Under The Floors: Wisdom Of The Ancients


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Categories: Heating / Cooling


When along comes old man winter, we think about how good our gloves are, and whether they will be wet after going out in the snow.  On a 28 degree day outside, it's not so bad, but if you're freezing in a Minnesota -30 Farenheight, a little bit of moisture makes all the difference in whether or not you get to keep your fingers! 

Lately, I've had my mind on heating the home in various ways.  We hear about rocket stoves, but that's not practical for me because they're a big installation, and I'm in a leased house at the moment.  But heating and cooling has become an item strictly planned as something to do with electricity in todays world.  As a child, I remember seeing old homes with old radiators, and even more on my visit to Switzerland... but every one I've seen has been reduced to a decoration in the wake of electric heaters.  Obviously, the invention of the electric heater must be better, or else their marketing is very good!  But today, we have all these electric things, and we've been so focused forward that we have forgotten about the past.  We also have been presented with the structures and technologies of every country in the world at our fingertips, and we are scrambling to figure out how to use and implement such technologies with the present.  And to think!  When you're using ancient technology, you don't have patents to contend with!

We hear stories lately that the EPA has banned most models of wood stove, and they are only supporting newer cleaner burning designs.  If that were so, the EPA has some homework to do.  They need to do a better job communicating with the U.S. people what it's intentions are.  If it is simply trying to find an excuse to fine people, then we aren't about to take much more of that!

I love the appeal of this next idea... an idea born long long ago when instead of using a little burning or hot box to heat your home, you put the fire under your house, and heated the whole thing!  The Korean's called this an ondol:

Wikipedia says that: An ondol (??), a unique integral part of the traditional architecture in Korea, is an underfloor heating system. When we stoke the fire in the stove (agungi; ???), the heat transfers to the stone (gudeuljang; ???) underneath the room and is disseminated throughout the whole house creating a warm cozy atmosphere. Then, the smoke exits through the chimney.  

 
 
In addition to the Koreans, even the ancient Roman's used an under floor heating system to warm their homes, from under the floor, through hollow bricks in the house.  What a terrific idea!  But you certainly wouldn't want to try this in a wooden home!  Your home must be sustainable, fire proof, and long lasting, stone, brick, or mortar to handle the heat from underneath and not be a firetrap!

Well, thank you for taking a journey with me into the past.  Now let's take what we know as we think and plan out our futures and we can use modern technology combined with the wisdom of the ancients to make something even better!  By the way, if you plan on installing one of these in your home, you should probably check out your local codes before you do!

Source:  www.Offgridconcepts.com

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