I'm Putting the energy part of this here but it's the same project as in the homesteading forum. The home that is there, we move in Oct 29th, is electrically heated and the outbuilding is unheated. There will be many "improvements" to come in the future! The outbuilding will be converted to a kennel and to take advantage of some business development funding it looks like that part will be starting in January. Due to freezing weather, it's currently -2 celsius , here in Kirkland Lake, getting the clay etc for cob would be very difficult. I am thinking that for this winter we might install a slow speed diesel electric generator (lister type)vand run it off waste vegetable oil capturing the heat from the exhaust and the engine coolant to heat the kennel and signing up to the Ontario Microfit program so as to use the electricity to offset energy costs. The home will get a RMH next year when the ground isn't quite so hard. There is rock which splits in layers nearby so how might I determine it's suitability to make the fire chamber? I'm thinking put it in a fire and if it doesn't crack it's good to go. Am open to implementation suggestions and alternatives so comments welcome.
Congratulations on your new home. I must have passed by your house last year on the way to Rouyn, Amos, Matagami, and Chisasibi to the end of the road. I enjoyed the area very much and even thought about trying to get a visa to stay.
My suggestion would be to look at your house and try to find a way to superinsulate it. Generally adding insulation to the outside is easiest. Adding insulation and sealing (wrapping) the house under the siding. Make sure you have makeup air, maybe even a heat exchanger. But the most important is to get more insulation on the top and sides.
With electric heat, you could get a payback within maybe 5 to 10 years, and a superinsulated home will be easily heated by a wood fired heater.
Congrads on the new place! I'd agree with insulation and sealing for air tightness as first priority. Install programmable thermostats on all of your rooms. When I was on electric heat I used to set back the temperature in my spare rooms - they then acted as kind of extra insulation. I'd also suggest installing a high efficency stove right away if you don't have one. The savings this winter would offset the cost considerably - and as cool as those RMH stoves are, I doubt they'd be popular with your insurers, building department, or future real estate agents!
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