What is a Masonry Heater?
 

A masonry heater is a massive radiant heating appliance that requires its own foundation.  The mass of the heater is needed to withstand the high combustion temperatures and act as a large heat storage battery. 

What are the benefits of a masonry heater?

A masonry heater is the cleanest and safest way to burn cord wood.  The fire reaches temperature in excess of 1000 degrees eliminating the risk of creosote build up.  Masonry heaters generally obtain combustion efficiency of 94% or better.  With such high combustion efficiency the energy from the wood is not sent up the chimney; therefor less wood is used.  Heaters can burn any type of dry cord wood.
Options can also be added to the masonry heater such as: heated benches small ovens and wood storage.

What makes a masonry heater so efficient?

A masonry heater is built out of refractory material so that it can withstand the high temperatures produced by the fire.  An extremely hot fire is allowed to burn uncontrolled in he firebox.  The hot gases exit the firebox ans travel  through a series of channels.  As the gases travel  through the channels the heat is absorbed by the masonry mass and not up the chimney.  The heat is gently released over a 12 to 24 hours.
Masonry heaters are not burned continually, generally once or twice a day.  When residents are sleeping the big heater is slowly and silently radiating its warmth, never getting too hot.