Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Utilities and Mechanicals

I spent a lot of time today thinking about the utilities and mechanicals I will want in my cabin. I know I want some sort of solar energy, at least for lighting and items that don't draw much power, like my netbook. For a long time now, I've wanted electric radiant floor heating instead of a furnace, but ... I'm not sure how much solar power I would need for it, and it is very expensive to purchase. And if that can't go solar, or there's a cloudy stretch, I absolutely want a backup heat source, perhaps propane. The other option I'm considering for heat is electric radiant heat panels - no noise, no moving parts. It just seems like the floor heat would be more efficient, and the heat panels require precious wall space, but about 1/5 the cost of floor heat initially. I think they would use about the same amount of energy to operate.

I did run my refrigerator on propane a few times in the travel trailer. It works, but seemed more expensive than electricity. I will probably get another under-counter fridge, like I had back in my condo. I loved that thing. Then there's the air conditioner. That pretty much has to have grid electricity. I'm leaning toward a small window unit mounted through the north wall (so the sun never hits it - more efficient that way).

I've heard good and bad things about tankless water heaters, but I am sure I will want one; propane. My only hot water use is sinks and showers. I do all my laundry with cold water. I think I can live without a dishwasher. I think :)

That leaves me with cooking. I rarely do actual cooking, on a stove or in the oven. I tend to use the microwave for the most part, with the occasional slow cooker use for chicken or a roast. And I never use more than one stove burner at a time. Rather than take up space with a cooktop or stove, I think I could do just fine with one of those little buffet single burner things, that can live in a cabinet while not in use. And/or a propane camp stove for those pesky power outages.

Oh, almost forgot! Internet! I've been watching Clear ( for a while, and hoping that service spreads like wildfire. The technology for it is also being built into laptops and netbooks. By the time all my plans fall into place, perhaps I'll be ready for a netbook upgrade and be good to go in that regard.

1 comment:

Paully said...

You've probably figured this all out by now but just in case, here is a recent post from a friend on facebook. I've never heard of this contraption but you may by now be familiar with it.

"Love my GLASS FlavorWave turbo oven that sits on my counter and quickly & neatly without smoke & mess broils veggies & grass fed meats so fast even if frozen without using a is tender & juicy without needing extra fat ♥"