Heated earthbag benches and beds will stay cozy and warm even on the coldest nights.

Heated earthbag benches and beds will stay cozy and warm even on the coldest nights.

Imagine having a toasty place to sit or sleep in the dead of winter. It’s fairly easy to make heated earthbag benches and beds. All you do is run PEX or copper tubing between courses of bags. The bench or bed could be heated from a water jacket on a wood stove or you could just tap into one of your hot water lines. Final bench size is usually about 15” high x 18”-24” deep, but you can make any size you want. You can make the bench as fancy as you want – add a sloping backrest, embed objects in the plaster, add cushions and so on. This is a great way to use thermal mass to store heat inside your home.

The drawing was edited with input from readers. Special thanks to Robin and r_w for their suggestions. I was thinking about how to store lots of heat in extremely cold climates, but their tubing method is simpler and probably good enough for most cases.

Related:
Earthbag Benches: The Perfect Starter Project
Zero Energy One house plan: lots of similar strategies that create a zero or near zero energy home


Comments

Heated Earthbag Benches and Beds — 6 Comments

  1. If your main heating system is radiant floor, this could just be tied in with that. Solar HW plus woodstove (when needed) would be an easy way to heat the water for the radiant floor/bench…

  2. This is one place that a modern material like PEX tubing is perfect. You will probably have to cap it and pressurize it before packing the earthbags, but it is considerably cheaper than copper and much easier to work with overall.

    In the right climate, you could use solar to heat the water in the day to let the mass release the heat all night.

  3. I see that water is the perfect medium for storing heat but If you just used pipes and maybe a homemade heat sink you could build any shape or form as long as you can bend pipes.

    Or is there more advantages in using water in a tank.

    • That’s another good method that’s even easier, except you don’t need to bend pipes (unless you’re using copper tubing). You could use standard pipe fittings (elbows) to turn the corners. Maybe I’ll draw that detail for clarity. Thanks for sharing. Using pipes instead of a custom made tank is simpler for most and still provides plenty of heat.

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