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Author Topic: Stupid idea? Using attic heat?  (Read 1112 times)

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Offline Old Greenhorn

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Re: Stupid idea? Using attic heat?
« Reply #40 on: September 12, 2020, 06:31:37 PM »
Not that I am working on this now until I get the chimney and stove done, BUT I did note that the ambient temp barely broke 70 today, it was 60-65 in the shop and over 90 in the attic. This is going to work. Man, working up there is no fun. ;D
Oscar 328 Band Mill, Husky 450, 372 (Clone), Mule 3010, and too many hand tools. :) Retired and trying to make a living to stay that way. NYLT Certified.
OK, maybe I am the woodcutter now.
I can work with wood, but I am NOT a Woodworker, yet.

Online mudfarmer

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Re: Stupid idea? Using attic heat?
« Reply #41 on: September 12, 2020, 10:51:52 PM »
Mike mentioned thermosiphon.. We had a stainless tank (open to atmosphere) at ceiling height heated by copper coil around stovepipe, gravity fed to bottom of coil. Heated water rises back to tank. Worked great for hot water. It would even boil in the coil and you could hear it shooting back into tank (boiler explosions are no joke and super dangerous that is why tank was open to atmosphere). Also use a copper tube preheater for our maple syrup evaporator. Lot easier to heat sap from 100*F to boiling than from 32F. That is backwards for OGH purposes, heat down not up and I am rambling.

Look up “snap disks” (discs?) online. Basically a bimetallic thermostat/switch that does a thing when it gets to a certain temp. Few dollars a piece a decade ago. Maybe epoxy to underside of roof. I want you to succeed and know you can! Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good enough



Editing post, we had an apartment one time where I built a solar air heater using 2x6s, aluminum dryer duct, PC case fans, foam insulation and old free storm windows from side of road. Built a faux window A/C basically to close in the window w input and output ducts. That is where the snap disk thing came from.

Offline ljohnsaw

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Re: Stupid idea? Using attic heat?
« Reply #42 on: September 12, 2020, 11:51:43 PM »
Look up “snap disks” (discs?) online. Basically a bimetallic thermostat/switch that does a thing when it gets to a certain temp. Few dollars a piece a decade ago.
I made a solar air heater a couple of years back as an experiment.  I got a piece of twin layer Lexan from a plastic supply place.  I ordered an 8' piece but they gave me a 10' section.  I didn't realize until I went to put it into my truck bed that is was longer.  Anyhow, I got two sheets of 2" foam insulation and used aluminum foil tape to assemble.  I used some rain gutter to make a plate absorber that I painted black.  I used two inline duct fans with some 4" aluminum dryer hose.  I made a manifold on the far end to turn the air around to the other gutter.  I installed a snap switch that clicks on around 85* to fire up the fans.  I got a few different ones for a buck or two each and found one that was right for this setup.  Works pretty well.
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SkyTrak 9038, Davis Little Monster backhoe, Case 16+4 Trencher, Home Built 42" capacity/32" cut Bandmill up to 54' long - using it all to build a timber frame cabin.

Offline Old Greenhorn

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Re: Stupid idea? Using attic heat?
« Reply #43 on: September 13, 2020, 06:47:01 AM »
Not that I am working on this, because I am not, but I had some time at around 4 this morning and did a little poking around. I found a solid state controller on eBay for under ten bucks that looks like it will do the job. I don't like the probe wire lengths available (3' max) but I will have to work with it. The built in relay will handle 20A, so good on that score. 
 HD has a 10" duct fan for just over 50 bucks, so that with a short piece of pipe (3'?) and some kind of grill/shutter and I will have the beginnings of an experiment. Gonna leave the shutter control off for now or maybe just go manual. This is an entry level, proof of concept test at this point so I can learn more. I will have to see how much heat I can pull and how long it holds up when I start dragging fresh air in the attic. I might need 2 of these setups, or I might need to close off the gable vents and use makeup air from the shop to re-circulate. Time will tell.
 I haven't ordered anything yet because it all looks like short lead time stuff. I have gotten by without this for a long time, I can wait a few more weeks and call it a fall project.
Oscar 328 Band Mill, Husky 450, 372 (Clone), Mule 3010, and too many hand tools. :) Retired and trying to make a living to stay that way. NYLT Certified.
OK, maybe I am the woodcutter now.
I can work with wood, but I am NOT a Woodworker, yet.

Offline Don P

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Re: Stupid idea? Using attic heat?
« Reply #44 on: September 13, 2020, 07:36:57 AM »
Block the fresh air, you only need to move the warm air to the shop and replace it with cooler air from the shop. The fresh air is to remove moisture. Monitor the humidity and if needed bring in fresh air to solve that, a humidistat can control the fresh air vent if needed. I doubt it will be needed, you'll probably get that exchange from shop leakage.
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Offline mike_belben

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Re: Stupid idea? Using attic heat?
« Reply #45 on: September 13, 2020, 08:27:25 AM »
What don said.  The shop space has your cool makeup air.  You just need to shove the hot stuff down.  It will pressurize the lower level which will force itself upward to achieve equilibrium. 

The downspout tube i guess we could call it, needs to be distant enough from the upspout (probably the attic access hatch) that the dont short cycle.  If you blow the heated air right into the jetstream of the rising cool air itll just do a yoo-ee and head back up. 

 I expect youll need to cut atleast 1 ceiling hole for the final version.  And it would be well to run a round tin duct down to a tee thats laying upside down on the floor, -almost like a gutter with left and right discharge- so that the warm air can blanket the coldest wall, away from the wood stove.  If youve got say 2 overhead doors, theyre leaking in cool air at the seals. Id put that heat gutter right between the two for instance.  

The further this heated air has to travel to get back upstairs, the more of it youll get to use.
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Offline Tacotodd

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Re: Stupid idea? Using attic heat?
« Reply #46 on: September 14, 2020, 05:05:58 PM »
OGH, have you considered scrapping the hot attic air in place of something like a geothermal setup? The reason that I ask is that I proposed a OWB for my house to one of my friends and his response was that geothermal was much more financially viable after the first year and was practically free every day after. He also said that he was part of an installation crew and the cost for the labor of this crew was negligible. I don’t know how set you are on your attic heat idea, but you know, sometimes outside ideas are the bees knees!

Just a thought.  TA

Trying harder everyday.

Offline Old Greenhorn

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Re: Stupid idea? Using attic heat?
« Reply #47 on: September 14, 2020, 06:34:48 PM »
Well Todd, the short answer is...NO. :D I am looking for simple and cheap. Reply number 39 above pretty much covers it. I don't have the time, money, or inclination to get carried away. Just trying to make use of something already sitting there going to waste.
 The temp/humidity gauge arrived today so I stuck the probes in the attic and went back to work. I checked it a few times, but it was a cool day and hardly got up to 70 and was overcast all day. The attic temp was 83 and as the temp went up, the humidity up there went down. I will keep an eye on it for a while to decide how I will proceed.
 
Oscar 328 Band Mill, Husky 450, 372 (Clone), Mule 3010, and too many hand tools. :) Retired and trying to make a living to stay that way. NYLT Certified.
OK, maybe I am the woodcutter now.
I can work with wood, but I am NOT a Woodworker, yet.

Offline doc henderson

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Re: Stupid idea? Using attic heat?
« Reply #48 on: September 14, 2020, 07:17:47 PM »
surely the rest of us can dream and try to spend your time and money!!   :)  have fun.  you are putting the rest of us to shame.  my only saving grace is I still work!  
timberking B 2000, 277c track loader, PJ 32 foot gooseneck, 1976 F700 state dump truck, JD 850 tractor.  2007 Chevy 3500HD dually, home built log splitter 18 horse 28 gpm with 5 inch cylinder and 32 inch split range with conveyor 12 volt tarp motor

Offline Old Greenhorn

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Re: Stupid idea? Using attic heat?
« Reply #49 on: September 14, 2020, 07:44:11 PM »
OH surely y'all can conjure up anything you like, just don't give me more work to do. :D I have to stay at least a little bit focused. Going into the summer I was going to work on building some stuff to sell, that didn't really happen, and I wanted to get a bunch of lumber milled and that sort of happened, but mostly I got consumed by infrastructure improvements and things I knew had to be done. Firewood took a lot more time than I thought. So this one I am keeping simple if I do it at all. Lets see what the numbers show.
Oscar 328 Band Mill, Husky 450, 372 (Clone), Mule 3010, and too many hand tools. :) Retired and trying to make a living to stay that way. NYLT Certified.
OK, maybe I am the woodcutter now.
I can work with wood, but I am NOT a Woodworker, yet.

Offline Don P

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Re: Stupid idea? Using attic heat?
« Reply #50 on: September 14, 2020, 07:55:41 PM »
 Firewood took a lot more time than I thought.
Do tell ;D
Vapor drive, the direction moisture moves, is the same direction as heat flow, moisture is piggybacking on the heat flow. Right now heat, and vapor, is probably moving from the attic, to the house. As the season turns the moisture from the house will be following that heat into the attic. It'll be interesting to see if you get an uptic in humidity as you go into heating season.
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An artist uses his brain, his hands, and his heart

Online mudfarmer

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Re: Stupid idea? Using attic heat?
« Reply #51 on: September 15, 2020, 08:07:32 AM »
OH surely y'all can conjure up anything you like
Well if you do geothermal then you gotta put up a net metered solar electric setup to offset the usage. Then you might as well get a battery bank setup to cover you during outages. While you are at it you could build me a shop :-X

Offline mike_belben

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Re: Stupid idea? Using attic heat?
« Reply #52 on: September 15, 2020, 09:44:03 AM »
And dont forget the new truck, trailer, and mini ex youll need for the project too. Youre a new yorker with over half an acre afterall. 
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Offline Gary_C

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Re: Stupid idea? Using attic heat?
« Reply #53 on: September 15, 2020, 01:32:38 PM »

Back in the original post I said I just wanted to grab the air air from the attic and move it into the working space of the shop to Add a little heat, not heat the entire shop 24/7. I don't think it is complicated to move heated air about 50" from the Attic into the working space. 
My attic is ventilated with eave vents and roof vents to keep the attic temps close to outdoor ambient temps. I know it gets somewhat warm in the attic on summer days and I also know it's very little above outdoor temps in the winter days. The problem is the need for warm air is not during the times you need a boost in air temps in your shop.
So I hope you do not spend too much money and effort while exploring your idea until you determine your attic temps at the time you desire additional heat. 
Never take life seriously. Nobody gets out alive anyway.

Offline Old Greenhorn

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Re: Stupid idea? Using attic heat?
« Reply #54 on: September 15, 2020, 03:39:05 PM »
Yup collecting data now. Today at 2pm it was 62 in the shop, 65 outside, and 95 in the attic. That's a good start.
Oscar 328 Band Mill, Husky 450, 372 (Clone), Mule 3010, and too many hand tools. :) Retired and trying to make a living to stay that way. NYLT Certified.
OK, maybe I am the woodcutter now.
I can work with wood, but I am NOT a Woodworker, yet.


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