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Can you use a rocket mass heater to heat a 100 year old 3-story farmhouse  RSS feed

 
Posts: 1
Location: Southern Minnesota
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I'm looking to more efficiently heat our 100 year old 3-story, 2100 square foot farmhouse that we bought about a year and a half ago.  I was wondering if a rocket mass heater would be a reasonable addition to our house.  Currently we have electric baseboard heating on the third floor.  On the first and second floor we have hot water baseboard heating using propane.  Additionally we have a very small wood stove, but it's on an addition to the house where a previous owner turned a deck into a sunroom, so it's not centrally located at all.  It seems that a rocket mass heater might be a very cost effective addition.

Questions:
Would a rocket mass heater be an appropriate way to heat the house?
What are the best ways to move the hot air to the second and third floors of the house?
 
gardener
Posts: 1696
Location: latitude 47 N.W. montana zone 6A
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cat pig rocket stoves
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Hi Aaron;  Welcome to Permies!
A 3 story 100 year old house in Minnesota is not going to be "heated" by a rmh BUT it can certainly assist making it warmer and lowering your other utility bills some.

To start Do you have a copy of the rmh builders guide ? Readily available on Amazon. It is the go to book for all aspiring builders.

Does this house have an internal  block/brick  chimney ? Is it usable ? If so describe it.
Your RMH should be located in a  room where you will spend most of your time. A RMH is best enjoyed in the same room or even by sitting on it. Fans will help and installing hot air registers on the second and third floors would allow some heat to rise up but don't expect to shut off your other heaters on the upper floors.
Two styles of building , a long solid mass (requires strong floor) or a stratification chamber "brick bell" that has a smaller footprint and lighter weight.

Two styles of rocket cores,  A traditional J tube in 6 or 8" or a newer style horizontal batch box.  The first is easy to build the second burns longer and hotter but is more technical to build.(a 6" is too small for your home)
Some library's have a copy of the builders guide you can check out if purchasing it is a problem.
Let us have some more information about you and your home and its arrangement.  
 
thomas rubino
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Posts: 1696
Location: latitude 47 N.W. montana zone 6A
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Hi Aaron;
Depending on the situation,  a small brick batch box might be able to be installed on the third floor "bedroom" as a stand alone heater for just that area. Check out this post for a small batch box heater.
https://permies.com/t/43809/Masonry-stove-diy-build-feasible
 
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Posts: 2939
Location: Southern alps, on the French side of the french /italian border 5000ft high Southern alpine climate.
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Well, i wouldn't be as categorical as Thomas. You would heat it with a RMH; But at what expense?

What type of insulation? If any? Balloon framing? Stick framing?  Post and beams? Stone? Bricks?
 
Posts: 293
Location: Wellington, New Zealand
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Are there any rules of thumb as to how many BTUs various RMH designs can produce?
 
Satamax Antone
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Graham Chiu wrote:Are there any rules of thumb as to how many BTUs various RMH designs can produce?



http://donkey32.proboards.com/thread/2174/size-batchrocket
 
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