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One of the most important things you can do is concentrate on how to keep the heat in once there. That means making sure that sources of drafts are sealed, since they leak heat out faster than most are aware, and additionally, their reduction (drafts) makes things much less uncomfortable when it's not very warm because getting rid of drafts directly reduces the perceptible affect of those drafts brr... And that you have some sort of airlock system in place (curtains over the doorway, an insulated door, etc.) to lose as little as possible when people enter or leave the warm area
Insulate with whatever you have available. It's surprising how much warmth even one person generates and normally loses because we don't try really hard to keep it secure with insulation and making an area sealed..
bodies generate heat very well, be they people or animals. the trick, as before, is keeping it in instead of letting it leak out.
Solar, wind, etc can be used to generate energy we can convert into heat, but unless you have that available, you're kinda stuck with burning something. Atr that point, it's all about combining the right combustibles and using the most efficient furnace (stove, whatever) to produce the lowest smoke, highest output heat.
Don't kid yourselves anyone, we've only been smoke free" for about 50 years or so. (where we've been able to enjoy "modern" solutions that is) before that, second hand smoke was a perpetual way of life pretty much everywhere once the temperatures dropped past mid autumn..
What fuels have you got ?
Sun, and some times car's gasoline 95.
How much sun do you get in the winter ? Do you get much cloud ?
The sun is way more clouds most of the time.
A lot about solar heating depends on where you are in the world, because of climatic considerations, and how your house faces, and how much you want to spend. Peter's link is excellent, but you have to be aware that a neat solution in a heating climate (say the UK) is a different one from one in a cooling climate, like Egypt !
Another problem with solar heating is it only happens during the day when it is often warm anyway. At night your relying on stored energy.
You can store the heat in bulk storage by heating up a large area of water or stone which will release the heat at night or you can store it chemically.
There are several solutions that will crystallise as they cool giving off heat in the process. reversing as they warm up.
There are lots of possibilities both conventional and non conventional. It all depends on your circumstances, what is available to you and the environmental conditions.
There is a band named "Three Dog Night". The name comes from a country saying that "its so cold it will take 3 dogs sleeping with you to keep you warm". So a really cold night is a 3 dog night. Lots of things generate heat.
Some factors to consider -
The size of the space you need heated and how well it is insulated and sealed from air infiltration.
The temperature difference between inside and outside on average.
The materials available to you.
The number of living things in the space you need heated. Sometimes just having lots of living bodies around is enough to heat up a room.
I used to know an old farmer (he died quite a few years ago) who used to move grain in large sleighs in the winter time. They used to wait until the river was frozen and there was a good layer of ice on it. Then they moved all the grain they harvested in the fall of that year to the grain elevators along the railroad tracks. It was all done with horse drawn sleighs. I asked him how they kept from freezing, riding all day long in those open sleighs. He told me they actually had a problem with getting to hot. You see, what they did was to lay large flat stone slabs in front of their fireplace hearts and all night long they would get heated up. Then before they left they took those stone slabs and put them on the wooden seats of the sleigh and cover them with blankets. They sat on those hot stones wrapped in blankets and cooked from the heat. He said the heat would last all day and he never really got cold.
Thank you very much for the advice, but am afraid that the solutions you propose are not doable in my situation.
Keeping a place warm is as much about not letting it get cold or loose heat as it is about applying heat.
High levels of insulation.
Eliminating draughts whilst allowing a change of air.
Having a heat source that is controllable.
The usual western way to heat remotely is to burn a fuel and use it to heat water, the water passes through insulated pipe and heats internal radiators or under floor pipes. returning to the boiler to get reheated.
The process is controlled by a thermostat.
In my very well insulated house in winter the temperature will drop by 4 deg C overnight when the heating system is off. The boiler is very efficient and the outlet gas is almost cold because the boiler extracts almost all the heat from the burning process.
I very much doubt you will do much better in the area of passive solar heating than Morris Dovey's Zen of Solar Heating, www.iedu.com/Solar/Panels/
A poor second would be a box filled with matt black painted soda cans, in the words of the author of that site,
A solar heating panel is not just a box with a glass front, a black interior, and a pair of openings in the back. Any fool can build such a box – and many have, but very few have managed to heat an entire building with the result.
There are a lot of plans for allowing well insulated rooms to use passive sun heat storage of stones to keep a comfortable temperature for days and nights.
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Posted:Nov 5, 2014
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