How to Build a Self Sufficient Modular Home
Set up a modular home that is completely self-sufficient by providing your own electricity, heating and cooling, water, and waste removal systems.
Whether you’re geographically isolated, a doomsday prepper, or you just tired of paying utility bills, building a self-sufficient modular home is a good way to stay green, stay isolated, stay prepared, or stay thrifty. Fortunately, the same methods that are used by you die-hards can also help the average modular homeowner.
Follow the idea to have a self sufficient home, there are 4 needs that need to be met: Generating electricity, heating and/or cooling the home, access to fresh water, and a waste disposal system.
For the Everyday:
- Solar Panels should be placed to the roof of your house or free standing in an open area.
- Installing a small, relatively discrete wind turbine on or near your home can usually provide between 1,000 and 2,000 kilowatt hours per year.
For the Die-Hard:
- Setting up computer-controlled solar panels that track the sun can maximize the power that you obtain from your solar panels.
- Solar panels can obviously be set on the top of your modular home but for the die-hard, you should place in an open air area to fully absorb the sun rays.
- Large wind turbines can be used to generate over 10,000 kilowatt-hours per year (slightly below the average yearly household use), but can be costly to install and requires special zoning permits.
For the Everyday:
- Well insulated windows and doors are a must-have.
- A well-designed HVAC system will feature zone heating and cooling. There is no reason to heat or cool areas of a home that are not in use during certain times of day.
For the Die-Hard:
- The above-mentioned heating and cooling can be made hard-core by automating the changes in temperature. Special systems can be installed that “learn” what rooms to heat or cool when and can tell when you’re not using them, significantly lowering energy usage.
- Geothermal heating is still fairly expensive to install and its utility is highly dependent on where you live.
- Both the die-hard and the everyday home owner need to access to fresh water but having a water line to your home could be expensive if you live too far off the beaten path. If you have the right soil, you can build a well that will keep your home nicely supplied with fresh water no matter how far you are from current town utilities and be independent from the local water factory.
- Septic systems are extremely common and therefore fairly inexpensive. Just make sure the soil is right, or you could end up with a very costly (and smelly) mistake. Depending on the soil your home is built on, you may be able to construct a septic system that will disburse the waste from your home in to the ground where it will be safely disbursed back to the ground.
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