Masonry Heater FAQ's

Masonry Heaters....The Intelligent Choice

If efficiency, comfort and safety are part of your lifestyle, the time has come for you to consider masonry heating.

Q. What is a Masonry Heater?

A. Masonry Heaters have been used for centuries in nearly every region of the world.  They allow you to burn wood in a very unique efficient and safe way. A fuel load (wood) is burned rapidly and the resulting heat is stored in the masonry mass. The heat then evenly radiates into the room for the next twelve to twenty four hours without overheating your house. If you burn wood fairly rapidly, it is a clean fuel. If you try to burn it more slowly, the fire will change from flaming to smoldering combustion. The burning process is incomplete and produces tar. Atmospheric pollution increases dramatically. This is important if you are planning an energy-efficienthouse. The average energy demand of your house will be quite low. For most conventional woodstoves, this is below their "critical burn rate" or the point where they start to smolder.

Masonry Heaters are a perfect fit! If you need even a small amount of heat, such as between seasons when you simply want to take off the chill, you simply burn a smaller fuel charge – yet still burn it quickly.  The large surface is never too hot to touch. You have a premium radiant heating system with a comfort level that simply cannot be equaled by convection or forced air systems. A Masonry Heater cools slower in a warm environment and faster in a cool environment.

Q. What are the design considerations?

A. Masonry heaters work best in well-insulated homes with open floor plans that allow the heat to radiate freely. A wide range of design options and masonry facades lets you express your unique personal style. Choose from a variety of brick, stone, plaster (stucco), soapstone and tile. You can opt for a small room masonry heater or a massive hearth that includes heated benches and a bake oven. This unit will not only provide essential heat, but will become the heart of the home. Minimum size requirement is 4’ wide by 3’ deep. Your design will need to include a chimney and a foundation.  The design and the size of the heater must be matched to your climate and your home’s heating requirements.

Q. How much wood does a Masonry Heater burn?

A. Depending on the size of the model, a medium heater could heat 1500 to 1800 sq. ft. with a 30 pound load two times daily and a large heater can heat 2000 to 2500 sq. ft. using a 50 pound load one or two times daily. New heaters for the first season use more fuel because moisture in the heaters uses some of the heat energy.  Also, new homes have a higher moisture content and need more heat to feel comfortable. It is important to burn properly dried wood with less than 20 percent moisture that is split to the proper size.

Q. Why does a Masonry Heater cost more than a traditional fireplace or woodstove?

A. Consider a Masonry Heater an investment compared to a masonry fireplace. A Masonry Heater exceeds 60 to 80 percent efficiency based on how well the home is insulated. Part of the cost assures performance. Masonry heaters are complex and we use only the highest quality materials and more than twice the labour to construct as a comparable size fireplace or woodstove. The initial cost is great but the added value and heating convenience and resale value is always greater than the original cost. The aspect of being self sufficient when the hydro goes out cannot be priced in dollars.  A Masonry Heater will not have to be replaced like a conventional furnace.

Q. What are the benefits of Masonry Heaters?

  1.     Efficient, safe and provides an unsurpassable level of comfort.
  2.     At night when the family is sleeping or when you are gone to work, the fire is out but the heat is on.
  3.     Clean heat for people with allergies or asthma – no indoor pollution.
  4.     No power needed to maximize output. You are able to heat your home and cook in your bake oven regardless.
  5.     Never too hot to touch, except the metal and glass doors when the fire is burning.
  6.     Can be custom designed to your needs and décor.
  7.     Value added for resale.
  8.     Beautiful addition to your home that will become the heart of the home.
  9.     Uses renewable fuel. Good for the environment and does not contribute to the greenhouse effect. Requires minimal attention unlike woodstoves that have to be watched and attended to throughout the day and requires LESS wood. You will not feel as though you have been supporting a volcano throughout the heating season.
  10.     Reliable technology that has been used for centuries.
  11.     Unlike other heating sources, bake ovens and heated benches are common with Masonry Heaters.
  12.     Radiant heat is like having a ball of sunshine in your home. The heat produced is the same all day instead of too hot and too cold by turns.