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More Radiant Heat for a Larger House?  RSS feed

 
Richie Booth
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I Am a bit bummed as it seems a rocket mass heater(RMH) may not be best for my house. It's an approximately 1600 sg. ft. modern wood frame house. From what I Am reading it seems I need a wood stove for the radiant heat. I keep seeing people say that the thermal mass only warms the room it's in or the body that's on it. Is it true that this big house just has no room for a RMH? Is there some way to get the heat exchange barrel to heat this space with radiant heat like a wood stove, while still retaining the efficient qualities of the rocket stove?
It's my hope to be able to make this modern, expensive to heat with propane and zero clearance fireplace house into something less resource consuming.
 
R Scott
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Location: Kansas Zone 6a
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First check your insurance. If you have a mortgage, you need to make sure you can add a RMH without voiding your insurance. Most will require some form of UL registered product, at least for the chimney/wall thimbles.

Then yes. I can warm a 2000 SF ranch house plus basement from a single woodstove plus fans to move the air. The radiant only works in the room you are in, but the walls then heat the air and that heats the rest of the house. I put a big floor grate in to circulate the basement air, too. It is a wood cookstove set to be convenient for cooking and installation, NOT set right in the house for heating, but the couple fans plus running the HVAC fan overcome the bad designs.

There is a youtube video from dancing rabbit that shows the barrel mounted IN a wall so it heats two rooms from the radiant heat. That is a cob wall so combustion is not an issue, though.
 
Richie Booth
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R Scott - Thanks for the reply!

1. I Am patching into an existing chimney.

2. The wood stove you are heating the 2000 SF ranch house with is a rocket stove or one of our modern metal boxes?

3. You are saying that the stove will heat the walls which will then heat the house. I Am planning on building the "portable" design that I have seen in Paul Wheaton's video's so it will be more free standing in the room. The reason is that I want to be able to remove it if I leave this house. Do you think it will still heat the walls and therefor the rest of the house? Remember, the walls are sheet rock, not cob.

Thanks again for the advice.
 
R Scott
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Location: Kansas Zone 6a
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1. Take care of clearances to combustibles and exhaust temps to drive the chimney--lots of discussion from the experts on this here and in the podcasts.

2. I am heating with a wood cookstove like this: http://www.antiquestoves.com/ashlandstove/index.htm#top It is a realy good heater for being a cookstove, but not nearly as efficient as a rocket stove or modern metal box with reburn. It was chosen as a cookstove, then as a water heater--space heating was not a primary concern. That said, my furnace ran 2 days last year--because we were gone for vacation. More importantly for us (family of 12 with laundry and taking showers plus washing milking equipment twice a day) is that my water heater only ran 4 days all winter.

3. Yes. The stove heats the walls (cob or drywall) through radiant heat. Once they are warmer than the walls, the air starts to warm up through conduction from the walls. Then you move the heat to the other rooms by convection (natural or forced).
 
Richie Booth
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Ok,
I wonder if anyone here actually has experience heating a larger house(1600 SF) with a RMH. Especially in a wood frame/dry wall modern home where I want to heat the whole house, not just the room it's in. I think it will help that there is an upstairs and that some of the heat will naturally rise to that space.

Thanks!
 
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