Warehouse Appliance Outfitting Tiny Homes with Off-Grid Appliances

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tiny home propane fridge

Many of our clients are adopting the freedoms that a tiny home brings them, and at Warehouse Appliance we further compliment their chosen lifestyle by helping them outfit their tiny home with off-grid propane refrigerators and other key appliances. We too live the off-grid lifestyle and know that you don’t have to do without key modern day conveniences to have a remarkable off-grid life.

A tiny home is more than just minimalism, it’s a whole lifestyle and way of being. When moving to a tiny home lifestyle you really scale back to the essentials but this frees you from the 30 year mortgage and the trappings of a traditional home. With a tiny home you don’t have to sacrifice – you still have the option of installing top of the line off-grid appliances in your tiny home. A tiny house is all about living your off-grid lifestyle, getting back to basics, being close to nature while having everything you need in small spaces. Battery spark gas ranges and ovens and propane refrigerators and  freezers fit well into tiny homes; allowing you to design around them, making unique and clever use of space; while maintaining off-grid conveniences. 

One of the many bonuses of owning a tiny home is that it forces you to make the outdoors part of your daily living space. Regardless if you are traveling with your tiny home or you put down roots, the outdoors is your entertainment, your view, and your playground. But you don’t have to rough it, and with our extensive inventory of tiny home propane appliances — or if you prefer solar appliances –you can have your freedom and still bake your cake and eat it too. 

Off-grid tiny home appliances

Tiny home living can be for the year-round tiny home homesteaders, the nomads that take their home with them, or those that make only occasional use out of their tiny retreat. Regardless of the amount of time you spend in your tiny home you want to be able to store cold food easily and cook since tiny homes are generally located remotely, out of the way and are not at all close to ice for a cooler, a grocery store or restaurant . Most often having a tiny home forces you to live off the grid. By outfitting your tiny home with off-grid appliances from Warehouse Appliance you don’t have to go without your modern conveniences, no matter where your tiny home is located.

Tiny living in a big way

Tiny homes offer a daily sense of awe and wonder. Getting you back to the core of what life is really about – a combination of family, fun, food and life experiences. Off-grid living is about  going all in, living your life with freedom.  With getting close to nature and having the outdoors part of your life experience, we want to maximize your enjoyment with modern conveniences out in the woods. We help you to stay true to your off-grid lifestyle goals, with our inventory of tiny home off-grid appliances for either solar or propane set ups, or a combination of both depending on your specific needs:

Off-grid appliances a modern look 

Featuring an assortment of sizes and offering stainless steel or other popular color options that pop. These hard working appliances can easily be a beautiful interior focal point for your tiny home.

Warehouse Appliances are well planned modern day comforts, fully thought out, and most of all they still grant you the off-grid freedom you crave. Check out our recent articles Are propane refrigerators efficient? What about solar? and Propane vs Solar Refrigeration to help you decide if propane or solar is right for your tiny home.

Contact us

Warehouse Appliance provides you with appliances that provide off-grid efficiency that are affordable and most of all durable. These appliances are key essentials to a tiny home and make a smart, functional use of space. Our off-grid appliances are well suited for tiny living and allow you to get intentional with your tiny home layout and design. 

To live your best off-grid life and establish your tiny home with the best off-grid appliances that are ideally suited to your specific needs, contact our team of experts. With our selection of off-grid appliances, we can help you make your chosen lifestyle just a bit more wonderful. We have been in business for 30+ years and no other team has more knowledge or skill than Warehouse Appliance. 

When individuals decide to pursue living in a tiny home, they quickly realize that it provides them with a deep sense of satisfaction and purpose. Let us help you pursue your vision with smart off-grid appliances that will last. 

Hunting Cabin Propane Fridge, Freezer for Off-Grid Wild Game Meat Food Storage

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Hunting Cabin Propane Fridge

When you are actively hunting game with the intention of obtaining enough meat to feed your family and yourself throughout the year, you need effective cold food storage to stock up your hunting cabin. So what should you do with your prized food source? We will explore the most popular off grid cold food storage options for hunting cabins.

Protect your investment

Hunting game is a rewarding pursuit but there is a lot of work that goes into hunting elusive protein sources. And once you have a successful hunt you want to protect it and take care of it quickly and efficiently. There are still many threats to contend with in remote areas, prey animals want to raid your supply, dirt, bacteria and warm temperatures want to spoil the meat. So having a way to mitigate these issues puts you at the advantage of keeping your food source protected. With that in mind, hunters that enjoy the off-grid lifestyle and have a hunting cabin, do well to store their wild game meat in an off-grid cold food storage unit such as a: 

No matter what size of game you bring home, you need a processing and storage plan to make it last until you are ready to cook it. Having an effective way of storing many pounds of meat you bring home makes all of the difference. Ideally, when storing your meat in a freezer, you want to use up your wild game meat within the same year for the best flavor. However, freezers preserve the wild game meat from spoiling for years if well wrapped with freezer paper. Or if you are only storing it for one year – a propane freezer still allows you plenty of time to use up the meat. 

If you have a love for hunting, especially for large game such as moose, elk or deer, and you want to build up a store of meat; then you will want to consider a stand alone off-grid freezer (preferably a propane freezer) in addition to your off grid refrigerator (preferably a propane refrigerator). This combination of appliances allows you to safely accommodate the larger quantities of meat. 

Hunting cabin fridge & freezer for meat storage

hunting deerProcessing your own kill goes a long way towards building your self sufficiency and confidence but for convenience sake it might make more sense to have the local butcher process it for you. Regardless of which route you take, you want to maximize your ability to store the meat in smaller packages for ease of utilizing the freezer space to your advantage. 

Specifications on processed meat entirely depends on what size of an animal you are working with. The majority of hunters agree that your kill will yield approximately less than half of the field dressed weight. Cutting away non-edible bulk results in the premium boneless cuts of meat you want to store in your off-grid refrigerator or off-grid freezer. By removing the head, hide and bones from a 120 lb animal you will end up with approximately 55-57 pounds of meat. This ratio seems to hold true for all large game animals. 

Your typical cuts for big game will supply you with plenty of roasts, steaks, chops with the the remaining meat turned into ground meat. From there you can turn that ground meat into sausage, smoked sausage, linked sausage or jerky snacks. For a better grade of jerky you can slice the roasts into slab jerky. On average and for convenience, most cuts are processed into standard sizes 1 lbs for ground meat, steaks are typically under 1 lb in size for cuts. With roasts ending up a little larger averaging between 1-2 lbs in size. Further, if your hunting cabin has the room to allow you to, you may want to render the fat for later use or to make candles and soaps.

From a whitetail deer you will roughly end up with a little under 60 packages of 1 lbs and 2 lbs of meat that you now need to store. If you plan on making shelf stable jerky or canning some of the meat then this will save you a bit of room in your preferred cold storage unit but you will need to have enough room for the rest. The bigger the beast you bag, the more meat you will enjoy but you need to ensure you are able to store it. A hunting cabin off-grid refrigerator or off-grid freezer to store the hunted meat is optimal for remote properties that adhere to the off grid lifestyle out of choice or necessity.  Most hunters with an off grid cabin will prefer a propane freezer or fridge.  Propane is easily accessible and propane fridges and freezers are very reliable. 

What do we at recommend for long term off grid game meat storage at a hunting cabin?

Without hesitation we recommend a propane freezer for long term small or large game in an off grid hunting cabin.  Not only are propane freezers extremely reliable, they also keep all frozen food at zero degrees extending the shelf life of your prized game meat.  Propane freezers are upright freezers with multiple shelves allowing easy access and separation between different cuts of meat.  This allows maximum efficiency when looking for meat.  No digging in a freezing cold chest freezer to find your meat.  Also, a 22 cubic foot propane freezer will store an entire elk or multiple deer!

Experts in off grid appliances for your hunting cabin 

For your wild game meat and other hunted meats, get the best off-grid refrigerator or freezer from Warehouse Appliance. We are an industry leader and we are proud to offer the longest warranty in the industry on propane refrigerators and freezers with our 7 year warranty. Our off-grid propane gas fridges and freezers are made in the USA. 

We offer both styles of off-grid freezers to suit your lifestyle: propane or solar, chest freezer or upright freezer. 

Featured Freezers:

Blizzard- propane freezer

SunStar – Solar powered DC chest freezer

Sundanzer – Solar powered chest freezer 

Featured Refrigerators:

EZ Freeze – Propane Powered Refrigerator Freezer Combo

Sun Star – Solar Powered DC Refrigerator Freezer Combination

Sundanzer – Solar powered Refrigerators 

hunting fridge propane

Contact Warehouse Appliance

Contact us if you have any questions on propane (LP) gas freezers or other off-grid appliances. Warehouse Appliance is here to support you in your off-grid lifestyle and to help you equip your hunting cabin to maximize your convenience and enjoyment. 

With Warehouse Appliance you benefit from our over 30 years experience in the industry. We stand apart with our knowledge, skill, technical know-how and superior off-grid appliances

Are propane refrigerators efficient? What about solar?

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Propane Refrigeration efficiency VS Solar Refrigeration efficiency – a comparison by WarehouseAppliance.com

When you are looking to compare the efficiency of propane refrigeration against solar refrigeration, there are a few things to consider. We will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each in length. Moving through this guide we offer valuable insight into what will work best for your needs as we apply our over 25 years of experience in selling both types of off-grid refrigeration options. Not only do we sell them but we personally use them in living our best off-grid life.

Consider Your Lifestyle Refrigeration Requirements

To decide what type of refrigeration is most efficient for your situation, you first have to consider your off grid lifestyle and refrigeration requirements. There are a myriad of reasons to consider off-grid refrigeration with the primary goal of being exactly that – being able to live comfortably without traditional power.

It’s important to note that if you need long term solutions for year round off grid food storage or if you only need occasional or infrequent food refrigeration for a vacation cabin, hunting lodge, ski lodge etc the efficiency of either type of refrigeration, propane or solar will change. Many of our clients enjoy lifestyles in remote areas, homesteading, hunting cabins, secondary vacation homes, beach homes and more. These remote locations make alternative power sources necessary to assist in these chosen freedoms and lifestyle pursuits. This leads us to the question, which is more efficient Propane or Solar refrigeration? We will discuss both options below.

Application and Demands

Propane: an adaptable solution for nearly every off grid application. Dependent on propane costs, sourcing and storing demands. In this write up here – we cover in greater detail regarding prices of propane refrigeration with the average cost per gallon, consumption for an average annual usage. Propane identifies itself as being the most cost effective option for the long run when compared to the expense of adding a solar power grid, battery backup, generator back up required to further support the solar power setup for a homestead. Propane is a clean burning fuel that is easily accessible. Drawback is that you have to account for how much propane you will need along with sourcing the fuel and storage as needed to ensure that you keep a steady supply on hand.

Solar: Cost prohibitive unless you already have a solar set up. If you do already have existing solar capabilities solar refrigeration may be an ideal solution. This is contingent on sunshine and plenty of it. Also, you must keep in mind that a solar refrigerator will draw power 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. The use of the solar power produced may better be used for other items in your home like lights, washing machines, charging cell phones, computers, etc. The setup for a solar system that can maintain a refrigerator full time is a huge expense, with costly maintenance and battery replacement schedules. These additional considerations can further prove to be both time demanding as well as cost prohibitive for the long term.

In this round, propane comes out as the most efficient cooling and refrigeration option for food storage in the long run.

Browse our Propane Refrigerators >>

Overall Cost Effectiveness

While comparing the two refrigerator units side by side the initial cost is the same or a bit higher for the propane refrigerator; this expense is then offset by the overall year to year running costs which are low month over month. In our previous write up we discussed the cost breakdown of propane refrigeration vs solar refrigeration and gave in depth examples of costs year over year. As mentioned earlier, the determining factor between the two is dependent upon if you have an existing solar installation that can fully support a solar refrigerator. If you have this then the winner may be solar– that is IF you have sunshine in abundance. If you are not blessed with year round sun –and most of us are not, then you are having to contend with cloudy days, where the sun barely makes an appearance. For those occasions you will need to supplement with a generator powered by gasoline.

Having to now accommodate for the missing sunshine puts propane back in the lead for being the most cost effective option for off grid refrigeration. For this round propane refrigerators is the winner again; unless you have an existing solar installation and plenty of sunshine.

Refrigeration Cooling Efficiency

Propane: Efficient and cost effective cooling efficiency running on approximately 60 cents a day in warmer climates and in cooler regions can operate on 45 cents a day. (Estimates are based on propane cost of $2 per gallon.)

Solar: Once you have established your solar panels, batteries etc then the cost of running the solar refrigerator is zero.

Win goes to solar unless you don’t have an established solar grid, batteries and backup generator. Then the win goes to propane as it doesn’t require a huge investment and year over year. It also doesn’t require a big expense throughout the year to operate. And if we visit our article here we see that it would take many years to have the same level of operating expense as that of the solar set up.

Improve Off-Grid Refrigerator Efficiency

Helpful tips on ways that you can further improve and maximize the efficiency of any off-grid refrigerator:

  • Keep the refrigerator in an insulated and shaded area with plenty of ventilation.
      • Shade ensures it won’t have to work as hard to cool your food.
  • Protecting the refrigerator from freezing in the winter and from baking in the summer.
      • Keeping the refrigeration unit safe from the elements and wildlife extends the health and well being of your refrigerator for obvious reasons.
  • A most efficient refrigerator is a full refrigerator.
      • The packed off-grid fridge offers further insulative effects as everything works together to keep itself and their neighboring foods cool.
      • This same insulative effect works at cooling any new food added to the refrigerator.
  • Keep the door closed as much as possible; lingering in front of the open refrigerator door is an easy way to tank your refrigerator cooling efficiency as well as put a strain and drain on the efficiency of the fuel source. Be intentional when you need to access your off-grid food stores.
  • Keeping your refrigerator level to ensure that everything is flowing properly and doesn’t force it to work harder. Level is optimal. Although both propane and solar refrigerators need to be on a level surface, it is extremely important that a propane refrigerator is on a level surface. The flame needs to be positioned correctly beneath the cooling unit and fluid inside the cooling unit needs to be level to flow correctly. Having a propane fridge on an unlevel surface will negatively affect the cooling efficiency.

A Few Words on Venting

With both types of refrigerator units you want proper ventilation, not allowing heat to be trapped behind the unit. Heat is generated from the cooling process in both a propane and solar refrigerator. Ventilation is naturally accomplished if the fridge is open to the ceiling above. This allows for the heat to rise away from the back of the unit. Keeping the heat from being trapped behind a propane fridge directly affects its efficiency. If the heat is trapped, the fridge will use more fuel to function properly.

We are often asked, “Do I need to vent my propane refrigerator?” The answer to this question is, it depends.

  • A propane refrigerator located in a large open area does not need to be vented outside. The heat will naturally escape from the back of the fridge to the ceiling above.
  • If your fridge is in a very small cabin, you may want to vent it in the summertime to allow the heat to escape from your cabin but in the winter you may want to close the vent and use the heat to warm your cabin.
  • If your gas fridge has a cabinet above it or your ceiling is very low, venting is recommended. Vent the heat from the flue pipe through an exterior wall; using a water heater vent pipe or vent it through the cabinet/ceiling above.

You will also want to allow accessibility for cleaning and maintenance for both units. Regular cleaning and maintenance serves to help them to stay running efficiently.

Further, if you are only off the grid for a season it is often recommended (in some states it’s required) to turn off and disconnect any plumbed gas lines prior to closing up the home. Remember to connect everything back once you arrive safely next time. Once again check for leaks to ensure safety and then you’re ready to start using your propane refrigerator for the new season.

Warranty, Maintenance and Further Considerations

When considering efficiency, we have to talk also about the warranty, maintenance and anything else that might affect the overall efficiency and performance of your off-grid fridge; as well as the efficiency of your hard earned money.

 

Propane: 7 years

Free longest extended warranty available in the industry from warehouseappliance.com of 7 years. Warehouse Appliance warranty details can be found here. Free setup phone support, Free service/ maintenance DVD and Free tech support for the life of the gas refrigerator.

Solar: 2 years (Traditional Warranty)

Propane: With propane refrigerators there are not many parts that can fail as it is a self-contained unit. Propane fridges are easy to maintain and clean; often bi-annual inspection and cleanings take minutes and any repairs are easily completed out in the field by the owner. Tools needed for most maintenance jobs are generally readily available and consist of a wrench and screwdriver. Parts are easy to come by as they are USA made. Inspection and maintenance consist primarily of two parts: burner and flue pipe. Keeping the burner and the flue pipe clean directly affect the efficiency of a propane fridge. If the burner is dirty due to a moth burning up or dust; the flame will not burn as hot. This will force it to run inefficiently by causing the unit to use more propane to cool and that will cost you money. The best practice is to check the flame regularly to ensure it is a crisp blue color with no yellow. If you notice your fridge is not cooling like it used to or you notice a yellow flame or odor you most likely have a dirty flame. We discuss cleaning your burner in our propane refrigerator maintenance DVD that comes with every fridge from warehouseappliance.com.

Browse our Solar/DC Powered Refrigerators >>

Solar: With a solar refrigerator the potential fail points are considerably more than with a propane refrigeration unit. Solar fridge potential areas of concerns are:

  • Compressor
  • Freon
  • Inverters
  • Limited Sunshine to generate sufficient solar power
  • Solar Power Set Up: Batteries, Panels and subsequent cabling including their maintenance, cleaning, repair and replacement needs.
  • Service and maintenance of a solar refrigerator is a much more involved process than with a propane refrigerator; often requiring a trip to the support center for repair work.

Taking another win is propane refrigeration. The design of the refrigerator is the epitome of efficiency at its finest. This is a closed loop system. It reuses the same chemical solution for every cycle. Since this is a chemical response, little can suffer in this design from wear and tear. With proper maintenance and care the propane refrigerator proves to be the winner in performance and design efficiency.

Durability and Longevity of Refrigeration Unit

Propane: Top performance and best quality in the industry, renowned craftsmanship and durability. Most often these refrigerators’ lifecycle, if properly maintained, can be upwards of 25 years.

Solar: Performs per industry standard and with regular maintenance often needs replacement after 10 years.

Propane refrigerator is winning again based on expected life span making for a very efficient investment.

Summary

The clear leader is propane refrigeration winning in performance, cost, longevity and maintenance. Our pick is propane for overall efficiency and cost effectiveness for your investment, doubling the lifespan or more over solar refrigerators.

This is exactly why I use a propane fridge in my home for successful off-grid living.

So, in closing, it is your lifestyle that dictates what refrigeration type works best for your needs. This is an investment that will serve you for many years to come and there are many factors to consider. We explored the efficiency of propane refrigerators as compared to solar refrigerators, and the winner was clear: Propane Refrigerators. But in the end the one that works best for you depends on your set up and off-grid lifestyle.

At Warehouse Appliance we highly experienced in all things to do with off grid appliances, and we are happy to answer any questions you may have on our solar or propane refrigerators. Send us an email or give us a call on (928) 636-1955

Off Grid Food Storage – How To Prepare For Food Shortages Off Grid

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One thing that the COVID-19 global pandemic has taught us is that you can never be too safe in keeping enough food supplies available for you and your family to safely shelter in place.

Disruptions to the food supply chain accounted for many families’ feelings of panic over their own food supply. While the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent panic are both thankfully receding, many of you may be asking, how do I guard against food disruption and make sure I have an adequate supply going forward? As part of a protection plan to guard against instances such as these you want to have enough food on hand to support you and yours long enough to see you through situations exactly like this.

This means you must have enough refrigerator and especially freezer space to accommodate this supply. COVID-19 served as a reality check for most of us in planning and organizing food storage through weeks, if not months, of the unexpected. Many of us found – especially those of us who live off grid – that we do not have enough refrigerator or freezer storage to accommodate our needs for a larger supply of food.

Be it inclement weather, family emergencies, a global pandemic, or other unforeseen issues; by accounting for your family’s food needs and planning ahead you put yourself into a position of power. At the very least, by having a supply of food easily accessible, you and your family will have peace of mind, allowing you to ride out any calamity and need to shelter in place. This will buy you time to get your bearings and initiate additional courses of action as needed. While you might not need to guard against long term shortages, it makes good sense to prepare enough for your family’s needs until you can easily resupply. There were regions during the shortages that were additionally hit with failing power and floods further adding to the uncertainty.

As part of your family’s off grid food storage plan, let’s explore options on how you can set yourself up for security and success.

Off Grid Cold Food Storage

Living off grid (without power) poses many issues that need solving including cold food storage. Some people choose to use an ice house. Ice houses are well insulated single room sheds that store ice blocks harvested during the winter for a homestead and with ice lasting until June or July. Not only is that a great deal of work, most of us still need cold food after the ice melts! Also, many of us don’t want or need such a large amount of cold storage. Thankfully there are quite a few options for cold food storage other than the old ice house. Today’s off grid cold storage options are much more reliable, technologically advanced and space saving.

Propane Refrigerators

If you are living off grid or have a cabin without power, there is no better refrigeration option than a propane refrigerator. Nowadays gas fridges are made in large sizes which is great if you’re looking to store up a supply of food. Propane refrigerators are quite easy to set up and very reliable. Setting up a propane fridge consists of hooking your fridge up to a propane tank and lighting it. That’s it. Propane refrigerators are the longest lasting refrigeration option especially when compared to a traditional compressor fridge. There are no moving parts on a propane fridge making them exceptionally durable. Also, any maintenance or parts replacement is remarkably simple to complete, even for the least mechanical person. We tell everyone, if you have access to propane, buy a propane refrigerator, you won’t regret it.

Our propane refrigerator recommendation: EZ Freeze 21 Cubic Foot >>

Propane Freezers

Propane freezers are another excellent way to store a large amount of food to prepare for something like COVID-19. Like a propane refrigerator, propane freezers are also easy to set up and exceptionally reliable. These freezers keep all food at or below zero degrees Fahrenheit and have a great recovery time. They have no problem freezing items from room temperature. A 22 cubic foot propane freezer is large enough to fit a whole steer or elk! For off grid frozen food storage, your best option will always be a propane freezer.

The interior of the Blizzard Propane Gas Freezer with shelvesOur propane freezer recommendation: EZ Freeze Blizzard 22 Cubic Foot

Solar Refrigerators (DC Powered Refrigerators)

Solar refrigerators and freezers are an off grid refrigeration option with the ability to run on battery power produced by solar panels. The beauty of a DC/Solar fridge is that it does not require you to be reliant on any other power or fuel source other than the sun. The efficiency of a solar refrigerator allows you to store fresh meat and produce for later use. The draw back of a solar refrigerator or freezer is that you need sun, batteries and solar panels for these to work. Maintaining batteries can get wearisome and replacing them is expensive. However, for many living off grid, solar powered fridges and freezers are a great option.

The largest and best DC Solar Refrigerator: Sunstar 16 Cubic Foot Refrigerator/Freezer

 

Interior with lid open white chest freezerThe best DC Solar Chest Freezer: 21 Cubic foot DC Solar Chest Freezer

Fresh Off Grid Food Options

If you have the means to establish fresh resources on your property such as laying hens, livestock, honey bees, a vegetable garden, fruit trees, nut trees, and/or feed crops to support your homestead to any degree will further alleviate stress or food insecurity for your family.

Hunting and food foraging locally is another great way to source food for your family. Many states offer over-the-counter hunting tags for small game and even for larger game like deer or elk. Being cognizant of your local laws and regulations, even during times of crisis, ensures that you can safely obtain resources. Educating yourself so that you are well versed in edible plants in your region goes a long way towards rounding out your off grid food planning and identifying resources for you and your family.

Best Food For Off Grid Living Storage

While ideally maximizing your fresh food options is the most ideal; even our seasons dictate that we must account for leaner months throughout the year. Add in the unexpected events of inclement weather, failed crops or unforeseen global events and it’s always a good idea to have food preservation options so that you can be as prepared as possible. Here are a few ideas on what foods to keep on hand in your food reserves.

Off grid food preservation

There are a variety of food preservation methods that can be done at home. Here is our short list of some of the food preservation methods that you can learn so you can DIY to extend your food reserves at home.

Preserving food with:

  • Oil
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Vinegar
  • Pickled
  • Alcohol preserving

Fermenting:

  • Lactic Fermentation
  • Sauerkraut/Kimchi

Other techniques to preserve food:

  • Air Drying (herbs/spices/onions/garlic)
  • Dehydrating (jerky/fruit/veggies)
  • Smoking
  • Aging
  • Cultures
  • Water glassing

There is a wealth of knowledge to be had by joining some local food preservation organizations online or in your community!

Off grid food storage

Dry goods and commercially canned goods can be stored on shelves anywhere you have available space – in the garage, a spare room, a closet or even under the bed.

For storage of cool foods, find a cooler space in the home to store them like a cellar or a basement. Potatoes, onions, turnips, etc. store well in dark and cool spaces. Off grid refrigerators and freezers can store milk, meat, cheese and other perishable items.

A Little Bit About Off Grid Food Preparation

Aside from eating canned or dried foods, should you actually want to cook your food; your off grid options are often limited to the grill or an open campfire. However, let’s explore additional off grid range and ovens.

Off grid oven/stove

Battery spark propane cooktops and ovens are the best option for cooking off the grid. Unlike a traditional gas oven, these require no electricity to function. Traditional gas ovens purchased at a big box retailer like Home Depot still need to be plugged in to use the oven due to the glowbar. This is why they still come with a plug. However, a battery spark stove needs absolutely no power to function. The burners and oven can be lit with a match if there are no batteries available.

Range with backsplash clock oven window 4 burners stainless steelThe best off grid oven/stove: Peerless Premier 30” Battery Spark Range

Conclusion

As a consequence of not having off grid food preservation, supply or storage, the panic and fear of the coronavirus has fully illustrated to many of us that we could be ill prepared to navigate uncertainty in our food supply. Being at the mercy of poorly functioning supply lines, increasing demand, panic buyers, power outages and restricted travel is not the time to discover that you don’t have enough of the basic necessities for survival.

We hope that this guide serves you and your family well in identifying opportunities that you can maximize for ensuring that you weather the unforeseen easily and comfortably.

Please contact us should you have any questions on any of our off grid cold food storage options or our off grid ovens, stoves or cook tops. Also, check out our gas lamps, solar powered air conditioning, and solar-friendly dc powered ceiling fans to ride out any sheltering in place event in further comfort.

The Propane Refrigerator vs. Solar Fridges

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When choosing an off grid refrigerator, there are many things to consider. The biggest decision being; should your power source be propane or solar?

To ultimately decide on either propane or solar, you may want to answer these questions first:

  • Which is less problematic?
  • How long do they last?
  • Which is most efficient?
  • And which is most cost effective overall?

With these questions in the forefront of our minds, we aim to answer them in this article. There is a lot to unpack, so let’s get started.

So if you happen to live off-grid year round or even if you are only off-grid occasionally throughout the year with perhaps a summer cabin, fishing or hunting camp. You definitely need a refrigerator for your cold food storage. Hauling ice is a hassle, not to mention it is expensive! But what direction do you go? Should you buy a propane refrigerator or a solar one? This is a common question folks have. Our team has spent many years selling both types of refrigerators, and we’ve collected data from both sides of the isle.  Our opinion is this: the propane refrigerator is much more straightforward to use, and it is easy to maintain. Additional benefits of propane refrigeration are that it is much more durable, as well as overall a propane unit is more efficient, and cost effective than solar. Hopefully, this article will prove itself useful to you as you ponder which direction to go.

Simplicity

Propane refrigerators are simple.  They are decidedly straightforward in their operation.  A gas fridge has a cooling unit operated by a pilot light.  In simple terms, this cooling unit and flame make up the whole system! The cooling unit continues to cycle the cooling vapors using the pilot light.  There are very few components to ever malfunction. Plus, propane units do not require sunlight! Generally, the service on a propane refrigerator involves cleaning the burner box…which is easy!  The setup is simple too; just attach your gas line onto the 3/8” male flare screw fitting on the back of the fridge, light the pilot light and you’re good to go! Another thing to consider is the size, if you have a tiny house or small cabin you may not have a lot fo space to work with, in which case a small propane refrigerator would fit the bill.

In contrast, solar refrigerators use a compressor system made up of many different components and electrical pieces.  Solar refrigerators require compressors, refrigerant solution, solar panels, batteries, controllers and other electrical wires and components to make the refrigerator run properly–not to mention the requirement for sunlight…and lots of it!  The point here is that within an electrical refrigerator (which is essentially what a solar refrigerator is) there are many parts and pieces that could wear out, go bad or malfunction leaving your refrigerator totally useless…plus, you can’t control the sun and with solar you need a steady supply of sunshine!

Longevity

Next, propane fridges just last longer than solar fridges. Today’s EZ Freeze propane refrigerator is lasting upwards of 20 to 30 years.  Occasionally, a thermocouple or a thermostat needs to be replaced but even if you have no technical skills, you will be able to change them out yourself! Plus, EZ Freeze fridges come with a maintenance video as well. Generally, all you need is a wrench or a screwdriver to change out these parts. This proves especially useful when living off-grid, where tools and maintenance services are scarce. Plus, the parts are very easy to get your hands on because they are made in the USA.

Solar refrigerators last as long as the “normal” electric refrigerator you may have in your “on-grid” home.  Some can last more than 10 years, BUT when they do stop working or malfunction, getting them fixed is very involved. You may not find the parts you need and it may require taking the fridge to a service repair establishment.  The last thing you want to do while living off the grid is to spend your time and energy fixing and troubleshooting appliances. Your valuable time will be better spent tending to the other chores and necessities that come with living off-grid.

Efficiency

Efficiency is also a consideration when deciding between propane and solar.  Solar systems are expensive. The panels alone cost $10,000 to $20,000 and up from there. This doesn’t even include the battery!  Batteries can cost $5,000 to $7,000. Also, it is recommended that you have a backup generator (thousands of dollars) for those gloomy months when the sun is not shining in order to charge your batteries.  Let’s remember, the generator requires fuel and adds additional variables that can malfunction or fail.

Cost-effectiveness

So let’s break this down a bit:

Let’s say a solar system with panels, batteries and a backup generator costs a very conservative $20,000. Your fridge works off of this solar system at no monthly cost.

An all off-grid home, run with propane, has a propane refrigerator, propane stove and gas lights. The fridge, on average, will consume 1.5 gallons of propane a week.  That’s roughly 80 gallons of propane a year to run the fridge. Propane at an average of $2.00 a gallon will cost you $160 a year. Powering your lights and oven via propane will cost a little bit more.  If we tripled this cost to include propane lights and an oven/range, costs would be roughly $480 a year. That means it would take 42 years to make up for the cost of a $20,000 solar system. This does NOT factor in the fuel for the generator, or new batteries every 5 years, nor the maintenance expenses for the solar system.  As you can see the cost difference is too significant to argue when contemplating the two types of off-grid energy.

The Propane / Solar Synergy

Let’s not throw solar out the window all together.   Solar power as a whole, is a wonderful option and provides you with power needed to run other useful devices (i.e. lights, computer, cell phone).  If you do install a solar system, we want to help your solar system run as efficiently and for as long as possible. How do we do this? By removing those appliances that put heavy strain on your solar batteries. This simply allows for your other important items in your home, like the television, dishwasher and music player, to continue to work.  So, the best way to help your solar system run more efficiently is to remove heavy power consuming appliances from the solar grid entirely. Using a propane refrigerator and a propane stove will aid in this effort tremendously.

Choose a long established company

Now that we have determined how easy set up and maintenance of a propane fridge is, along with identifying the considerable low cost of running it, and additionally its longevity and power saving ability; let’s discuss another trend we have noticed: solar refrigerator companies seem to come and go.  The life span of these companies seem to be short. Which can certainly make finding parts and service locations very difficult. Please don’t misunderstand, this is not the case with all solar refrigerator manufacturers – even some propane refrigerator companies have left the market. However, as a whole, the propane refrigerator manufacturers stand the test of time.  

In the early to mid-1900’s Servel was the biggest propane refrigerator manufacturer.  Their units can still be found working in homes all over the world today! Since propane refrigerators were first on the market in the 1930’s, the science of the absorption cooling unit has proven its reliability through the test of time.  Whether you use natural gas or propane – the necessary combustion for the cooling unit has proven to work seamlessly over the years in creating the energy needed to heat the cooling unit solution. Our new units such as the EZ-Freeze propane refrigerator not only use the same technology and have the same longevity, but run on half of the propane of those refrigerators of old.  EZ-Freeze refrigerators only burn, on average, 1.5 gallons a week, per year.

EZ Freeze fridges are extensively tested in hot rooms, under extreme heat and humidity, which the solar refrigerators would not be able to keep up with.  The EZ Freeze brand propane fridges are safe, durable, and can be transported laying down; on their left side! You can’t do that with your solar fridge, as that is too dangerous!

Warranty

We also take pride in our 7 year warranty on the cooling unit, which is unheard of in the industry and this duration of warranty remains unmatched.  Not only is the warranty far superior to other propane manufacturers but EZ Freeze ranks #1 for any refrigerator, including solar.

Final Words

In conclusion, a well-made propane refrigerator from EZ Freeze will not only last you upwards of 20 to 30 years but it will save you time, money and is virtually hassle free. Our experience in the off-grid industry has taught us that solar power is useful and can provide power where there are no other options but when considering your two major appliances: the refrigerator and the stove, propane generated power is hands down the wiser investment.

 

Setting up your gas refrigerator

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setting-up-propane-fridge

After you bring your new gas refrigerator home, it is time for the install. In order to ensure a safe and proper installation in your home, it is highly recommended that you hire a trained professional. If you decide to do the install yourself, Warehouse Appliance wants to make sure you get your new fridge up and running properly while staying safe.

Before you begin, it is important to note that any gas fumes should be dealt with quickly. If you smell gas, open all of the windows and doors in your home, do not turn any electrical switches off or on, and put out any open flames immediately. Call your gas provider right away.

Connect Gas Line
Before connecting the gas line, ensure you have enough flex line to move the fridge away from the wall. This will allow enough room in the event your fridge needs servicing and for cleaning. It is good practice to connect the flex line to an on/off valve.

Test for Leaks
You must test all connections for gas leaks before you ignite the gas unit. You can use a soapy water method or professional solutions such as a “Gas Leak Detector” to test the connection. This is accomplished by putting on the soapy or professional solution and looking for bubbles. Once you have ignited the unit, you should do a secondary test to ensure there are no leaks.

Check Gas Pressure
The design specifications for all EZ Freeze propane refrigerators state the proper pressure that the fridge operates on. The pressure can be checked by your gas supplier during installation. You can also use a manometer to check the pressure yourself.

Level
Because this type of gas refrigerator requires gravity to operate properly, it is important that the fridge remains level. If the refrigerator is not level, it may not run at peak efficiency.

Ventilate
It is important to position the refrigerator so there is enough space for heat to properly ventilate behind and above the unit. Without proper ventilation, the fridge could produce a heat buildup negatively affecting performance, or it may create a draft which could blow out the burner.

When properly installed, your gas refrigerator will run reliably and efficiently. If you would like a skilled technician to install your new fridge or if you experience any issues during setup, call Warehouse Appliance at 928-636-1955.

For additional set-up information, please see our article tilted “How to set up your new gas refrigerator for proper operation

How to set up your new gas refrigerator for proper operation

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Setting propane/gas pressure

It is very important that the gas pressure be set correctly. Too high or too low of gas pressure may lead to poor performance or permanent damage to your gas refrigerator. Proper gas pressure for a LPG propane system is 11 inches of water column. Your gas supplier will test and set the correct pressure for you. It is possible to do it yourself. Check out our “How to test gas pressure” page.

Burping the Propane Gas Refrigerator or Natural Gas Refrigerator
If your new Diamond gas refrigeratorsEZ Freeze gas refrigerators, or most other gas refrigerators, has been laid down during shipping or the unit is not cooling correctly within the first day or two of operation, it is possible that the unit may need to be burped. This process releases an air lock and allows the chemicals to return to the proper levels within the ammonia absorption unit. The process varies depending on the brand of gas refrigerator you own. For most models, turn the unit off and let the unit cool. Disconnect the gas supply line. Carefully rotate the unit upside down so it stands on it’s top. Rotate the gas refrigerator from side to side not front to back. Let the unit sit in this position for 15 minutes. Rotate back to it’s upright position standing on the legs. Let the unit sit in this position for another 15 minutes before lighting. Reconnect the gas supply and test for leaks.

Burping for Danby / Consul propane refrigerator models, turn the unit off and let the unit cool. Disconnect the gas supply line. Carefully rotate the unit counter clockwise to it’s left side. Let the unit sit in this position for 15 to 20 minutes. Rotate the unit counter clockwise upside down so it stands on it’s top. Let the unit sit in this position for 15 to 20 minutes. Rotate the unit counter clockwise to it’s right side. Let the unit sit in this position for 15 to 20 minutes. Rotate counter clockwise back to it’s upright position standing on the legs.

Tips for operating your Gas Refrigerator or Gas Freezer
Once the gas fridge / freezer is operating, let it chill down for approximately 12 hours before loading with food. You will notice the freezer will chill first. When the freezer portion is significantly chilled down, then the fridge section will start to get cold. This is the nature of the gravity operation built into the system. The refrigerator section is the first to be effected by any change to the thermostat, ambient air temperature, humidity, or change of door opening cycles. Load warm or room temperature foods in smaller portions a couple hours apart. Let the unit stabilize for a few days prior to making adjustments to the thermostat. Check the refrigerator compartment temperature first thing in the morning to get an accurate reading of the thermostat setting. We suggest to use an external thermometer to monitor the temperatures. Do not overload the unit with room temperature liquids such as large jugs of water. Load the freezer with Ice trays or objects to be frozen prior to bed time. This way the unit will have all night to recover. Aluminum Ice Cube Trays make ice much faster than plastic trays.

Be sure the gas fridge is level in both directions since the absorption system works from gravity, it is vital to the proper flow rate that the unit is level.

Be sure the gas refrigerator has proper ventilation an all sides. Most manufacturers will have recommendations within the owners manual. Minimums are usually 2″ left and right sides and 8″ above with 2″ at rear. Intake and exhaust ventilation is also recommended. Always turn the gas valve on slowly to protect the regulator and/or thermostat from a surge of pressure. Test for leaks with a solution of soapy water and brush around all gas connections before lighting the gas refrigerator.

If you still have questions about the set up of your propane refrigerator, please call one of our technicians at 928-636-1955 or contact us.

Peerless Premier Off-Grid Propane Stove/Oven FAQ

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Peerless Gas Off Grid Stove/Range – Questions and Answers

There are many things to consider when living without power.  What kind of stove/oven/range/cooktop to purchase is definitely one to consider before making a large investment. We’ve answered some common questions below about our Peerless Premier ranges.  Peerless premier propane battery spark ranges are the best option in off-grid living.

Q. Do the Peerless Premier Ranges operate from Propane (LPG) or Natural Gas?

A. All Peerless Premier Ranges are shipped to operate from Natural gas. All the units come with the instructions and parts to convert to Propane (LPG) gas. This is done during the installation process and is very easy.

Q. What type of ignition should I use when l don’t have power?Peerless Gas Range FAQ

A. Battery spark, electronic, gas pilot and glow bar ignition are all options when purchasing a stove or range.  It is important to know what type will work best when living off the grid.  Many people do not realize that a typical big name gas range purchased at a big box store still needs electricity to function. It will draw electricity to ignite the burners and will draw large amounts of electricity to heat the oven. Below is helpful information to understand the difference between the ignition types.

Q. What is Battery Spark Ignition?

A.  Battery Spark Ignition is the newest generation of off-grid ignition for ranges. Battery spark ignition is replacing gas pilot ignition. This ignition requires 8 AA batteries to power an electronic sparker on the range top as well as in the oven burner. This ignition can also be lit with a match ion the range top burners as well as in the oven in case batteries are not available or out of juice.  The best stove for off grid use is a propane battery spark ignition stove. Peerless premier offers off grid stoves, ovens and ranges that use propane with battery spark ignition.

Q. What is Electronic Ignition?

Peerless premier offers ranges in electronic ignition. Electronic Ignition is a very low wattage draw only during the spark phase of the range top burners or oven burner. This system works great for solar systems due to the low wattage draw. The Electronic Ignition type burners can also be lit with a match in the case that no electricity is available. Simply turn the burner to low and light The oven can be lit the same way and will operate normally through the entire cooking process until it is turned off.

Q. What is Gas Pilot ignition?

A. Electricity is not needed in this system. Gas Pilot Ignition is the trusty standard with a continuously burning pilot flame.

Q. What is Glow Bar Ignition?

A. Glow Bar Ignition is used by most brand name range manufacturers to ignite the oven during the cooking process. The glow bar draws a very high current to ignite the burner which puts a large load on solar systems. This lighting process repeats itself many times during one cooking cycle to control the heat range of the set temperature in the oven.  The oven is useless without electricity, since the glow bar cannot be lit with a match.  A glow bar ignition is not a good option when living off the grid.

Please contact us for any other questions you may have about an off grid range, oven or stove!

Full-time use of a gas refrigerator in your home

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Full-time use of a gas refrigerator in the homeWhile many propane refrigerators have been used in RVs, cabins and vacation homes, there is a growing number of households that have made a complete transition from electric to gas refrigerators. Warehouse Appliance discusses full-time use of gas refrigerators in your home.

The initial startup up rules are basically the same for the full-time gas refrigerator user as they are for those who supplement with gas:

  • Don’t fill up the fridge with any food or liquids that are not already cold or frozen.
  • Keep the door of the fridge closed as much of the time as possible.
  • Set the temperature setting to the maximum.

Make sure you adhere to the above rules when you bring groceries home from your regular shopping trips. It is always best to load the food goods in smaller amounts. Try to do this at timed intervals. Ambient temperature food should be loaded at no more than 10 pounds every 2 hours. Also, make sure to stabilize your temperature and thermostat setting. Keep your eye on the refrigerator interior temperatures. In a gas refrigerator, the thermostat setting will mostly affect the refrigerator compartment temperatures. The freezer will not have a thermostat.

Temperature setting is accomplished by the thermostat that is at the very bottom on the outside front near or behind the kick plate. The control panel is labeled with numbers that are merely a reference and do not correspond with the actual temperature.

Whether you go with a gas refrigerator part-time or full-time, Warehouse Appliance is here to help and answer any of your questions. If you’re thinking about purchasing a propane refrigerator or have questions about the one you already own, call the gas appliance experts at Warehouse Appliance today at 928-636-1955.

Why you need a propane refrigerator

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Warehouse Appliance is the leader in propane refrigerators and has the best warranty in the business.Who knows why you need a propane refrigerator better than the leader in propane refrigerators? As the industry leader, Warehouse Appliance, can help you select the right propane fridge for your cabin, vacation home, RV or hunting camp.

Reasons to own a gas fridge

  • Gas refrigerators are quiet – Since gas refrigerators don’t have a compressor they are completely quiet.
  • You live off grid – With no conventional means of energy to power an electric refrigerator, you’re limited to where you can live, but a gas refrigerator doesn’t confine your choices. Unlike electricity, no matter where you are, you can transport and easily store the fuel necessary for operating a gas fridge.
  • Your location is prone to power outages – For some of us, every year brings tornadoes, hurricanes, fires and floods. Even in the city, homeowners experience power outages – but it won’t matter if you have a propane refrigerator. Gas refrigerators keep on running, keeping your food items cold and safe. If you’ve suffered extended power outages, you know that replacing a refrigerator full of spoiled food is expensive.
  • Gas refrigerators are efficient – Not only do they run colder than a conventional fridge, but they have far fewer running parts than a compressor system. Fewer parts mean fewer failures. In fact, there are virtually no moving parts in a propane gas refrigeration system.

Considering all these reasons, anyone can see that choosing a gas fridge is a smart choice. No matter where you live, whether in the heart of the city, off the grid, or on the road, Warehouse Appliance can help you select the right size fridge to meet your family’s needs. For more information call Warehouse Appliance today at 928-636-1955.