Wisdom Of The Ancients

Heating a home can be done in various ways.  Those of us who are into sustainability and going off grid know about rocket stoves, masonry heaters, cast iron stoves, fireplaces and many more options. But heating and cooling in general has become an item strictly planned as something to do with electricity or gas in today’s world.stove1

Obviously, the invention and use of the electric or gas heater is marketed very good!  But today, we have all these energy sucking appliances we’ve been so focused on moving 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 in the present.

This next idea… an idea born long long ago, which instead of using a little burning or hot box to heat your home, puts the fire under your house, and heats the whole thing is simply as beautiful as it is simple.

Ondol-diagramThe Korean’s called this an ondol: Wikipedia says that: An ondol (온돌), a unique integral part of the traditional architecture in Korea, is an underfloor heating system. When we stoke the fire in the stove (agungi; 아궁이), the heat transfers to the stone (gudeuljang; 구들장) 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.  A terrific idea, unless obviously if you are living in a wooden home!

Hypocaust 1

Ondol 1Your home must be sustainable, fire proof, and long lasting, stone, brick, or mortar to handle the heat from underneath and not be a firetrap.

Now let’s take what we know as we think and plan out our future homes, and 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.

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