One thing that we have started looking at since our Moms have come down is the prospect of improving our apartment in a couple of different areas. The first area stems from us only having electricity for about 6 hours a day. From 8-10 am and again from 5-9pm. The other 18 hours a day our fridge is off and our fans don't work. The fridge almost speaks for itself on the importance of electricity, but a lesser known problem is the ceiling fans. Sleep can prove to be a challenge when it is 85, high humidity, and no wind.
The solution we have been looking at is installing a solar panel and battery bank system to our house. It's a common setup for people who live in a house not connected to electricity. We would have solar panels charging large deep-cycle batteries that we would use to power our apartment during times that we weren't getting electricity. As much as solar technology has advanced in recent times there still isn't an abundance of material on the internet about proper sizing and amounts of all the required elements.
The other problem area and solution comes from the lack of water pressure in our apartment. Our apartment is one of the highest on campus, so water pressure can be low during most times. (You know those office water coolers, yea they have more water pressure than our kitchen sink most days.) Also depending on the water usage of the campus the previous day there may not be any water coming to our house at all. Our idea thus far includes using a hand pump to pump water from the main line and store it in a pressure tank. That along with some back flow preventers should give us pressure and storage for our apartment with the capability of installing a water filter in the future.
We are by no means experts in these areas, so if you or someone you know has experience with solar systems or with piping and would be willing to help consult us on the planning of the systems we could take it from there and would be super grateful for your help. You can shoot us an email at email@example.com or talk with either one of us on facebook.
Thanks again for your support week after week and month after month! We couldn't make it without you.