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    (Open)  Wind Power
     
     
     

    There was always one woman in town who was called to assist in childbearing, one man in town who understood blacksmithing, or another person who understood how to use medicinal herbs.The same is true today, but the skill sets have changed.Perhaps someone is an expert in solar heating panels or running electric lines, another might be knowledgeable about agriculture, still another has a background in alternative medicine.If they haven’t moved yet, perhaps you can share information and see if the areas you have been researching are appealing to them.You just want to create a support system where shared skills benefit the community.Read their local newspaper, either online or by subscription to the print edition.Learn about the community, its strengths and its weaknesses.Visit the community during a vacation and see how you are welcomed.Determine whether you and your family can become part of the community and fit well with the other residents.If not, look for another community.Be sure you have legal representation when you buy your property.Buying is expensive, and you don’t want to make any mistakes.Make sure a search has been done to ensure that the property is free from mortgage, unpaid taxes, or any other financial liens.If there is a lien on the property, you need to be sure that either the seller has paid the lien or the purchase price includes the amount that you will pay to the lien holder to free the property of encumbrances.Be sure you and your spouse have an updated will and power of attorney.Because wills are legal documents that provide instruction on how your assets are to be distributed and who will become caregivers for any children, dying without one will take those choices away from your spouse and give them to the state or province in which you lived.A power of attorney is a document that gives someone the right to act in your name, if you are unable to do so.The most common powers of attorney are for medical care and for financial matters.A medical or personal care power of attorney gives someone else the right to make decisions for you if you are unable to do so yourself.For example, if you are in a coma, the person holding the power of attorney would represent you and your wishes.A financial power of attorney allows someone to make financial decisions for you when you are unable to make those decisions for yourself.However, your power of attorney would also allow for your financial matters to be seen to if you were in a coma or in other ways incapacitated.To search for a lien, get the correct address of the property and contact the county assessor or local tax board.These departments will have public records pertaining to ownership of the property, taxes paid or owed, and the last sale date of the property.They will also know if there is a lien on the property and can direct you to the lien holder.There are places on the Internet where you can download a basic power of attorney form and fill it in yourself.Be sure that you and your witness sign these documents in the presence of a notary public, who witnesses and verifies the document signatures with her stamp.You can receive all kinds of legal advice and information on the Internet.There are places where you can pay a minimal expense to have documents like wills, trusts, and powers of attorney created for you by people with a legal background.However, even if you decide to have these documents created online, it’s a good idea to have a relationship with a local lawyer you know and trust.Over the course of six days, freezing rain covered Ontario, Quebec, and New Brunswick with three to four inches of ice.The ice coating caused electric wires to become brittle and break.The power outages lasted for as long as a month.More than 3 million people were without power in Quebec, and over 1 million in eastern Ontario.About 100,000 people went into shelters in school gymnasiums and churches.As a matter of fact, if the grid went down, it would not affect your life at all.Geothermal PowerThe word geo means earth, and thermal means heat.So, geothermal means heat from the earth.No matter what the temperature outside, the readings ten feet below the earth remain fairly constant.Geothermal heat pump systems use that constant temperature to either heat or cool your home.Using pipes that are buried in the ground near your home, fluid, like antifreeze, is circulated through the heat pump system.In winter, heat from the warmer ground travels through the heat exchanger of the pump and sends warm air into your home.In summer, the cooler temperatures travel through the heat exchanger and cool the air in your home.Geothermal heat pumps use much less energy than conventional heating systems, since they draw heat from the ground and only have to potentially bring the temperature up several degrees.For example, with other heat sources, you have to maintain the fuel source to reach the internal home temperature of your choice.With geothermal, your heat source is already at 60°F and so only has to be heated another ten or so degrees to reach your comfort level.The same is true for air conditioning, where the 60°F temperature can bring your home down to the level you desire without using excess energy.Geothermal heat systems can also heat your home’s hot water.The United States alone produces 2,700 megawatts of electricity from geothermal energy.Using that amount of electricity is comparable to burning 60 million barrels of oil each year.Passive solar energy means you are not using any mechanical devices to harness the energy of the sun.Having a sunroom with a brick floor that would absorb the heat during the day and release it at night is another example.Even heating the water in a swimming pool in the sun is an example.When you build your home, you will want to take advantage of passive solar energy because it is a free gift from the sun.Active solar energy uses mechanical devices in the collection, storage, and distribution of solar energy for your home.Active solar energy works by taking energy from the sun and, using solar panels, converts that energy into electricity.This electricity can be used right away or stored in a battery array in your home for future use.There are some mounting racks that can track the movement of the sun and shift the panels to collect as much energy as possible.These batteries can then be drawn on for electrical use.You will need to determine your power consumption before you can get started with any type of solar installation.The idea of solar energy has been around for quite a while.In the 1830s, British astronomer John Herschel used a solar energy collector box to cook food during an expedition to Africa.Albert Einstein won the Nobel Prize in 1921 for his experiments with solar energy and photovoltaics.Wood BurningMankind has been using wood for fuel ever since fire was invented.Burning wood can be an inexpensive way to heat your home.However, you need to be sure you have a source for the wood you want to use.Does your land have several acres of hardwood?A good rule of thumb is that you need about ten acres of hardwood to produce enough wood to heat a home every year.If you are able to cut, gather, and stack your own wood, you can really save money.Keep in mind, though, that the saying when you cut your own wood, it heats you twice is very true.Harvesting wood is hard work, and caution must be maintained when using a chain saw.If you have to have someone cut and deliver your wood, find out how much he or she charges.In some places, paying for wood is more expensive than using fossil fuels.Is heating with wood bad for the environment?Biomass fuels, such as wood or corn, are carbon neutral, which means they do not generate a net increase in greenhouse gas emissions.In fact, heating an average home with wood can save enough nonrenewable fossil fuel to operate an automobile for a full year.FireplacesUsing a fireplace is the most inefficient way to heat your home.Although charming, an open fireplace draws much more air than needed for combustion.This causes the warm air from the burning wood to be drawn up the chimney.Between 80 percent and 90 percent of the heat produced by wood burned in an open fireplace is lost up the chimney.The other drawback is that a fireplace will steal heated air from other parts of your home, because it will be drawing the air for combustion.This draw actually pulls cold air into your home through any unsealed areas, like windows and doors.If you have a home with an existing fireplace, you can purchase a fireplace insert that is designed to fit into your fireplace.An insert has a firebox that is surrounded by a steel shell.Air flows into the shell and radiant heat from the burning wood warms the air, which is then redistributed back into your home.This prevents the majority of the heat from escaping up the chimney and prevents the air draw in your home.Wood StovesA wood stove is considered a space heater because, unlike a furnace that pushes heat through a duct system, it will heat a specific area in your home.However, the stove needs to be centrally located, so it can radiate heat throughout the area, and you must provide a way for heat to move through the rest of the home.Wood stoves come in a variety of materials.Three of the most popular materials are cast iron, steel, and soapstone.Cast iron was the original material because the casting process was perfected long before steel and welding.You might even hear some people refer to wood stoves as cast iron stoves.The original Ben Franklin stoves from the 1700s were cast iron.Steel stoves heat up quickly and start radiating heat faster than cast iron.But when the fire is reduced to coals, there is little or no residual radiated heat.On the other hand, a cast iron stove might take a few hours to start radiating heat, but when the fire is reduced to coals you will continue to have residual heat for several hours.Soapstone is a relatively soft metamorphic rock.It was used in early New England because residents found that not only could it be easily cut and polished, but it would also absorb the heat and then provide a gentle and steady radiant heat.You can stand near a soapstone stove without feeling overwhelmed by the heat, in comparison to a cast iron stove, which can overwhelm you with the force of the heat it generates.