We have been researching them for a few years. Do you have one? does it work pretty well?
We're putting one into new house construction.
Cyn I don't have one, satisfied for the moment with two wood stoves, (Hearthstone Phoenix and Quadra-fire Isle Royale). But I have looked at them extensively as well. I was thinking about retrofitting one into one of my existing fireplaces but for the cost of the heater I can put in a gasifying wood boiler and accumulator tank which for my situation will be more cost effective.
I would much rather have a masonry heater since they are completely passive and basically last forever. I got to see a few of them this past weekend during the National Green Buildings open house and really thought twice about trying to shoehorn one into my chimney but I don't think it will work for the money.
For yourself with new construction it should be much easier to plan and build an appropriate heater. Your house looks great and given your somewhat open floor plan I think a heater would be a good fit.
One of the things which I did in my research was to Google search terms like "our masonry heater", "my masonry heater", "our kachelofen" etc. If you do you can find some more personal stories about how people have done this. I really wanted to go for a 'Sesselherd' type design from Germany which incorporates a cooktop, bake-oven and heater but as I noted the retrofit is less than ideal compared to new construction. Good luck
We are going with the contraflow. There are two types that Im aware of. In the contraflow the channels go up and down instead of side to side.
Ill have to see if they are having a convention near where I live. John would love to see one.
I agree I dont think it would work in a exsisting fireplace. The channels are designed to make the heat absorb into the masonary where a fireplace most of the heat goes up the chimmney.IF anyone doesnt know that is reading this there is NOTHING left when its done burning and very little(if any) ash or creosote.
We have 11 acres of trees so we will have lots of brush and wood to burn.
From what I read a lot of people use the muti fuctioning MH but they are less efficent with anything you add to them. We considered adding a bake oven, but decided against as of now. LOL
Our stove will be round as it fits to the space better.
Thanks for the compliment on the house. Its very modest compared to pictures here I see being built. Its a house on a shoestring budget. The rising price of fuel is the reason for the stove.We are also using (propane heated) hotwater radiant infloor. Hopefully the stove will work and we wont need to buy a lot of fuel.
Thanks for responding.
Cyn, the 2007 Green Buildings Open House has come and gone until the first Saturday of next October. But I think if you click the link I left and go to your state you can see the list of homes which were on it and then look for the ones with masonry heaters. Most of these have address and contact information so you might be able to find people in your state or ones close by who have them. All of the people I met on the tour were very friendly and wanted to talk about their renewable energy choices.
As you note there is some loss of heating efficiency when adding cooktops but not much for a bakeoven and considering the pretty stiff cost of a heater it might make some sense to look at added functionality, especially since the bakeovens are initially hot, (450-500, great for pizza), but then cool to around 200-300 for several hours which is basically like a slow cooker. This is especially true for a 'white' oven which is out of the flame path. I would also consider some type of nook or warming bench.
Biofire makes some really nice round heaters, but all of theirs are custom designs. Believe it or not there are some decent heaters which can fit in a fireplace with some small modifications, (Look up Frisch-Rosin), but I was talking about taking down one of mine and re-lining the flue. Again good luck, you appear to have given this a lot of thoughtful consideration.
Here is a link that might be useful: 2007 Solar tour listings