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Climate: Cold

“Climate: Cold I”

Can they be heated? If so, what is best method?

Yes. You can use all types of heaters: electric, propane gas, natural gas, kerosene, or wood.

The electric heater is inexpensive to buy, easy to install, clean burning, and uses expensive electricity.

Propane heater is relatively inexpensive and uses portable, bottled gas. A natural gas heater is nearly identical. A kerosene heater burns liquid kerosene with an odor which is objectional to some people. Propane, natural gas, and kerosene heaters are made in unvented or vented styles.The latter allows the combustion products (primarily, water vapor and carbon dioxide–not deadly carbon monoxide) to exit the dome through a small diameter pipe. In the unvented style, those gases are released into the dome, which is not a health problem. Additionally, much of water vapor is driven out by water pressure between the overlapping panels. In especially rainy regions, it might be better to have a vented heater because all the water vapor created would exit.

A wood stove must be vented because one of wood’s combustion products is carbon monoxide.

All heaters must sit on fireproof mat and must be 24″ away from dome’s covering or poles and from any combustibles. If you have a vented heater, you must install the vent pipe by rolling up a door, installing a plywood sheet with insulated pipe fittings, etc. (See the Instruction Manual for details.)

Do you provide fire-retardant material specific for stove cutouts?

No. You can buy standard fire-resistant stove pipe fittings at a hardware store.

“Climate: Cold II”

Is it possible to insulate one of your domes, and what would you recommend?
We make a full liner which creates an insulating dead-air space. You can also insert rigid foam insulation between the liner and the dome.

“Climate: Cold III”

Is it possible to install a wood-burning stove in the middle of the shelter? Can it be sewn into the very top of the dome without compromising the strength of the shell?

Yes, you can cut a hole near the top and you can sew to the covering; you should not cut any closer to a pole than 1′ (to protect the dome from the heat and to maintain its structural strength) and the pipe should be cool enough not to melt the pole or covering. You would have to install this yourself.

See our online instruction manual for details on how to install a wood-burning stove.

What is the maximum height that the chimney can safely go
through the door? What is the height of the door?

About 5′, but you should not have the pipe so close to the pole as to melt it.

“Climate: Cold IV”

Will condensation form on the fabric used in your shelters?

Condensation will form on any surface that is colder than the air that contacts it if the air has a lot of moisture in it. There are four advantages that our shelters have concerning condensation. One, the volume is large; this dilutes the moisture in the air, reducing condensation. Two, the shingling used in the dome allows them to breath. Three, with the dome heated, condensation occurs only far down on the walls, if at all, thus making it difficult to contact this condensation. Four, any condensation that does occur runs down the lower wall onto the ground outside, not onto the floor. The floor is not sewn to the wall. Instead, where the floor meets the wall, the floor continues up the wall about another 6″ and is clipped to and tied up against it. To further keep water out of the dome, there is about a 6″ skirt at the bottom of the wall which directs rain and water away from the dome.

“Climate: Cold V”

Will your PVC pipe frame resist cracking in cold temperatures of -10/-20 below?

Yes. This does not mean the poles will not crack. If you jump on them, hit them against a rock, they will crack– even at room temperature.

“Climate: Rain I”

Do these shelters need a rain fly? How do they perform in a downpour?

They do not need a rain fly because of the shingling. Shingling is accomplished by layering the tarp panels over each other as you would shingle a roof of a house and then “clip” them together. This creates a totally waterproof covering. The points where the Grip Clips are attached also serve as anchoring points for poles and stakes. This is we do here at Shelter Systems. Each panel overlaps the other by 3″ making total overlap of 6″. All seams are under tension by the poles. This keeps the “seams” closed yet allows the structure to breath. They perform excellently in a downpour. People have lived–dryly–for years in our domes in Washington State’s rain forest on the Olympic Peninsula .

“Climate: Rain II”

Which is more waterproof: The Lighthouse yurt or Solardome? And which is more mildew resistant?

They are both equal in degree of being waterproof and mildew resistant.