Off-grid Living doesn’t mean giving up modern conveniences. There are many businesses which make appliances that are specialized, and they are built to last a lifetime while they cost somewhat more in the start. Our cottage has all of the appliances, and others are just efficient versions of household appliances while some are specialized for usage.
#1. Off Grid Stove
We don’t have a gas range, which is a massive mistake. You do not realize how much energy efficient a gas stove utilizes until you’re off-grid, and you want to inhale in the winter time.
Modern gas ovens utilize technology that is designed to maintain them at a temperature that is more constant. They do this by using an absurd quantity of power in an igniter that continually turns the stove off and on. Sure the heat is generated by burning gas, but our”gasoline” range burns as much electricity as a countertop plugin electric oven.
Growing up, we had one of those gas stoves, and it worked just fine. It disturbs me how much the new ones are in terms of electric.
Our kitchen has been designed around an old time wood stove. When they moved outside, however, the owners took it. It didn’t seem like a massive deal at the time, although we had been disappointed. Because it is hard to find a wood/gas cooker that is one of my biggest regrets about this house, it is even harder to get someone willing to put in it if you’re able to find one.
There’s one place up in Maine which refurbishes them, called Bryant Stove and Music. We have made one visit out, and we’re hoping they get something suitable in inventory soon so we can switch our cooker outside. Just lately called them and they are no more dealing only because there’s no one prepared to install them.
We’re now looking at options in Lehmans, which is an outfitter for Amish families and off-grid families. They sell both kerosene stoves and stoves. Ideally, we’d install a kerosene stove nearby for summer cooking and coffee, and a sizable stove for winter cooking and heat without heating the home. Kerosene burns clean, unlike butane and propane camp stoves.
#2. Off Grid Refrigerator
Refrigerators are by far the most typical, so there is a great deal of off-grid grid fridge choices. You will find propane refrigerators for camps, and DC electric models that run straight without an inverter.
Off Grid DC Electric Refrigerator
If you have any electricity generation capability, go with a Direct Current (DC) electric fridge. They use because they’re super insulated and they can run from your batteries if the inverter is down.
We run a Sunfrost RF16, and it is a regular sized refrigerator/freezer. They’re a bit more expensive than a standard AC refrigerator, but they’re built to last a lifetime.
A while back we were having an issue with ours, so we called the manufacturer for help finding a service tech. He said we don’t need a service tech and laughed, and they are straightforward machines. He was able to talk me through the issue on the telephone in around 5 minutes.
Ours has been running strong for at least 20 years.
Following sunfrost,” one 100 amp hr 12V deep cycle battery will typically operate the Sun Frost RF12 (somewhat smaller than ours) for 3 days without recharging.” That’s a pretty compact system, and it keeps it operating. They state that 4 hours of sunlight on one 135 watt panel is going to keep the refrigerator running without issue. The only place is in northern states in the winter season.
Living up here there has been plenty of occasions once we’ve shut the inverter and down everything, and just let the fridge/freezers operate for days on end on DC power. I’m happy that we have that option as a substitute for a standard AC refrigerator.
#3. Off Grid Propane Refrigerator
If you, without a way to generate power there are propane refrigerators. They’re not the best way to do it if your other options. Nevertheless, they do work well for cabins with no electricity generation capability. Lehman’s sells refrigerators and freezers if you find that is the best alternative for you.
Propane refrigerators are not as efficient, plus they utilize fossil fuels instead of free solar power. Here’s a comparison of the efficiency: “A 10 cubic foot propane fridge may typically consume 1.5 pounds, or .375 g, of propane per day. The energy content of 1.5 pounds of propane is 32,250 Btu roughly 9485 watt-hours. The Sun Frost RF12 consumes only 24 hours each day, which is equivalent to 288-watt-hours per day. That is an astonishing 32 times ” (Source)
#4. Off Grid Freezer
When the garden crops are arriving in we, run a third large AC refrigerator in the summertime, along with two DC electric freezers. The DC freezers are hard-wired into our cellar, where it stays cold year round. Our DC freezers Both are 8-foot models made by Sun Danzer.
When the busy summer season is over, we work through all of the meals and conserve it in different ways, chiefly by canning. When power is scarce, the AC freezer can be off for the winter months.
#5. Off Grid Dishwasher
I’d never had a dishwasher before going off-grid. Now it can be packed by us and allow the sun to do our dishes for us while we are outside in the backyard. Our dishwasher is not anything specific.
Believe it or not, running a dishwasher off-grid makes a great deal of sense. Dishes use power for a well-pump unless you’re lucky enough to have a gravity well up. By waiting until another day that is mid-day to run it, packing the dishwasher at the day, you’re using power to match the supply.
Without a dishwasher, I’d be inside doing dishes on sunny days, instead of out in the backyard, and I’ll honestly say it’s by far my favorite way to use our free electricity. In the summertime, dishwasher midday that is operating doesn’t even dent solar generation.
In the wintertime, you may either await the sun to run this or skip using the dishwasher or turn it.
#6. Off Grid Washing Machine
Our electric system is pretty robust, and we can conduct a washing machine. I am happy with this option, although we have to time our loads to summit generation. Some washing machines have an electric water heater built into them, which pre-heats the fresh water to ensure the water is in just the ideal temperature. As almost any type of electrical heat takes a whole lot of juice, that’s not a good idea off the grid. There are plenty of models without it though.
If you’re looking for a more”off grid” solution compared to a regular washing machine, a buddy of our lives in a yurt near us at Vermont and has been happy with her small pedal-powered washing machine. There is also a couple of crank-operated washing machines with reviews, like this one and this one.
#7. Solar Generator & Panels
For Maximum electricity, I utilize a mobile 1250 watt solar system from Goal Zero with four panels. This will most of my own Tiny House RV, so long as I have sufficient sun to power and I am careful with my use.