Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Yurt Setup, Day 2 - Climate Control!

Last night, my first in the new yurt, was beautiful and just as cold as sleeping in my van. Today, I reaped the rewards of all the planning and preparing that I did over the last few weeks. The wood stove went in without a single hitch.

First, I mounted the pipe strap and the insulated section of pipe that goes through the roof.

Then I tied a rope onto the vinyl cover and hoisted it up onto the roof.

Whiz, bang, pow! The cover went over the pipe and rest of the system snapped together like it was supposed to.

Then I applied the very messy and not-water-soluble heat-resistant sealant before taping down the rubber flange. Note to self: do everything possible before applying a greasy, sticky caulk or you will get it on your sleeves and everything else that comes anywhere near it for the rest of the project.

After the caulk had set it was time for a smoky test fire to see how the chimney draws. Very well, and with no leaks. Yes!

Then I built a real fire to start drying out the damp felts and to start learning to regulate the new stove.

I learned that it's very easy to heat the yurt to what feels like 100 degrees inside, even with a 2" air gap around the whole bottom of the wall. I don't have a thermometer so I don't know the real temperature. I just know that I would have been sweating even if I was buck naked.

(I forgot to take a picture of the vinyl cover folded back for ventilation.)

And, by design, it's just as easy to control the temperature if it's not raining by opening the top cover. (This is simple to do by standing on a chair in front of the stove.)

In an extreme case, I can then open the front door and let convection cool it down in a hurry. The shape of the yurt makes the whole thing act like a giant chimney, pulling in cold air as the hottest air escapes through the top.

Cooling it down in the rain is another challenge for another day. It will involve lifting the edge of the vinyl cover without folding it over.

This walls don't go all the way to the ground. When there's rain on the deck, I don't want the felt absorbing it to become wet and heavy while moistening the camel hide lattice ties and allowing them to stretch. This combination could very well lead to failure of the walls, which hold up the whole yurt.

Instead, there's a 2" gap between the felts and the deck.

The gap, before attaching the skirt.

...and after.

Notice that this isn't a perfect seal against air. It doesn't need to be. A little gap down there will help the yurt to breathe.

In Mongolia, this bottom skirt is used to protect the wall canvas from animal waste, giving a section that's easy to clean. In Oregon, it cuts down on floor drafts and gives an area to receive dirty splashes from the rain.

Tonight I'm sleeping on top of the covers to start with because the space is very warm, even with just a tiny fire and with the vinyl cover open.

There are lots of "next steps" in this project, but at least now I have a warm, dry indoor space to call my own.


Cindie said...

This has been an amazing process to watch - what a nice comfy home.

SeattleSuze said...

Congratulations! I've loved watching you put this together. Will you have windows? It's so beautiful and clearly made for much success in your weaving to come.

Katie said...

Beautiful. I love the complex simplicity of it.

BloggerPlus App said...

Thanks for the positive feedback. I write this blog to inspire others to follow in my footsteps and maybe avoid a few of my problems.

There won't be any windows. They create an insulation difficulty. I'm designing my life around this fact and making sure that I get plenty of sunlight in my outdoor time hiking, gardening, doing yoga, etc. When the summer comes, I think I'll be glad for a dark place with thick wool walls.