The ideal off-grid home would have wood, laminate, linoleum, tile, concrete, or some other hard flooring throughout the house. If only we’d known where our path would lead us when we moved into this home 7 years ago, we would have opted for hardwood floors throughout the house instead of having wall-to-wall carpet in the bedrooms. Of course, we had no idea we’d eventually be going off the grid. Boy, if only we could go back in time, we’d do quite a lot differently. When the time comes to replace the bedroom flooring, we’ll likely do laminate throughout the house.
If you’re worried about hard floors being cold or not insulating the home as well as carpet, large area rugs are a great option.
What’s wrong with having wall-to-wall carpet in an off-grid home? Unfortunately, vacuums use a lot of power to run. Our solar panels may produce enough of a surplus of energy throughout the sunny Summer months to run a vacuum, but I’m sure there will be other more important uses for that energy. Sure, we could buy more solar panels so that we could run appliances such as a vacuum, but honestly we don’t feel it’s worth the investment. Especially since there are other options.
Since we’ll likely have carpeting in our home for several more years, I needed to find a non-electric method of cleaning the bedroom floors. I found an inexpensive, yet highly recommended non-electric floor sweeper which I have found to be satisfactory for vacuuming up crumbs, hair, and pieces of trash from the floor. My kids love using it to clean their rooms, which is great! Since it really only sweeps up surface debris and doesn’t have any sucking power, it doesn’t do a good deep down cleaning. I imagine we’ll probably run the generator once or twice a month as needed, so that I can use the electric vacuum for a more thorough cleaning.
A few ways we keep carpet cleaning to a minimum:
- We all take our shoes off at the door before entering the home. This really helps to reduce the dirt tracked in.
- We don’t allow the children to eat outside of the kitchen or dining area. (This can be tricky with a 3 year old who likes to snag food and run off with it to play.) This keeps crumbs from being scattered throughout the house.
- We don’t allow the pets in the rooms with carpet. This reduces the need for vacuuming pet hair from the bedrooms.
An American Homestead has a great article on this subject, which you might also enjoy reading.