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Mud and I (and Andres) are keen to make an infographic about home heat choices.  Across the top will be types of heat.  And down the left side will be attributes/metrics.  With each metric will be a link to a thread that will act as a source for that row of information in the infographic.  Or, hopefully, a bit of a bibliography.

All of the metrics for all of infographic is focused on "average for montana".  Keeping in mind that the average montana home is 2000 square feet.

Across the top is several types of heat.  The list has to be limited so it will all fit on the infographic.  Although at a later date we could choose to make something much wider.

Electric Baseboard
Mini Splits
In Ground Heat Pump
Central Natural Gas Furnace
Central Propane Furnace
Wood Stove
Modern wood stove
Pellet Stove
Masonry Heater
Rocket Mass Heater

Down the left edge is the metrics:

x    Cost to Install Professionally (materials+labor)
x    cost to install DIY
x    annual operation/fuel cost
x    vulnerable to market volatility
x    Annual Maintenance Requirement
.     Total Cost of maintenance for 10 years
x    Carbon Footprint
x     Estimated Lifespan
.     End of Life Disposal/Retrofit
x    Will it Operate when the Power Goes Out
x     Will it operate while I am on vacation for two weeks?
x     Ease of Operation
.     Immediate Local Dangers
-     Systemic Dangers
-     Infrastructure Requirements
-     Ease of Installation into New Home
-     Ease of Retrofit
x     Cooling in summer?
x     Off Grid
x     Biophillic Design Consideration
.     Hyper Local
x     can you build this yourself?
x     Able to Use Home Waste
x     can you grow your own fuel
x     Self sustaining / Renewable
x     Insurance Considerations
x     Building Code Considerations


This thread is to talk about the general structure of the infographic, and the content of each row will be in a collection of threads.

This is going to be a lot of work.  Mud and I will do 100% of it if nobody else will help.  Kinda hoping a lot of people will help.




Click Here to see another infographic presenting the info in a different way
COMMENTS:
 
author and steward
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One of the metrics down the left edge is "biophilic".  I think I want to word this differently.  Something about "natural" or "interact with nature" or "love of nature" or something.  Ideas?
 
paul wheaton
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paul wheaton wrote:One of the metrics down the left edge is "biophilic".  I think I want to word this differently.  Something about "natural" or "interact with nature" or "love of nature" or something.  Ideas?



On the phone with mud.  He is suggesting "nature connectedness"
 
paul wheaton
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paul wheaton wrote:

paul wheaton wrote:One of the metrics down the left edge is "biophilic".  I think I want to word this differently.  Something about "natural" or "interact with nature" or "love of nature" or something.  Ideas?



On the phone with mud.  He is suggesting "nature connectedness"



Maybe "a more natural life"?
 
pollinator
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you really should include an air to air heat pump furnace option. You have mini splits listed are they more common in Montana then air to air whole house heat pumps?
 
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@David,
I think maybe that is what Paul meant with the mini split. I always understood mini split to simply be a heating/cooling device that splits up the generation and distribution. Of these there are air source, ground source, water source. And then they can produce hot/cool air or hot/cool water depending on the type.

Would it make sense on the infographic to be more specific about the heat pump options? Ground source to air heat pump and Air source to air heat pump?
 
paul wheaton
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Maybe "Mini Splits" should, instead, read "above ground heat pump (mini splits)"

??
 
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I feel we need to get some clarification on what you guys have in mind for these:


Immediate local dangers:   https://permies.com/wiki/207132/Local-Dangers#1730269

Limitations:    https://permies.com/wiki/207131/Limitations#1730254

Systemic dangers:   https://permies.com/wiki/207133/Systemic-Dangers#1728680

Nature conectedness     https://permies.com/wiki/207139/Nature-Connectedness#1730296

"Feed the bad guys"    https://permies.com/wiki/207141/feed-bad-guys#1728696


 
Liv Smith
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Also, is "in ground heat pump" the same as geothermal heat pump?
 
paul wheaton
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Liv Smith wrote:Also, is "in ground heat pump" the same as geothermal heat pump?



yes
 
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I just did some work on the annual maintenance metric here: https://permies.com/wiki/207124/Annual-Maintenance-Requirement#1732251

And by "I did some work," I mean that I asked some questions to a piece of artificial intelligence software and copy/pasted the answers.

If some folks want to have a look and see what came back, that would be lovely.  Feel free to let me know if I should go back in and rephrase the queries to improve results.

We'll be doing some preliminary data gathering in this manner for all of the remaining categories, so if the process can be refined I'm all for it.
 
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I don't get the "feeding the bad guys" part. I am pretty sure none of us have prisoners of war chained up in our basement and feeding them omlettes and bacon.

I am pretty sure it means how to feed fuel to the heating system, but to me too, there are no "bad guys" in terms of heating systems. When it is -20 degrees out, and blowing 20 mph, no heating system keeping me and family members warm is "bad". There may be better ways to heat based on ease of use, longevity and cost, and a search on google just might bring them here in search of better options.

So my suggestion is to rename the metric because its best to steer away from negative connotations.

Unless anyone knows where there is a pet dragon for sale though. In that case, yes, I will buy it and gladly "feed the bad guy".
 
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Steve Zoma wrote:I don't get the "feeding the bad guys" part. I am pretty sure none of us have prisoners of war chained up in our basement and feeding them omlettes and bacon.

Unless anyone knows where there is a pet dragon for sale though. In that case, yes, I will buy it and gladly "feed the bad guy".



A pet dragon  might well solve some heating issues - although would cause other issues instead I guess!

I suspect the 'bad guys' in this case are similar to the 'bad guys' in Paul's build a better world book. I quite often refer to 'feeding the monster' i.e. not buying from a company with whom I disagree ethically. It's another way of expressing independence from monetary indebtedness - having to buy in stuff.
 
David Baillie
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Steve Zoma wrote:I don't get the "feeding the bad guys" part. I am pretty sure none of us have prisoners of war chained up in our basement and feeding them omlettes and bacon.

I am pretty sure it means how to feed fuel to the heating system, but to me too, there are no "bad guys" in terms of heating systems. When it is -20 degrees out, and blowing 20 mph, no heating system keeping me and family members warm is "bad". There may be better ways to heat based on ease of use, longevity and cost, and a search on google just might bring them here in search of better options.

So my suggestion is to rename the metric because its best to steer away from negative connotations.

Unless anyone knows where there is a pet dragon for sale though. In that case, yes, I will buy it and gladly "feed the bad guy".


In most of the stories I've read the dragons eat coal and children... Probably not the kinds of fuel we want to promote.
 
David Baillie
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paul wheaton wrote:Maybe "Mini Splits" should, instead, read "above ground heat pump (mini splits)"

??


I think Air to Air heat pumps is the preferred term as it could refer to mini splits or central furnace varieties. I suppose it would play havoc on your pricing mechanism since a mini split is a much cheaper install then a furnace with duct work.
 
Beau M. Davidson
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Proposing a new key to help us make progress on this infographic data.

Suggested key for each topic:

The normal code is as follows:
- yet to be done
. in process
x complete

Perhaps we should add some more nuanced indicators:
? stuck with questions for experts
* ready for final revisions

 
paul wheaton
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Sounds excellent!
 
Beau M. Davidson
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We need to watch out for this AI data.  I provides a starting point, and a place to look for sources, but often arrives at very false conclusions.  Case in point:  

Will a xxxx system work when the power goes out? Give me sources and examples.



Rocket Mass Heater

No, a Rocket Mass Heater system will not work when the power goes out. This is because a Rocket Mass Heater requires electricity to run the fan and pump, which are necessary to maintain the combustion process. Without the fan and pump, the system cannot produce the necessary heat.

Sources:

1. https://www.rmhbuilders.com/how-does-a-rocket-mass-heater-work/

2. https://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com/article/rocket-mass-heaters-in-cold-climates

3. https://www.permaculturenews.org/2014/09/17/rocket-mass-heaters-faq-answers/

 
paul wheaton
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oof.  noted.
 
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The most common residential heat source now being installed in our area is a hybrid system, consisting of electric air to air heat pump (heats and cools), to which is added natural gas or propane backup for periods when temps drop below functional level of heat pump. This is a forced air system.

Yet another is an in floor hot water radiant heat system. Heat source is gas, electric, heat pump or ground source heat pump to heat the water, which is then pumped to various zones in home by manifold system. A very few use outdoor, wood heat boilers to generate hot water.

Ground source heat pumps far and away least cost to heat home, but also far and away most expensive to install.

If you want to add to the list.
 
paul wheaton
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I think we need to get something out to the world in about three weeks.  It is time to wrap this up.

It is possible that we make infographic 1.0 that has fewer rows.   Then infographic 2.0 that has more rows.  So then the question becomes which rows are pushed to 2.0?

 
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off-grid is updated.
 
Chris McClellan
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Biophilic=homegrown
 
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I feel like this might have been done somewhere…
Let’s say I am convinced by the infographic, BUT have more money than time/confidence, and would rather pay a contractor to install one for me. Is there a “contractor package”, that puts all the info into engineering speak? As in “these are the plans you submit to the county for approval, these are the weight and chimney requirements for installation, these are the tolerances for size of gravel and spacing of etc. etc.” basically, all the info a contractor would need to install a standard rmh?
I haven’t seen anything like this - all the specs in a single tight bundle- but maybe I am missing it.
 
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Lina Joana wrote:I feel like this might have been done somewhere…
Let’s say I am convinced by the infographic, BUT have more money than time/confidence, and would rather pay a contractor to install one for me. Is there a “contractor package”, that puts all the info into engineering speak? As in “these are the plans you submit to the county for approval, these are the weight and chimney requirements for installation, these are the tolerances for size of gravel and spacing of etc. etc.” basically, all the info a contractor would need to install a standard rmh?
I haven’t seen anything like this - all the specs in a single tight bundle- but maybe I am missing it.


Ernie and Erica worked extensively at getting an RMH approved in Portland, Oregon. They described the process at their website. An RMH is built under the masonry heater sections of the International Residential Code. In their book The Rocket Mass Heater Builder's Guide they have detailed plans and specifications for several different kinds of heaters.

If you are looking for one built from bricks, rather than cob, you can look at Matt Walker's site. He also includes detailed plans.
 
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Jeremy VanGelder wrote:
Ernie and Erica worked extensively at getting an RMH approved in Portland, Oregon. They described the process at their website. An RMH is built under the masonry heater sections of the International Residential Code. In their book The Rocket Mass Heater Builder's Guide they have detailed plans and specifications for several different kinds of heaters.

If you are looking for one built from bricks, rather than cob, you can look at Matt Walker's site. He also includes detailed plans.



What Ernie and Erica described for the code drawings is probably closest to what I am thinking of. Unfortunately, a quick dip into the portland Atc website did not bring up any hits, they must be buried a bit deeper.
Has anyone given the walker plans to a contractor and heard “no problem, this has everything we need”? I suspect most conventional contractors would prefer brick or pebble style to messing around with cob. But nothing about the Walker website indicates whether the plans are engineer stamped, code ready, or even include details like weightand clearance.
 
Jeremy VanGelder
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Lina Joana wrote:
What Ernie and Erica described for the code drawings is probably closest to what I am thinking of. Unfortunately, a quick dip into the portland Atc website did not bring up any hits, they must be buried a bit deeper.
Has anyone given the walker plans to a contractor and heard “no problem, this has everything we need”? I suspect most conventional contractors would prefer brick or pebble style to messing around with cob. But nothing about the Walker website indicates whether the plans are engineer stamped, code ready, or even include details like weightand clearance.


The clearance standard comes from the International Residential Code R1002.5 for all masonry heaters and RMHs.

R1002.5 Masonry heater clearance. Combustible materials shall not be placed within 36 inches (914 mm) of the outside surface of a masonry heater in accordance with NFPA 211 Section 8-7 (clearances for solid-fuel-burning appliances), and the required space between the heater and combustible material shall be fully vented to permit the free flow of air around all heater surfaces.

Exceptions:

   1. When the masonry heater wall is at least 8 inches (203 mm) thick of solid masonry and the wall of the heat exchange channels is at least 5 inches (127 mm) thick of solid masonry, combustible materials shall not be placed within 4 inches (102 mm) of the outside surface of a masonry heater. A clearance of at least 8 inches (203 mm) shall be provided between the gas-tight capping slab of the heater and a combustible ceiling.

 
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Visual approach for the infographic:

1. Background Illustration:
* Left Side: Depiction of a suburban setting with houses, malls, and city buildings.
* Right Side: A serene natural setting with trees, off-grid homes, and natural landscapes.
* It is night view, we see stars and the moon illuminates the infographic.
2. Heating Systems Illustrations:
An illustration along the spectrum from left to right based on its typical use-case. For instance, Electric Baseboard on the far left and Rocket Mass Heater on the far right.
3. Characteristics Representation:
* Costs (Installation & Operation): Vertical bars of varying heights behind each heating system. Different colors can represent professional installation, DIY installation, and annual operation costs. We repeat the graph giving it a red tint to point out the system we are showcasing.
* Vulnerability & Maintenance: As part of the background we situate the different sources of energy for each system and then create roads that connect them, at each resource place we showcase the description for each.
* Environmental & Lifespan: Green leaves for low carbon footprint and a clock for lifespan. More leaves mean a lower footprint, and a fuller clock indicates a longer lifespan.
* Operational Features: A power plug symbol (for power outage operation), a suitcase (for vacation operation), and a sun (for summer cooling).
* Sustainability & DIY: A tree symbol (for biophilic design), a hand holding a tool (for DIY capability), and a recycling symbol (for renewable/self-sustaining).
* Regulations & Considerations: A shield symbol for insurance considerations and a building for building code considerations.
* Others: A home symbol for "Able to Use Home Waste," a plant for "can you grow your own fuel," and a globe for "Hyper Local."
4. Legend:
At the bottom, we have a clear legend that explains each symbol and color used in the infographic.
5. Additional feautures we can implement:
* Hover or Click Information: Adding hover or click functionality to each heating system for a pop-up with more detailed information.
* Use of Space: Due to the amount of info this will be a big sized file.
* I’ll try to convey most of the information visually and avoid text.
* We can later add more info if needed using more symbols and complimenting the legend.
 
paul wheaton
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I think that for a lot of the bits of info, we tried to make bits that were for the infographic, and other bits that were some additional summary if they came looking.  

I think some of the things that are the same with the cell next door can be joined together.
 
Andrés Bernal
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Illustrations for the different kinds of heating systems:

Electric base board


Mini Splits


In ground heat pump


Central natural gas furnace


Central propane furnace


Pellet stove


Wood Stove


Modern wood stove


Masonry heater


Rocket mass heater





 
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Are you including the tools required in the DIY costs?
 
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Visual layout is ready , now adding the information using graphics, text, and legend!
Heat-Infographic.jpeg
Heat-Infographic
Click Image to see High Res Image
 
Andrés Bernal
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With info added in (image will be made interactive so well just  see symbols and when clicked te detailed info will pop up for each section):
Permies.com-heat-infographic.jpeg
All kinds of heating systems compared against 20 aspects of renewability, cost and DIY
Click the image to see it in HD
 
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That looks amazing, Andres!

One typo. Under Mini Splits under "Cost to Install Professionally" and "Cost to DIY" you have "3 Electric Baseboards." I suspect that you intended to put, "3 Mini Splits."
 
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Jeremy VanGelder wrote:That looks amazing, Andres!

One typo. Under Mini Splits under "Cost to Install Professionally" and "Cost to DIY" you have "3 Electric Baseboards." I suspect that you intended to put, "3 Mini Splits."



Thanks Jeremy!

Yes, here is the updated image!
permies.com-heat-infographic.jpeg
permies.com-heat-infographic
Click the image to see it in HD
 
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forest garden fish fungi trees tiny house earthworks bee solar woodworking greening the desert homestead
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Working on an updated sheet presenting the info here too:



Click here to see the sheet in full screen
 
Any sufficiently advanced technology will be used as a cat toy. And this tiny ad contains a very small cat:
Rocket Mass Heater Jamboree And Updates
https://permies.com/t/170234/Rocket-Mass-Heater-Jamboree-Updates
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