Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Compost as a heat source? What a great idea!

Every morning and evening I drive 50 miles round trip to a neighboring city, though the drive is long it gives me time to think, get my head together and come up with new ideas. Most of the drive is through farm country, cows, horses, tobacco, soy beans and an occasional llama are my entertainment, so to speak. Today, as often happens I got thinking about our electricity and heating bills. Though lower than most peoples at $40/month in the winter and $85/month in the summer I still spend a lot of time trying to think of ways to eliminate that expense all together, and with a solar/wind PV system I will someday do just that.

Our heating bill on the other hand is another story. In an avg month our heating expense can be upwards of $260. Propane isn't cheap and it is an expense I have been trying to figure out how to eliminate for sometime and though I have several ideas, most are pretty labor intensive and when SHTF or I finally move completely off grid I have a feeling I am going to have enough to do with out having to cut and chop enough wood to keep me warm all winter too. I hate being cold so that is an awful lot of wood. There is no getting around the fact that I will have to get the chainsaw and splitting mall out but I have been searching for a way to supplement that with another heat source. Today driving through the endless farmland dreaming of the day I can get away from it all I think I came up with an idea.

As a child my grandparent had horses and of course a manure pile. That pile would stay reasonably bare through out the winter and in spring and fall I can remember steam lofting from it. I never really understood back then but now I do, decomposition creates heat. And in that moment I had an ah ha moment, there is my supplemental heat!!!!

My plan for my bug out/off grid home includes animals and a large garden, hmmm there is my fuel source, manure and organic matter from the garden and food wastes. So now I have more research to do but it is a start and I have already found a few interesting articles to help get me started. Have a look for yourself...

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