Most people use natural gas, diesel oil, propane, kerosene or electricity to heat their homes. Most homesteaders will give you a few homesteading tips but this one will top them all.
- Switch from fossil fuels to other methods of heating your home!
In many cases, they have little choice living in the city. But, the prices are going to skyrocket within the next few years, which means you have to work harder to earn more money to pay for it all! Inflation and wages never seems to keep up.
The alternative for rural dwellers is wood heat. This source of heat will always be my favorite. It makes me feel warm, I can cook on it, I can bake with it, and it just seems more natural than burning fuels and paying commercial prices.
Home Made Wood Stove
The indoor stoves today are considered expensive but are more efficient than the ones used in the past. Gases can be recirculated to burn more efficiently and they are less prone to drafting when the door is opened.
Seasoned firewood is the best choice to get the most out of your wood and to keep the chimney clean and free from soot buildup.
However, there are some people who consider stoves to be messy. Fortunately, there are alternatives.
Homesteading Tips: Go Geothermal
Geothermal heating is the new alternative. It recirculates heat from your home into a well or large pool, or ground area filled with another substance, and helps maintain even temperatures.
Homesteading Tips: Use Outdoor Stoves
An outdoor stove has one advantage over an indoor stove and that is cleanliness.
One other advantage is that you could burn any piece of wood that fits into the stove. Some people burn straw and hay or other waste material such as tightly packed newspapers.
The outdoor stove heats water in an open boiler and electrical grundfos pumps circulates the water into a hot water tank in the home and another pump circulates the water through water lines in the floor or radiators throughout the home.
Homesteading Tips: Burn Pellets
Pellet stoves are the latest fashion. The pellets are made of compressed sawdust which was almost impossible to get rid of years ago. A hopper is used and it is much easier than cutting a supply of wood for the winter, but more costly. You could make your own pellets.
Homesteading Tips: Convert To Corn
A Corn stove is installed into the home like a wood pellet stove but burns corn through the hopper instead of the pellets. Some stoves are designed to burn pellets or corn. Some higher end models may allow wood to be burned.
Homesteading Tips: Use In Floor Radiant Heat
If you have power into your home you may want to consider quiet radiant heat. There are two ways of doing this.
The first way is through an electric water heater and a circulating pump pushing water through lines installed in the cement floor or attached under the floor along the joists. You could also use an On-Demand Water heater for this!
The second way is through electrical heat tapes placed under the tiles in your home.
Both methods radiate heat from the floor upwards into the home. When the floor feels warm – the whole house is warm.
The only drawback is that they take a long time to change temperatures.
Homesteading Tips: Use Solar Water heaters
If you live in moderate climates it is possible to heat your home and your hot water with solar batch heaters fixed upon your south-facing roof or leaning against a south wall. A circulating pump will do the rest and you may only need moderate backup heat at night.
If you are on a tight budget you can build your own solar water heater for less than $100 dollars. You can make several over time and link them together for even more savings. Click here to find out for yourself.