This blog is about our travels in our solar powered "Airstream" and living off grid, in our passive solar home, near Bancroft, Ontario, Canada.

If you have any questions send us a comment; we love to hear from our readers.
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Wednesday, 14 January 2015


We are into another cold snap here in Ontario. Last night the temperature dipped to -29*C (-20*F). Our wood stove and super insulation have kept our house very comfortable this winter without turning on the in-floor heating.

With company coming next week we decided to activate the in-floor heating, but only for the bathrooms. This is easy to do as the house is divided into three heating zones and each room has its own control valve.

It takes about 12 hours for the concrete floor to warm up and make a noticeable difference.  Now the room is cozy, the floor warm under our bare feet and a hot shower is that much more luxurious.

What about the electrical draw on our batteries when the system is running? Fare question and here are the numbers.

With the in-floor turned off the draw on the batteries is 3.4 amps/hr

When I turn the system on the draw jumps to 5.8 amps/hr

Presently only one zone is calling for heat. This requires two pumps to be working so each pump is drawing about 1.2 amps/hr. The pumps are Grundfos and look like this:

Our pumps have worked flawlessly for three years and are excellent for an off grid application. Their draw is small and they allow us to leave the house vacant for weeks if we decide to go away during the winter months. It also means we can live here long after I've stopped cutting firewood.

If my Grandmother could see us now, she wouldn't believe it. I wonder what changes the next 50 years will bring?

If you have any questions send them along and I will answer them as best I can from our own experience.

Safe travels everyone and thanks for stopping by.


  1. How wonderful that you can have toasty warm floors in the bathrooms. What an inexpensive luxury for you. It sure has been chilly. BUT nothing more gorgeous than all that clean white snow, the sun shining and a wonderful clear blue sky overhead. Sounds like it will warm a little so Mary can enjoy her ice fishing !

  2. Thanks Pat;

    We went for a snowshoe hike today and I'll post pictures tomorrow. It was indeed beautiful with the blue sky and clean fresh snow.