MASONRY HEATER ADVANTAGES
Why would you consider having one? For the kids and animals in your home, a heater is safer. There are no hot spots to cause severe burns, with the exception of the doors during a firing cycle.
Masonry heaters are cleaner burning. Indoor air quality is not compromised (e.g. from burnt lint, dust, or hair, etc). The masonry heater has less impact on outdoor air quality as well, second only to certified pellet stoves. Heaters are loved by people with asthma, allergies, hay fever, etc. because they do not compromise their quality of life. Heaters are also better for your family's health and the health of our fragile planet. Absolutely, a masonry heater is a responsible heat source to consider for your home.
Are masonry heaters cost effective? Very much so. With an average investment of $12,000.00 to $18,000.00, I have clients who have cut their gas costs from $600.00 a month to $600.00 a year and only added the cost of 21/2 to 3 cords of solid fuel (cord wood) to heat an average 2,000 sq. ft. home. Your investment is paid back in 10 to 12 years.
Other notable advantages of masonry heaters are their ease of operation and the fact that they are virtually maintenance free. Of the 500 plus heaters I have designed and built over the past 30+ years, less than 10 have had to have any minor repairs (broken glass in door or 5 – 6 firebrick failed). However, I stopped using that brand of firebrick 20 years ago and that put an end to the problem. The most frequent problem I have encountered over the years has been the air supply, for combustion. It is easy for air to become blocked by ash inside, or at the outside ducts where grass, leaves, cob webs, snow/ice or storage boxes placed over the screened vent can block the air supply.
I have had only two clients who experienced creosote, one was caused by wet wood. The air supply was also blocked by 4 ft. of snow, which had slid off the roof. This happened in the first year because the client failed to get a dry wood supply and did not realize the air inlet at ground level could pose a problem. In the second case, the client used old wet lumber for the first two months then, when a new dry wood supply was used, it ignited the creosote and burnt it out. In both cases no damage to the masonry heater was evident.
Are some styles better than others? Absolutely not! Style is dependent on several things like the look you want or the size of the space that needs to be heated, if you want large, small or average-sized doors, ovens, heated benches, base or top vent or a look thru. These are all options that dictate what will work best for your project.
Is a calculated model (to European standards) a better heater than a typical repeatable model? Absolutely not, it is a personal preference. What works for you? 25% of my heaters are calculated, 25% custom (one of a kind) and 50% are cookie cutter repeats. There is no difference in performance. If there were, I would discontinue the heaters that did not perform. Don't believe the used car, high pressure type sales person that states that his is the best or that only one style (brand) is best. It is simply not true. I see a greater degree of variation in a heater model's performance due to poor fuel, user habits (experience) or poor location for best output (because of limited space or clients' insistence).
Does facing have an impact on performance? Yes, somewhat, but not enough to make you change the esthetic appeal you desire.
So, consider being responsible, "Build Green" and make the smart choice. Choose, or at least consider, an old technology. The Masonry Heater is considered by the EPA as a mature technology and a very clean burning appliance.
For more information check out our Comparison Sheet and Reference Letters or contact us at any time.
References are always given.