Thermosiphon a success

I built the house with 2 flights of stairs, pretty overkill for a 1200sqft house and I’ve often gotten this feedback. There’s a couple of reasons I went through the extra trouble and extra wasted space.

  1. I like 2 ways out the first floor for safety. You never know when the government ninjas will come get you, but more seriously: fire safety. You know, for when the government ninjas set the house on fire.
  2. It provides the opportunity for a thermosiphon. Hot air from 1 stove rise up 1 side, cools down, and circulates back down the other.

Will lower temperatures upon us, we have finally tested it and it works beautifully. I was worried that practice and theory would diverge, such was not the case and so we heated the whole house for the first time with one stove and awesome passive circulation keeping every nook and cranny warm.

Standing at a choking point such as a doorway, you can clearly feel the air moving. I’m super happy this is working.

Candle test

Now the one thing we still need to get used to is how much more wood we’re burning. We more than doubled our living space going from the tiny 450sqft to the more appropriate 1185sqft, circulate all you want it takes a lot more wood to heat it all up :).

I’ll be using thermosiphons to heat water too at some point.

Over and Under

My brother & I just spent a tough week end tackling 2 projects which are needed to take the house addition through next Winter.

The first project was to cut a hole through the roof for a stove pipe to come out. This will allow us to hook up a second stove: the alpiner. Woodstoves are very low tech and unlikely to break, but I’ll be relieved to have a backup source of heat. At this point we have no idea how much or even if we’ll need to fire both stoves, the addition will be fully insulated for this Winter when it wasn’t for the last one.

High, slippery & dusty, but with a nice view on our energy independence

And our maple syrup independence 🙂

While I’m up there enjoying the views

When I designed the house addition, I framed a section in an odd way so as to be able to pop out the roof and grow half a floor. I’m not sure if we’ll ever do it but I wanted to have the option. Being up there is a great reminder why.

Ok let’s get to the business at hand, a big hole

I did this one with full climbing gear, I have no idea how I did the previous one without.

I have yet to take a picture of it with the flashing, I’ll be back up in a couple of days to put the cap on.


2nd horribly shitty project, insulating the floors.

from this

to this

We spend the hole day working in the dirt and against gravity, it sucked just as much as I remember from when we last did it to the original tiny house. Here we’re covering everything with plywood.

Thank you to my brother for suffering through 2 rewarding yet miserable days, to Russ for the climbing equipment, and to Dan for the reciprocating saw.