Masonry heaters

frenchgirl2838February 1, 2005

Is anyone familiar with these? Cost to construct? Size? I found a few sites discussing them but I've never heard of them till recently. One of the sites was for a mason that sold Swedish tile stoves and made masonry heaters. I emailed for more information and haven't heard back.

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Masonary heaters have a snake-like flue before the chimmney so as to transfer a maximum amout of heat from the combution gases to the stone/bricks. The idea is to warm up the stone/bricks and then the stone/bricks will radiate the heat into your house. Most properly designed masonay heaters put combustion air where it is needed most and burn hot so they are very clean burning & EPA certified as such.

For masonary heaters to effectively radiate heat for hours after the fire has gone out they need a lot of thermal mass which means a lot of stone/bricks - 2000 pounds as an absolute minimum. You will need to make sure the floor structure can support all the weight.

Since masonay heaters work on the principle of radiation they are best put in the center of a house. Placement on an outside wall should be avoided.

Here is one brand:

    Bookmark   February 5, 2005 at 11:15PM
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nra4, thanks, I'm still curious to know if anyone here has installed one and how they like it. I did some more reading on them and it looks like it's kind of hard to even find a mason to make one. Thanks again

    Bookmark   February 6, 2005 at 8:10AM
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I have one that I built myself out of rock. It is very large. The snake-like flues go thru a big sand-filled chamber. I use it only during the coldest weather and my normal woodstove the rest of the time during winter and fall, etc.

One really excellent use I have found for the rock stove is baking bread! It works great and gives me a reason to fire it up more often.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2005 at 10:37AM
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check out this webpage shows alot of different masonry heaters. also check out tempcast. we are planning a masonry heater also and are wondering if it is overkill with radiant heat in part of the house. but we love the tulikivi type look. good luck

    Bookmark   February 6, 2005 at 3:34PM
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kellywa, thanks for that link. I hadn't seen it before. And Herb, that sounds interesting that you built it yourself. How easy it to maintain? The support underneath the unit I guess wouldn't be such a problem if it's planned for. I still like the look of the Finnish style tile heaters that first got my started on this, though.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2005 at 10:03AM
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The only maintenance that I can think of is shoveling out the ashes once in awhile. It cracked in a few places and sand started trickling out, but I just caulked the cracks. It's only real fault is that I didn't have high temp mortar -- couldn't find any -- and used a regular mortar mix. So in the fire box proper there is some deterioration of the mortar joints due to heat. But I more or less knew that would happen and planned it so the large pieces of basalt would not move or fall apart or anything like that. It is very solid.

As to weight: My stove is built directly on the ground in the middle of my house. I don't have a basement (just a root cellar) so that was no problem. The ground here is pure sand which doesn't settle or compress. This stove weighs TONS and could NOT be built on any normal floor.

As I mentioned, baking bread in it is a great fringe benefit, and you'll be happy to know my best recipe is for French bread!

    Bookmark   February 7, 2005 at 11:48AM
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heeheehhee. I can't cook to save my life and what little I can manage wouldn't work in one of those!! LOL

    Bookmark   February 7, 2005 at 1:36PM
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