Heating and cooling and off-grid home in SW MT
My wife and I are building an off-grid home in SW Montana (Climate Zone 6). Home will be 2×6 construction with 6 to 8 inches of exterior rigid foam and either blown cellulose or open-cell spray foam between the studs (feel free to comment on that one too). We haven’t done a heat / cooling load calculation (the home is a 2 story, ~1600 total FSF – 800 feet up and down), but my initial thoughts were to heat primarily with radiant in-floor heat supplemented by a wood burning stove. However in reading some recent GBA articles it turns out that both are on Martin’s least favorite things list. Cooling provided by ductless mini-splits on each floor (which I don’t think Martin hates). In our area, we have three options for fuel: wood, propane, or electric (PV solar as we are thousands of feet from the nearest power). Given we have 95+ degree August and -20 degree January and we have yet to lay footings, what is the general consensus on how to heat and cool our home?
As an aside, the heating with wood part is virtually free in terms of fuel source – our property backs up to a very large national forest where we can harvest 4 cords of firewood for $20 per year.
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