Off-Grid Heating

By
Real Estate Agent with Dirt Road Real Estate

Off-Grid Heating  

Now that we're into November, there's a chill in the air here in northern Arizona. One of the frequent questions I get is how to heat a home when you're off the grid. We use our fireplace for nearly 100% of our heating. I do leave our propane furnace on a ridiculously low setting - I think 60 degrees - so if we leave the house for a couple days it doesn't actually get cold inside.

There is a lifetime of firewood on most parcels of land on Willow Creek Ranch. It is mostly Juniper, which is important for forest fire concerns - Juniper is dang near impossible to start on fire when it is alive. And for that reason I strongly suggest cutting a whole years worth of firewood and leave it stacked under the trees for a year prior to attempting to burn it. It is an easy start the second year - but when it's fresh cut it is hard to start and kind of smoky - and I like neither of those conditions! On my property if I run out - there is always a dead tree to supplement before trying to burn the next year’s greener cut wood. 

We have the unique opportunity of being able to harvest Aspen from the somewhat nearby Flagstaff area as well.  Hardwood burns more cleanly and longer than juniper, so it might be worth the drive with a buddy and his or her chainsaw and a trailer just to get it all done. Seasoning any wood-aspen, juniper, pine-for a year before you burn it will lead to hotter, less smoky fires. You can pull a "Free Use Permit" from the USDA Forest Service and harvest up to 5 cords of hardwood for your family's personal use. (If that doesn't get you through the winter, I'm going to cry because it's so cold...or smile because you're living in a mansion!!!)  Here are the details on that program:  https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/coconino/passes-permits/forestproducts/?cid=fseprd497256 

So...stay toasty warm, and remember, "Life Begins Where The Pavement Ends".

Cheers,

Elise Harron  

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