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Home Forums Technical Discussion How you design an off-grid home to deal with extreme heat Re: How you design an off-grid home to deal with extreme heat


Well, I talk a lot about this is some of my articles at I have friends who are in mobile home, camper and

a storage shed that was turned into living space. We have talked about ways

to keep them cool in summer, last summer was bad for them in Arkansas as they live in a deep hollow with no air stirring. Their problem is like most

peoples problem lack of money and ability to do any upgrade work.

They do have a/c in a camper, window unit. Ben the son goes out back several times per day and fills a bathtub with cold well water. He then soaks in it. Evenings tend to be cool though and even require blankets some nights. Though that’s not normal in Arkansas with the humidity.

I say if you are in a hurry and have little money and ability then make a small

space comfortable and forget the rest of it. Shutters, moveable insulation, thermal barrier mentioned above are all great ideas. I heard of one guy that sleeps on a water bed that lays on the concrete in the garage where it can cool off to near ground temps before nightfall. I’m sure he keeps insulation over it during the day hours.

Geothermal or getting below ground is more difficult. Geothermal is not without cost and takes time to pay off. Excavation, engineering and protection

from water all make underground construction somewhat costly and difficult if

doing it yourself all depending.

Quick and dirty underground might be earth bag dome, with dirt bermed partially around it (above grade). Thermal barrier and insulation can be used here as well near the exterior.

I think we talked about this last summer on the forum but hay or straw insulates well. Though hay is only a very temporary solution. And this is only a great idea if you bail your own hay or straw in square bails. If you made a box 2 bails deep on all 6 sides it would be more well insulated than a commercial freezer. Put a small window unit a/c on it and you would have some cheap a/c for the summer. I wanted to try this just for the heck of it but I have yet to come up with money for materials. You would still want to use thermal barrier.