Advantages of safe, clean and efficient wood heat
Masonry heaters provide heat that is safe and healthy
Residential wood-burning appliances need to be safe, clean and efficient, but also should be healthy. Masonry heaters, by the way they are designed, provide heat that is safe and healthy, and save money compared to other wood-burning devices.
Masonry heaters are designed to burn fuel at its maximum efficiency. To properly burn wood, you need a flame temperature above 1,100 degrees Fahrenheit, a liberal air supply, and a good, dry fuel source such as split cordwood. Combustion temperatures this high burn up creosote in the firebox, preventing any buildup on flue walls. The heat produced by these high temperatures is stored in the masonry mass, and then gently and evenly released into a residence, business or office as radiant heat. A properly designed masonry heater can warm your home on one or two fires a day, eliminating the need for constant stoking.
Think of a masonry heater as a large warm rock in a home. It is a high-mass heat storage system. Short, hot fires generate tremendous amounts of heat, which is then stored in the masonry, to be slowly and evenly released into your home.
Masonry heaters are true radiant heating systems, and there is very little temperature stratification in the home. Since radiant heat warms objects directly, you feel warmer over a wider range of air temperature. It’s like experiencing a sunny day and that feeling of well-being that your body intuitively recognizes.
The design and size of the heater must be matched to our climate and your home’s heating requirements. Since the heat retention and output of the masonry heater are predictable, your heater builder can design a system that fits the homeowner’s needs.
Originally published in Masonry magazine.
About the Author
Founded in 1987, the Masonry Heater Association of North America is a non-profit organization dedicated to serving the interest of the masonry heating industry and its clients. Visit www.mha-net.org for more information.