How to Power Your Rural Home

How to Power Your Rural Home
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There are many advantages to choosing to live away from the hustle and bustle of the city, but when you’re used to living in suburban or urban areas one question you may have could be how you’re going to get power to your home. Rest assured that there are many options that you can consider. Looking at the positives and negatives of each will help you decide what is best for your home and family. Many of these options may even help increase the value of your home. Mixing and matching different options helps cater to your home and needs.

Connect with the Electric Grid

One option for your home is to go the traditional route and simply connect with the electricity grid that is already near where you live. In 1936, the Rural Electrification Act was enacted to bring electricity to isolated rural farms and ranches in the United States. The United States’ electric grid is now surprisingly extensive, and likely reaches whatever rural location you live in or would like to move to. Remember to talk with your local electrician about how to connect to the electricity grid and how this will work for you and your family.

Solar Panels

Solar panels are great for the environment, don’t require fuel to give you power, give you a free energy source without being dependent on energy companies, and are independent of the constant changes in energy or fuel prices. When you add solar panels to your home, it increases the resale value as well. These are some of many reasons why you should consider solar energy for your home. These sources of energy have been growing in popularity for years and continue to be an option for environment conscious people everywhere.

In considering any alternate energy source, remember to consider whether they are right for you. Solar, with all of it’s amazing qualities, will not be the best option for those living in an area that gets little sunlight. Maybe it is too bulky for your living arrangements. Consider supplementing with other energy sources during seasons with little sunlight.

Wind Power

Wind power works by setting up a wind turbine connected to a generator. In the simplest terms, when the wind blows, the energy from the spinning motion of the turbine is converted to electric energy in the generator. Like with solar energy, it is important to consider environmental factors. What are the rules in your area for wind turbines? Do you have enough space to pour cement for the foundation for your wind turbine? How will you store energy from the wind turbine? Is there enough wind in my area to make a wind turbine worth it? In this article about installing a wind electric system, you can explore more questions about wind power and how to set it up at your home.

Propane Generators

Propane generators are another great option to aid in powering your home. Propane is more environmentally friendly than other fossil fuel options and is also remarkably easy to store. The storage containers for propane are completely sealed and have an unlimited shelf life. As a backup generator, a propane generator is essential for this reason. Propane tanks come in a variety of sizes, so find the one that fits your needs.

Diesel Generators

An older cousin to propane generators, gas generators have been a go-to power source for a long time. Though not as environmentally friendly and certainly smellier, diesel (or gas) generators are a viable option for powering parts of your home. Diesel gas is very accessible and is poured directly into the generator to make it work.

Diesel generators can come in the form of portable generators or more permanent generators. It is important to maintain your diesel generators properly. Before turning to this option, remember to check what maintenance will be required for your model of generator.

Hydropower

Sometimes a little bit of creativity is involved in figuring out how to power your home in less conventional ways. Turning to water power may seem intimidating when you think of large water turbines in a dam. However, making water work to power your house doesn’t have to look like the Hoover Dam. This is the story of how a couple used a small creek to power their house. If you live next to a running water source, it would be beneficial to look at how it could help you power your home.

Live like your Ancestors

There is a lot you can learn from your elders, and if there is one thing that we know about our ancestors, it’s that fire has been a form of energy that we have used for a long, long time. Though this isn’t the first power source that will increase the value of your home, it’s one that has stuck around. Learning to cook by a fire, heat your home from a wood stove, and cool your home off by opening windows or cooking outside are all ways to use this power source. Who knows? This could be a great way to get back to the basics.

Creative Power

Micro-CHP. Sound energy. Capturing the methane from animal manure. Bike generators. Photosynthesis. Thermoelectric generators. Tubular skylights to provide light for your home. Solar oven to cook your food. Steam Turbine. What do all these have in common? They are new or experimental ways of powering your home.  Stay up to date on new ways to generate power. There is remarkable research happening right now in energy, and it’s exciting to be a part of it.

Finding ways to power a home anywhere you may want to go may seem like a daunting task, but hopefully this list has helped give you the ideas you need to have confidence that you’ll get sufficient power, no matter where you live. Picking and choosing many different options (or just one if it works for you!) helps you have your ideal home.

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