[rescue] Bigger Iron at Home

Sheldon T. Hall shel at cmhcsys.com
Tue Nov 11 13:31:25 CST 2003

 Mike Hebel sez ...

> The problem is that I live in the Midwest where things occasionally get
> _very_ cold.

Time to move!

> I don't think a 160gig IDE drive is going to survive -20 in the garage.
> I'm more concerned about thermal stress on ceramic components in those
> cases though.

Of course, power outages often coincide with winter storms, so this isn't an
unreasonable concern.  If the computers are heating the garage, and the
power goes out ....

However, if the power goes out, the main house has no heat, either, right?
Unless you have a gas-or-oil-fired gravity furnace, or some antique radiator
rig, you have to have electricity to run the heat, even if electricity isn't
the _source_ of the heat.

If you want to make an outbuilding the "machine room," I'd insulate it well
and provide some sort of non-electric heat sufficient to keep the room above
freezing in the coldest expected weather.  You can probably find calculators
on the amount of insulation and BTUs required on the Web, or ask a local
HVAC contractor.  While you're finishing the interior, you can put in real
wiring, etc.  I'm serious about the woodstove, BTW.  I've got a little one
in my office, and I love it.

FWIW, the Owner's Guide says that a loaded Challenge L draws 1500 Watts at
100 VAC and puts out 6,500 BTU/hr.  One of those Italian electric oil-filled
radiators draws 1600 Watts, so I expect the Challenge puts out about the
same amount of heat as one of those.  I expect the _real_ problem is going
to be cooling the place in August, not heating it in January.


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