Masonry heaters are wood stoves with a welded steel or cast iron housing replaced by bricks and mortar. They are very efficient for heating an entire house. They are very efficient at heating an entire house and produce much higher temperatures with their fuel than standard metal stoves. Like all forms of heating, they have certain advantages and disadvantages.
With all the different heating technologies available today, it can be difficult to make a decision about which system best suits your personal heating needs. Below is a description of the advantages and disadvantages of the main types of systems, along with the range of heat outputs of each system, the allowable emissions, and a general price range of a typical unit. Additional information can be found in the links and resources on the left of the page. Here, we focus on wood stoves, pellet stoves, fireplaces, masonry heaters, and boilers.
When considering what type of equipment is best for you, the most important thing is to select the cleanest burning equipment in its class, sizing it and placing it properly for your heating needs.
Masonry heaterschannel the hot exhaust of the fire through a winding path of chimneys integrated into the mass, heating every ounce of that enormous structure. Contemporary manufacturers of rocket mass heaters tend to opt for designs that also function as built-in furniture, such as benches, sofas, platforms for beds or warm heated floors. Once the fire is extinguished and no more heat is absorbed, the heat stored in the mass begins to migrate to the outside of the masonry heater.
Ken Matesz attributes his long history of building masonry heaters to his desire to avoid chopping wood. As a designer of masonry heaters, my goal is to incorporate the right amount of surface for heat exchange. One or two small, hot fire pits per day will keep the heater warm with comfortable, even heat that radiates in all directions. A masonry heater always burns wood at the highest temperature, if you want less heat, just use less wood.
Anyone knows of a masonry heater that is also used to heat a sauna (up to 180 degrees), as well as many other living environments. If you're thinking about sustainable wood heating, it's worth researching the potential of rocket-type mass heaters for your next project. Without thermal storage, every time the house needs heating, the heater is turned on, which means that the heater is turned on and off quite often. One of the great advantages of using a masonry heater is that it is just as effective and efficient regardless of the type of wood used as fuel.
This isn't a problem with a masonry heater, where all the fuel burns quickly and at high temperatures with the right amount of oxygen for clean burning. The effect of such clean burning, combined with the capacity designed by a masonry heater to store the heat of combustion, provides an additional advantage, since it uses less wood than you might think. He used 8 to 10 wooden ropes to heat his house each year with a cast-iron wood stove, while I used 4 to 5 cables in my masonry heater.