Traditional masonry heaters are trending for sustainable home heating
The ancient technology of a masonry heater offers the most comfortable way of heating with wood. As North Americans look for greater home heating comfort, they are looking to masonry heaters.
Masonry heaters work by circulating the fire’s hot flue exhaust through a series of channels in the surrounding masonry, which greatly reduces the temperature of the exhaust leaving the chimney. Masonry heaters burn hot and fast for clean combustion and high efficiency.
“A masonry heater allows you to heat your home with wood in a unique way,” says Douglas Hargrave, a distributor for Tulikivi fireplaces in Madison, VA (http://www.VirginiaRadiant.com). “What distinguishes a masonry heater, such as a Tulikivi soapstone fireplace, is the ability to store large amounts of heat energy from the fire in its thermal mass, and then slowly radiate that heat into the home for the next 12 to 24 hours after the fire has gone out.”
The reasons more homeowners are basking in the warmth of masonry heaters, according to Tulikivi, are:
More people are heating with wood. According to the Alliance for Green Heat, U.S. census figures show the number of people heating with wood grew 34 percent between 2000 and 2010, faster than any other heating fuel.
Clean, green, efficient heat. Consumers enjoy the ambiance of a real wood-burning fireplace, yet know they are heating their homes cleanly, using a renewable resource in a highly efficient manner.
Even comfort. Like a miniature “sun,” heat energy radiates from the masonry heater raising the temperature of all the solid surfaces that it “shines” on. These surfaces then gently warm and stabilize the home’s air temperature.
Wake up warm. Because the thermal mass of the heater stores large amounts of heat and disperses it evenly over time, the warmth can last from 18 to 24 hours. A homeowner can build a fire after dinner, sleep comfortably without concern about flames and wake up warm the next morning.
Convenient. Traditional woodstoves and fireplaces need to be continuously supplied with fuel for constant heat. Notes Hargrave: “With a Tulikivi fireplace you may only have to make one fire a day. You don’t need to worry about constantly feeding the fire to stay warm.”
No power, no problem. A masonry heater can provide a reassuring source of heat during power outages. Some Tulikivi models, Hargrave adds, offer cookstoves and bakeovens, providing both hot meals and heat even when there is no electricity.
“I’ve been involved with masonry heating for over 25 years,” Hargrave said. “I believe a Tulikivi is the most comfortable and environmentally friendly home heating system available today. Tulikivi has taken what is a highly efficient, centuries-old technology and improved on it with modern engineering. This enables Tulikivi to meet the strictest worldwide emission standards, while maintaining the ambiance of the traditional wood burning fireplace.”
Read more about energy-efficient heating and cooling.