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Should people in the northern hemisphere start considering mining bitcoin to heat their homes durrng the winter months?

Very brief, saw a blip of an article on cnn a few minutes ago that suggests heating costs for natural gas could go up 180% this fall. Was thinking if individual households started mining btc with something like ant miners, would it be a cost effective alternative to just burning gas to heat your home? Theres some math to do, but I figured folks here might like to put their 2 cents into the concept.

Thoughts? Is this totally dumb or just clever enough to pat off?

Edit: also the article if it even matters. https://www.cnn.com/2021/09/28/business/natural-gas-inflation/index.html



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41 Comments

  1. I did this last winter. Worked really well. Kept the 3600sq/ft house at around 68+F while it was -40F outside. The basement got so hot I had to crack the windows during the “warmer” days. The only downside was my $2k electric bill (0.068/kwhr). My gas bill to heat the house with my boiler usually runs around $300/mo in the winter. Tradeoffs…

  2. It needs to be stated over and over: no this is not a good idea. Heat pumps are vastly more efficient than resistive heaters, which all computers including ASICS are. Resistive heating seems really efficient at 100%, which means every unit of electricity is converted to heat.

    Until you realize that heat pumps are 500% efficient, meaning every unit of electricity moves 5x that much heat from outside to in.

    So heat your house with a heat pump and separately decide whether your electrical rate is worth it to mine Bitcoin. If you’re over 10c kWh then reconsider.

    However moving to heat pumps is great advice. Heat pump water heaters for example use 1/5 the energy of regular electrical water heaters (2kwh vs 10kwh per day average). In practice heat pump water heaters are actually significantly water than, usually using 1-2kwh per day.

    This is not to say that IF your electrical rate supports it then you could use the machine to heat your space and get a heat pump for the remainder of your heating needs.

  3. I have already seen videos of someone in, I think it was, Texas.
    Makes not much sense for me though, either you optimize to heat a place or you optimize bitcoin mining. sure you can do both but it s quite an expensive and noisy heating, if you buy 10-20 Antminers.

  4. The issue is energy, not the convertion of gas to electric to heat. Technically it might be slightly cheaper to use miners compared to resistive electric heating, but a heat pump will be better. Private home gas heating is mostly central heating through a water boiler. Bitcoin miners are noisy and heat air . Not a trivial coversion.

  5. You do realize that hemisphere doesn’t matter, right? Generally speaking, the further away from the equator you are – north OR south – the colder it is. This is why the Arctic and the Antarctic are cold.

  6. and after the 3-4 cold months are over, then what? you need to run them 24/7 365 to have any hope of breaking even. and you need a system to exhaust, deliver, and adjust the heat. and they’re loud.

  7. Energy is better spent running a heat pump. If you don’t have one of those or a furnace and you’re using resistive element heating, then yeah the energy spent per heat will be the same when you run miners instead, with the added bonus of getting some BTC out of it. Probably best to spend the money on that heat pump though.

  8. There is a noticable hot spot in my place near my rigs. Only have 3 gpus so I bet it could work if you had a significant farm going! Definitely not something everyone could afford with the upfront cost though.

  9. You’d need a ton of miners to keep your house warm, and it would be noisy as hell. It’s also difficult to adjust the ambient temperature in the home.

    If you are thinking of going down this route, I’d recommend keeping your miners few enough that you actually need to add extra heat through a furnace or whatever. Otherwise you’ll end up in a situation where you’ve got to turn off your miners periodically to bring the temp of the house down to bearable.

  10. I did this all of last winter, but didn’t pay for my electricity. This winter I’ll have to pay my own electricity (and electric heat) so I’m thinking it might be a worth starting it back up.

  11. Not a new idea – [https://www.coindesk.com/markets/2019/08/23/bitcoin-miners-are-heating-homes-free-of-charge-in-frigid-siberia/](https://www.coindesk.com/markets/2019/08/23/bitcoin-miners-are-heating-homes-free-of-charge-in-frigid-siberia/)

    I only have a two-GPU mining rig, but so far this autumn, it’s kept my living room noticeably warmer than the rest of the flat, I haven’t yet used my central heating. However during summer I only had one GPU, and my flat was already too hot. Concept is sound in seriously cold countries, but the UK is not cold enough, I think you’d have to idle your rig for more than half the year.

What do you think?

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