Running Linux Benchmarks Constantly Is Enough To Heat A Home In The Winter
Written by Michael Larabel in Phoronix on 23 November 2015 at 08:42 AM EST. 18 Comments
Earlier this month I wrote about using a Tjernlund 530CFM fan for ventilation of the warm air from the basement computer/server room for Linux benchmarking into my office and the rest of the house for warm air in the winter. After some tweaks last week, I'm quite content with the design and is sufficiently heating the rest of the house so far this winter.

With having 60+ PCs running daily (albeit not constantly, rather dynamically powered on/off throughout the day when needed as arranged by Phoromatic, it's been enough to heat the house! The average temperature is a comfortable 68~70F (20~21C) while this past weekend was the first snowfall with outside temperatures dropping to ~10F / -12C.

My Nest thermostat has confirmed that no energy use has been needed from heater. Aside from the Tjernlund 530CFM M-6 fan pushing air outside of the server room, running just the fan of the ventilation system is distributing the warmer air fine throughout the rest of the house.

The electrical use has dropped to only about 2,000 kWh this past month thanks to not having to run air conditioning for cooling all the systems.

Running 60+ systems isn't more economical than running a gas furnace, but at least with having to do the former, the heat is free. Hopefully this will be self-sustaining all winter! One of the only other tweaks left to this current setup is I ended up ordering a duct silencer/muffler as even with the rheostat, the noise of the Tjernlund M-6 fan has become rather obnoxious. I'll post my thoughts on this duct silencer next weekend.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via

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