I'm working on a project to use cool a server with watercooling and use this heat for my house. I'm planning to cool the CPU and memory (maybe GPU). It will host my own websites as well as some services for friends.

Issue 1: home bandwidth is limited.

Issue 2: no calculations = cold house


1: Are there any server tasks which are CPU intensive, but don't require to much bandwidth? (Game server? Video editing?)

2: Folding at home uses spare CPU time. Are there any services like this that will also generate some money? I have looked at Threefold Initiative and Golem, but I'm not sure if you can turn that off fast when a web request comes in...



  • I'd like to mention that, the amount of CPU usage needed to heat your house would be huge; need I say, also you would need more than a few CPU's to do the job. And, anyone needing that much CPU usage would probably simply rent time on a supercomputer. – Alex Dec 7 '18 at 0:41
  • 2. Mining ? Generates (little) money and heat – Jules R Dec 7 '18 at 7:32
  • BOINC is another platform like Folding@home which runs CPU/GPU intensive processing for science. It won't earn any money but it can reward gridcoin. – Romen Jan 2 at 20:06

You are greatly overestimating the power dissipation of modern PC's and underestimating the heating power required. Even the most powerful modern builds with dual CPU and 4 GPU's would generate about 1kW of heat. To heat even a small house you would need at least 10kW, so you would be looking at running at least 10 of those PC's. My Ryzen 1700x build pulls about 150W from the mains when I run compilers at 100% CPU usage.

Which gives me an idea, if you are mostly interested in heating your house than doing useful computation - get some very cheap used motherboards, CPU's and GPU's from old generations, like second generation Intel 2xxx, Nvidia 5xx, 6xx, even something like 9800 which you can get for ~20 USD and just run a cryptocurrency farm on them.

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  • Even if you had enough PCs to generate 10kW of heat (using ~12 kW with 80 - 90% efficiency at best), you're going to consume more electricity than an electric heater that's built for the job (10kW in -> 10kW out, 100% efficient). This plan only makes sense if the computations being performed is worth the cost of the extra electricity consumed. – Romen Jan 2 at 19:56
  • @Romen Not only that, but electric heaters that rely on heat exchange principle rather than direct heating are even more efficient, as you can get 1.5-3kW of heat for 1 kW of electricity. – Jzuken Jan 5 at 19:56
  • So with a heat pump that outputs 3kW of heat per 1kW (best-case scenario), you'd be using 3.33kW to heat a small home at the same output as 12kW of computers! – Romen Jan 6 at 15:08

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