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Small Underground Houses

Since underground homes are very energy-efficient, it follows that small underground houses consume even less energy and are cheaper to light, heat and cool (And they are not just for Hobbits). Since the temperature is moderate nearly year round, you won't have to worry about soaring energy costs. Whether you use a storage container or build your small home into the side of a hill, you can enjoy having enough space to live in without taking up a big hole in the environment.

small underground houses

Underground homes are usually fairly inexpensive to build, if you have the materials and equipment you will need. As far as power is concerned, you may opt to build a solar electric system. It will run the basic electric appliances in your house and give you hot water for heating, cleaning and bathing.

A smaller home will allow you to get by with some smaller appliances, if you're concerned about your carbon footprint. Select the most efficient models of refrigerators and other appliances available. Heating is a major concern if you live in an area with cold winters. Your home will pick up excess heat from your appliances, cooking, lighting and simple body heat in a small area.

Passive solar systems work well for any underground home, but most especially for smaller homes. The sun heats the thermal mass most directly, and your mass may be made up of concrete walls, floors or blocks, rocks or water barrels.

Need to Vent ...

Your home will also need a complete ventilation system, since you'll need to move air through this smaller living space. If you heat and perhaps cook with a small sized wood stove, a five volt fan can be run within a fresh air duct to efficiently vent the heater.

Your main structure in a smaller underground home may have a reinforced concrete roof, used on top of earth or concrete walls. This differs if you're building with a storage container. Your underground living space can open out to a sunken courtyard and a largely subterranean greenhouse. This gives your little home the air and light that it needs.

If you want your house to be off the grid, collect rainwater in tanks near your greenhouse, where you can grow your own foods. Placing the tanks higher than the faucets of your home will allow gravity to work for you in providing natural water pressure. Your greenhouse roof can act as a water collector and using a rain gutter, you can divert the water to your tank. Use filters and valves to keep debris out of your tank.

Solar panels can be placed wherever they will work most optimally, making sure they are open to sun for the peak periods. The rest of your off-the-grid system can be set up in your utility area. Your small house itself will protect you from earthquakes, fires, hurricanes and tornadoes. Many perils that are posed to above ground homes will not bother your underground home.

Soiling Your Home ...

Dirt is cheap, but if you are looking toward a worst case scenario, concrete, lead and steel provide much better protection against radiation. For whatever reason you decide to move underground, you certainly don't need a spacious mansion to live comfortably. Smaller homes give you all the creature comforts without having to heat or cool or vent a lot of unneeded space.

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