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Heating in Colder Climates

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  • #16
    Russian Oven

    A Russian oven is very similar to a Masonry Fireplace in construction and purpose. The difference appears to be Russian oven has the dual purpose of cooking/bread baking as well as providing heating. For more information see links below:

    "A Russian oven or Russian stove (Russian: Русская печь) is a unique type of oven/furnace that first appeared in the 15th century[1]. It is used both for cooking and domestic heating.[2][3] The Russian oven burns firewood... (snip)


    A Russian oven is designed to retain heat for long periods of time.[5] This is achieved by channeling the smoke and hot air produced by combustion through a complex labyrinth of passages, warming the bricks from which the oven is constructed.[4][3]"

    The Masonry Stove or Russian Fireplace
    A Brief Overview
    by Thomas J. Elpel, Author of Living Homes

    We were put on this earth to help and take care of one another.


    • #17
      Re: Heating in Colder Climates

      After scanning the article Jonesie posted I thought I'd post some of my own experiences and opinions regarding splitting fire wood. First off sometime during the winter we just expect the power to go out. It happens so we prepare for it. One of our plan B's is to heat our home using a fire place, so fire wood is a must. Originally my husband made it a ritual to go out and split the wood by hand using metal wedges designed for the task and sledge hammer. This is a serious amount of work.

      One weekend after my husband had cut the tree trunks into fireplace lengths with a chain saw, I rented gasoline fueled log splitter. The easy part was towing it home and backing it up next to the log pile. There was some initial gripping involved as this was a definite change in the annual ritual. That weekend the two of us easily split and stacked a cord of wood. This has now become part of our new fall ritual. My dear husband has even talked of buying one.

      Please note; like most tools, (power tools especially) log splitters can be dangerous. They should be used safely and in accordance with proper instructions. It would probably help to read the manufacturer's instructions carefully and follow proper safety precautions. Children should have adult supervision while in the area around this tool. I would not allow a young child to use this tool supervised or not.
      We were put on this earth to help and take care of one another.


      • #18
        Re: Heating in Colder Climates

        Originally posted by Amish Country View Post
        Here is a link for a "Home Made Thermal Shade". The idea is once the home is warm to help use this to help to slow the loss of heat from the home via windows. The article is from Mother Earth News magazine.

        The goal of the article appears to be to provide plans for making several models of home made thermal shades that can be easily attached to widows during the night or colder periods to cut down on heat loss. The shades can still be easily move to allow passive solar heating (sun light) to enter the home during the day.

        Wonder if a similar design could be made with space blankets to reflect or limit sunlight (and passive heat) entering thru windows in warmer climates?
        Having lived through more than my share of ice storms (and loss of electricity), I use a variant of this. I took the cheap comforter inserts from Ikea and glued a mylar emergency blanket to it. Then I use clip on curtain rings to hang them in between the window and my thermal drapes on a cafe rod put up with command hooks. Previously I put it up using craft wire and two hooks but you can't really pull them open and closed well - the curtain rod words better.

        I also **** quilts along outside walls and across hallway entrances to act as a heat blocker.

        It works well.