Heat Sources

Passive Solar

It's free and easy to harness if included in the plan. Southern walls will be constructed from cob and contain plenty of windows. The larger weather protecting eves will shade in the summer & let the sun "in" during the winter. The cob walls and thermal mass floor will "charge up" during sunny days and "release heat" into the night.

Active Solar

The domestic hot water (dhw) will be primarily heated by solar collectors. Most likely some form of a drainback system. In my experience glycol systems, over the long haul, require more maintenance.

Annualized Geo Solar (AGS)

Since I initiallly planned to draw "coolith" from buried tubes during the summer to temper the hot weather AGS seems like an obvious next step. A thermostatically controlled fan will draw air from buired tubes beneath the house which in turn gets its air from the metal roof heat. Over time, if properly protected from water, the ground beneath the house will, allegedly, gradually warm--I guess it takes years. Then during winter the house doesn't require as much additional heat. Does it work? I'm not completely sure but it's worth trying. Given that when most geothermal heat pumps are used only for heating for long periods their efficency is gradually decreased, implies that it might....

Wood Burning Masonry Stove

Can I build it? I think I can... stove.ru Yeah, I know everybody who is anyone with a cob house has a rocket stove--and I might still make one. For now, I plan a masonry stove. Too much thermal mass? It seems a bit over-kill but once that thermal flywheel is moving it will coast for many hours. I like the idea of building only one fire per day.

Oil assisted Hydronic Radiant

Not just oil, waste-oil & glycerine. We'll probably continue to burn used vegtable oil (biodiesel) in our vechicles when we move. The process of making biodiesel has a not easily disposed of by product & journeytoforever.org has come up with a heater that burns glycerine. I plan to use something along these lines as backup. There are commercial products like www.cleanburn.com or www.econoheat.coms waste oil boiler that'll eventually replace any contraption that i'll make--retirement won't allow for high maintance equipment.