Good Reading

Interested in that tiny little space where the Venn diagrams of home-heating, anthropology, cognitive science, and urban legend all intersect?  Well then, here’s some fascinating reading.

Meanwhile, you may wonder what we’ve been up to at the Cold House.   So far, since “fire up”, our kitchen temp has averaged 59F. That is 7 degrees above last year’s all-winter average… not clear yet where it will be heading.  We still have a little bit left of the 2 cords of wood we bought 2 years ago, but it’s now buried at the bottom of about a cord I split myself– sourced from our own yard, and trees that came down in friends’ yards.  So, this winter, I anticipate we will be burning 100% wood from within 4 miles of here, all “free” (my labor is, of course, worthless).

Coming soon will be posts on some exciting topics:

1)  New gadgets!  2)  A pending mass slaughter of Norway maples in the back yard!  Big time excitement.  3)  A scheme to heat our hot water, or part thereof, with the wood stove.  Stay tuned!

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6 Responses to “Good Reading”

  1. Rising Tide Says:

    “Scheme” is always a slightly nervous-making word…

  2. Cold House Journal Says:

    I know this guy who had a scheme to start a brewery…

  3. mck Says:

    Looking particularly forward to the new gadgets bit!

    Along that topic, have you ever made (or heard of) a Heat Grabber (see link) or similar type contraption? Some similar ones are made w/ aluminum beer or soda cans. Seems like a great idea that’s been around since the energy crisis in the 70s. There seem to be some very inventive low-tech and lowish-cost ideas out there for warming (at least to some extend) houses naturally.

    http://www.motherearthnews.com/Do-It-Yourself/1977-09-01/Mothers-Heat-Grabber.aspx

    • Cold House Journal Says:

      hmm… interesting concept. I was looking at a similar one a while back (here). Have to admit, I’m a little skeptical of the actual likelihood this would work to an appreciable extent, especially in New England, in the winter. (I note that in the Mother Earth demonstration photo, the grass is green, the shrubs have leaves on them, and the Heat Grabber is not half-buried in snow that fell off the roof!) My gut feeling is that it might work pretty well in a sunny locale, during seasons where the outside temp isn’t all that much colder than the inside. But if it’s 60F in the house and 10F outside, I fear that chilling effect of ambient temperature on the box may outweigh the warming effect of the sun.

      But, I’d be very curious to hear from anyone who has built or used such a device.

      (Alternative, similar, simpler idea: paint your house black.)

  4. icerabbit Says:

    Did somebody say heat grabber?

    I’ve built two 🙂 Have to build some more and try a couple different approaches maybe, to see if they work better while requiring less build time.

    I use them augment the temperature in our greenhouse/solarium. I’ve gotten as much as +100F rise out of my demo model.

    The #1 thing you need is prolonged solar exposure due south, which unfortunately is a bit of a problem for us, with the orientation of the house and various trees. The slightest diffraction & shade from twigs & branches puts a stop to the solar gain.

    In the back of my head I’ve thought about integrating the builditsolar model into a to be built garden shed / workshop … though practically speaking I’ve got too much shade from surrounding trees in the planned location, so, I’ll just put in a wood stove I think and burn some wood I’ve harvested myself.

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