Do Worm Bins Generate Heat?

by Carl
(Pasedena, CA)

I was wondering if I started several containers in the fall and placed them in my basement if they would generate supplemental heat for the house or the room that they would be sitting in? I am asking for any off-the-grid ideas that have relationships to the activity of life, specifically, the harmony between mankind and the natual world.

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Mar 06, 2012
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Do Worm Bins Generate Heat?
by: Pauly

Carl,

I here ya and I feel ya man! I really do. But I'll be the first one to tell you that this would not be practical. Albeit, not impossible and if someone would want to try this to prove me wrong...I would love to see it!

Worm bins do in fact generate heat due to the thermophilic process caused by many microorganisms breaking down the energy stored in the food.

These dormant thermophiles come alive when they start to consume the energy stored in organic waste.

However, once the energy is completely consumed the worms can now move in and consume the microorganisms.

This is where I might blow a little hole (I said a little hole) in the practicality of the "Worm Bin Heater".

Most worm bins are not like some compost heaps you find out on a farm or a nursery. These are in very large heaps and can get up to 140 degrees F. Some may even go into the hyperthermophilic temps which can catch on fire.

But if you were to line up buckets/worm bins of compost all around the basement, like radiators in grandpa's day, you may not get much more heat than what a human would put off which is somewhere around 500 BTU (British Thermal Units).

If you wanted to keep temps at, let's say 110 degrees F. inside the worm bins then you have two problems. 1. Maintaining the heat and 2. Letting it cool off to let the worms eat it to generate castings. I guess you could rotate every other bin and keep the heat going all winter.

But you have even more problems than that though. You will have to let the bin breathe to keep your worms alive and the thermophilic process going and man that would really stink things up quite a bit.

Then you would have to go through a lot more food than what you and your family could keep up with, assuming your family stuck around that long. I suggest clothes pins for their noses :-)

Anyway, This is where it all starts Carl, and this is how we went to the moon! Keep Dream'n my friend...Keep Dream'n. We need more people like you in the world.

Pauly

PS I have to say I really had fun with this question. Keeps us challenged and thinking.



Mar 12, 2012
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You do not want heat from your worm bins!
by: TexasReds

If you are noticing heat coming from your worm
bin(s)too much green matter has been added at once.

I killed a couple bins of "my little fishing buddies (tm)" before this was pointed out to me.

The solution is to add new "worm chow" in corners or at ends instead of all over the surface. This gives our friends a place to escape to if the area overheats.

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