Posted by Tim Stobbs on July 8, 2008
I’ve had this idea in my head for a while now, but in general it is this. In a world of increasingly expensive energy doesn’t it make sense to sell my current house (at some point) and downsize to a smaller home. Then take the dollar difference and invest in several energy saving technologies (let’s say around $50,000).
Some simple technologies include designing a passive solar home with high thermal mass. I was thinking about a 800 square foot two story with a finished basement to get me about 1000 sq feet of living space. Also I would likely invert the living space to the top floor and keep the bedrooms on the main (heat rises, so let’s work with that). Then add in some solar hot water collectors for space heating and hot water. Also include some rainwater collection and storage for showers and reusing grey water to flush toilets. Add in a bit of solar and/or wind power and then some heat recovery systems like an air to air exchanger and potentially a hot water drain heat recovery system.
Add in an extensive back/front yard garden and a cold storage area in the basement and a willingness to do some canning. Then I’ve actually managed to seriously reduce my exposure to the major inflation items of food and energy.
So what do you think? Crazy or damn good idea? If you were to build an low energy home what would you use?