Bill Bianchi wrote:Oh, and as for the A/C and clothes washer, I'm at a loss to cover those without electricity. I have no intention of washing clothes by hand. I suppose a small engine running on fuel alcohol or wood gas could run a washer and an AC compressr. Not sure.
Renate Haeckler wrote:Passive solar design houses with good basements may make the summer cool enough in most climates to do away with air conditioning. IMHO a big problem would be humidity causing mold in humid areas, tho - my best use of the A/C is to get that humidity out of the air so it feels cooler - we're by a river and it's right around 97% humidity almost every morning, you can break a sweat with minimal movement at 62 degrees. They say using clay on the walls will remove some humidity but I doubt it can cope with that much!
I believe there used to be a hand-crank washing machine in the old days, I think I've seen some sitting outside relative's farm houses. You'd heat the water, pour it in, and turn the crank to agitate the clothing. Some hooked them via a belt to an electric motor, but a bicycle on a stand may do the same job.
If you need just a little light after dark, some of the better LED bulbs don't use much electricity, could run off a solar-powered battery. Mother Earth News had an article on how to set up a DC system just for powering lights using a solar panel and a car battery, I believe, wired separately from the rest of the house wiring, which would be AC.