green lifestyle is learning to consume less energy. It’s not just about using alternative energy.

If you would like to learn more about reducing the amount of electricity that your home uses, I highly suggest that you take just a minute and read: A Case Study – Ways To Save Money On Electricity.

2 Responses to “Energy Efficient Appliances For Living Off The Grid”

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  1. George Pepper says:

    Looking forward to seeing how the solar heater comes along!

    • Patty Hahne says:

      Thanks George! I can’t wait to get it built. I’ll be sure and write about all the details here when I do.

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