Category Archives: Stoves

Searching for information on heating stoves for an Grid Home? The “Living Off Grid Newsletter” Provides Everything You Need to Research Before Buying a Heating Stove for an Off Grid Homestead

The Best Gas, Battery and Electric-Powered Chainsaws for Off Grid Cabins, Sheds and Homesteads in 2020

Off Grid Living – The Best Gas, Battery and Electric-Powered Chainsaws for Off Grid Cabins, Sheds and Homesteads in 2020

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Off Grid Living - The Best Gas, Battery and Electric-Powered Chainsaws of 2020

Off Grid Living – The Best Gas, Battery and Electric-Powered Chainsaws of 2020

Picking the Best Gas, Battery and Electric-Powered Chainsaws of 2020

New York – There are three main types of chainsaw to choose from; gas-powered chainsaws are most frequently used by professionals, as they are the most powerful, and can run longer than their electric counterparts. STIHL chainsaws are perhaps the best known brands in this category, and you can get some very capable Husqvarna chainsaws in this class too, but you might not need a tool of that magnitude.

For many domestic users, who mostly need chainsaws for home purposes, such as cutting branches off trees and chopping down smaller trees, battery-powered electric chainsaws can often do the job nicely. If you’re on a budget, have a small garden, or only need to call on your chainsaw-wielding abilities every now and then, a corded chainsaw might be enough for you.

Do keep in mind, of course, that chainsaws are incredibly dangerous power tools, so make sure you use protective equipment at all times, and thoroughly read the manual for whatever chainsaw you end up choosing, treating it with care at all times.

Also, frequent use will wear down the chain, making its jagged teeth blunt. If you don’t want to keep forking out for new chains, get yourself a chainsaw sharpener and follow our chainsaw maintenance tips at the bottom of this guide.

Source: https://bestofmachinery.com/best-chainsaw/

Do chainsaw Chains Stretch?

Chainsaw Chains can wear out over time and will begin to “stretch” out. If your saw is not getting enough oil, the friction of the chain rubbing against the guide can heat the chain and will wear it down more quickly. It is important to make sure that you are adjusting to let enough oil onto your blade in order to prolong the life of your chain. Remember that larger guides and chains will require more oil and that you will also have to up the output if you are cutting particularly dry wood or dirty bark.

Another problem that can cause a chain to “stretch” is a worn out sprocket. If your chain is no longer gripping to the sprocket as it should, this can make for a lose fit along the guide. Check out the manufacturer’s instructions for help with changing your chain or sprocket and for more tips on avoiding unnecessary wear.

Do Chainsaws Overheat?

Yes, chainsaws can overheat. Chainsaws, like many power tools, have powerful engines that can run at very high temperatures and can overheat, particularly during the summer months. Regular maintenance and cleaning of your saw can help to prevent overheating as air intake areas on saws can become clogged with dust, debris, or oil buildup.

The engine, guide-bar and chain should also be kept clean, (fueled with a non-ethanol fuel mixture, for gas-powered saws) and lubricated in order to reduce friction that can overheat the saw.

Does Chainsaw need Oil?

Yes, yes, and yes. Proper lubrication of your chainsaw will keep it running smoothly and efficiently, and reduce overheating and wear over time. Most saws come with auto-lubrication systems, so, as long as you make sure you have plenty of oil in the tank, and are regularly cleaning your equipment, you should be able to maximize your chainsaw’s lifespan.

How to use a Chainsaw?

Every chainsaw works differently, as startup, stopping, and operational features and procedures can vary greatly between models. It is imperative that you carefully read the operating instructions that come with your specific machine in order to ensure safe operation of your new chainsaw. Also, before you go out and buy your chainsaw you need to find the right size and weight of chainsaw you feel comfortable using.

Are Stihl chainsaws the best?

STIHL certainly makes a good case for being one of the best brand of chainsaws. If you’re willing to put out the cash for a fine chainsaw, it’s worth a trip to the hardware store to look at a STIHL.

By most accounts, you can expect these saws to be powerful, durable, reliable and long lasting. The STIHL MS170 performed well in our tests, but missed out on being our best overall pick due to its price and entry-level nature. We found it to be smooth, fast and agile, making clean, straight cuts every time we used it.

One other thing to note about STIHL chainsaws is that it’s almost impossible to purchase them online. You’ll have to go to a local STIHL dealer, which you’ll be able to find through the company’s dealer locator on their website.

Source: https://www.toptenreviews.com/best-chainsaws

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Rustic Outhouse and Bathroom Design and Decorating Ideas for an Off Grid Sheds, Cabins or Homes

Off Grid Living – Rustic Outhouse and Bathroom Design
and Decorating Ideas for an Off Grid Sheds, Cabins or Homes

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Off Grid Living - Rustic Outhouse and Bathroom Design and Decorating Ideas for an Off Grid Sheds, Cabins or Homes

Rustic Outhouse/Bathroom Design & Decorating Ideas for an Off Grid Sheds, Cabins or Homes

Off Grid Living Bathroom and Outhouse Design Ideas

Arizona – Many off grid cabins use self composting or septic systems. In addition, many off grid bathrooms are designed to conserve and separate gray from #2 waste which is either composted or fed into a septic tank.

If you’ve never hear of using black soldier flies in tandem with composting toilets, you should do some research on them. They are a great way to turn human manure into free chicken feed.

Different areas of the country have different regulations about this. For example, most cities are against it and only more rustic regions of the country will generally be accepting. Even if you are allowed to have one however there will be a lot of restrictions put in place including the distance away from any water source for sanitary reasons.

Feel free to like, share and make comments about which off grid bathroom design you think will work best for your home.

Please join our Off Grid Living Discussion Group on Facebook

  1. To learn more and discuss off grid topics, please join our free Facebook group at: Off Grid Living: Prepping to Live Off the Grid
  2. Or, read more topics in our “Guide to Off Grid Living” => https://livingoffgrid.home.blog/guide-to-off-grid-living/

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#Arizona #OffGridHomes #OffGridCabins #OffGridSheds #OffGridLiving #LivingOffGrid #HowTo #Build #Rustic #Outhouse #Bathroom #Bathtubs #Design #Decorating

How to Heat Water with Solar Hot Water Heaters and Stove Water Heating Jackets

The Benefits of Using Passive Solar Heating and Wood Stove Water Heating Jackets to Heat Water for an Off Grid Shed, Cabin or Home

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How to Use Off Grid Solar Collectors to Product Free Hot Water

How to Use Passive Solar Collectors to Product Free Hot Water for Off Grid Properties

Various Types of Solar Hot Water Heaters to Heat Water for Off Grid Homes

United States – There are many options for solar water heaters that range from inexpensive home-made jobs to high-end state of the art commercial models.

If you switch to a solar water heating system, your use of electricity or propane will drop significantly; that number will approach zero rapidly if your backup heating system is a wood stove or firebox with a water jacket rather than occasional use utility electricity.

The home-made options are typically not suited for use during times of the year when temperatures dip below freezing. You would need to winterized them before any threat of fall or winter weather arrives.  There are probably hundreds of variations that may be found on the internet. They range from coils of black plastic pipe on one’s roof to coils of copper inside a box with outer glass cover (creating a greenhouse effect).

Some of these utilize a DC electric circulating pump. It pushes the heated water into a storage tank and bring fresh cool water into the heater.  This pump may be activated by a switch that is temperature controlled. But some are directly connected to a solar panel and only run when the sun is shining (precisely the same times that the water is being heated and needs to be circulated).

Evacuated Tube Solar Hot Water Heaters

Evacuated tube models are composed of numerous rows of glass tubes with another smaller tube inside each of the larger tubes.  A vacuum is pulled between each of the two tubes which greatly lessens the loss of heat to outside weather.  Water or an antifreeze solution is then circulated through the inner tubes.

The advantages of evacuated tubes lie in greater efficiency and less heat lost.  So they work quite well even during surprisingly cool temperatures.  However they are somewhat fragile and may not be as suited to areas with a great amount of snow and ice due to the potential for breakage from buildup.

Flat Panel Solar Hot Water Heaters

These heaters look much like solar electric panels but contain tiny water passages which enable a great amount of surface area to come in contact with the heat from the sun.  While not as efficient as evacuated tubes, flat panels still work very well and are certainly more rugged when faced with heavy snow and icy conditions.

Typically an antifreeze solution is circulated through the tubes or panels and the hot fluid is routed inside to a heat exchanger which transfers the heat of the fluid to the home’s hot water.  There are some varieties of evacuated tube heaters that are called drain down systems, which do not require the use of antifreeze because the water drains away from exposed areas once the water cools off.

Thermo-Siphon Solar Hot Water Heaters

It is possible to set up a solar water heating system that doesn’t require an electric circulating pump.  This would be called a thermo-siphon system, operating on the principle that heat rises.

This was the type of system we planned to install for our cabin in the summertime.  The disadvantages would be the amount of work involved in installation, significant cost of commercial systems, and reliance on an electric circulating pump (unless it is set up as a thermo-siphon system).

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How to Select a Wood Stove Based on the Size of Your Off Grid Cabin

The 6 Essential Considerations for Buying the Right-Sized
Wood Burning Stove for Your Off Grid Shed, Cabin or Home

By 30X40 Design Workshop

The video above presents a comprehensive buying guide for wood stoves – a primer on exactly what you’ll need to know before buying a wood stove for your off grid shed, cabin, container home, earthship, steel building, tent, tiny house, yurt and/or any other type of off home.

Top Stove Buying Decision Include:

  • Steel vs. Cast Iron Cost
  • Stove Output (BTU vs. Size)
  • Firebox size
  • Efficiency Catalytic vs. Non-Catalytic
  • Flue (Interior and Exterior)
  • Hearth Protection
  • Wood Storage Ash Pan
  • Aesthetics Maintenance

Checklist of Items to Consider when Buying a Wood Stove:

It may be summer now, but winter is coming and its going to be a cold one. Here are some simple considerations to think about when buying the right wood stove for your shed, cabin or other type of off grid home.

1. Decide Between a Fireplace and a Wood Burning Stove

There are two main types of wood stoves.  A fireplace, which is usually imbedded into a wall and a free standing stove, which sits in an open air space somewhere in a room. Fireplaces are usually open and waste a lot of energy and are prone to fires outside the fireplace as popping wood can send sparks flying out onto the room’s floor.

Free standing stoves are usually better because they can control the burn rate of your wood. They are much safer because they keep the fire enclosed inside a door. And, they radiant heat on a 360 degree basis, which is really important in very cold climates. When combined with masonry stone walls, they will heat up stone that will do a great job of efficiently heating up your home and keeping it toasty warm.

2. How Large Should Your Heat Source Be?

Picking the right sized wood stove for your living space is critical. A number of wood stoves for sale come with huge fireboxes, 3, 4, and sometimes even 5 cubic feet. But with modern insulation and the supplementary heat that most houses have now, these are usually overkill. A home between 2,000 and 3,000 square feet usually calls for a wood stove with a firebox between 2 and 2.5 cubic feet. If you’re heating a smaller space, like a garage or a cabin, you might want to try looking for even smaller wood burning stoves – 1 to 1.5 cubic feet.

3. Efficiency, Efficiency, Efficiency – Meeting EPA Standards

Higher efficiency means less money spent on wood, less work chopping and hauling wood, and a product that is better for the environment. Older wood stoves tend to be inefficient and waste wood and many companies don’t publish their efficiencies as a result. Look for wood stoves for sale that have EPA listed efficiencies of 70% or above to get the most bang for your buck. Some new stoves, like MF Fire’s Catalyst, also come with smart thermostat technology that helps to cut down on overheating, giving a real world efficiency boost of 20 to 25%. Buying a wood stove from MF Fire means less chopping, less stacking, and fewer trips to the wood pile during winter storms.

4. Clean Air and the New EPA Regulations

Gone are the days of smoke belching potbelly stoves. New clean air standards have set a high bar, restricting wood stove smoke emissions to only 2.0 grams/hour by January 2020, making nearly 85% of currently available wood stove illegal to sell. But some manufacturers are still trying to squeeze out their old units before the deadline. To get the cleanest and most efficient burn, look for wood burning stoves for sale with EPA listed emissions below 2.0 g/hr.

5. Catalytic or Non-Catalytic Fireboxes

When they were first introduced in the 80’s catalytic stoves, or wood burning stoves that use a catalytic combustor to reduce emissions, got a bad reputation. These initial poorly designed wood burning stoves were impossible to get started and used catalytic combustors that fouled and went bad after only a few seasons. New catalytic stoves don’t have those problems.

Most catalytic wood stoves for sale today are significantly cleaner and more efficient than their non-catalytic counterparts and those catalytic combustors can last for 10 years or more. When they do need to be replaced, the replacements generally cost less than $100. Some catalytic stoves can be harder to start, but buying a wood stove with new smart stove technology like automatic igniters or MF Fire’s TurboStart technology makes them easier to start than ever.

6. Smart Wood Burning Stoves

Technology is in everything nowadays: phones, cars, even refrigerators. Modern wood stoves are no exception. Some new wood stoves include features that make it easier to start, remotely control your burn, and even to protect your family from chimney fires. Buying a wood stove with these modern features help those of us who are getting up in years to do a little less work and have a lot more peace of mind. While smart wood stoves frequently cost a bit more, buying a wood stove with the added features are usually more than worth it.

7. Gathering and Stacking Wood

Acquiring, stacking and moving wood will become a part of your life. I personally embrace these as part of my choice to live in a cold climate, and I feel like the added effort is good for both myself and the environment — but it’s certainly not for everyone.

Source: https://mffire.com/ 

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