Masonry Heaters: Designing, Building, and Living with a Piece of the Sun

Masonry Heaters: Designing, Building, and Living with a Piece of the Sun

by Ken Matesz, Albie Barden

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Overview

Masonry Heaters is a complete guide to designing and living with one of the oldest, and yet one of the newest, heating devices. A masonry heater’s design, placement in the home, and luxurious radiant heat redefine the hearth for the modern era, turning it into a piece of the sun right inside the home. Like the feeling one gets from the sun on a spring day, the environment around a masonry heater feels fresh. The radiant heat feels better on the skin. It warms the home both gently and efficiently. In fact, the value of a masonry heater lies in its durability, quality, serviceability, dependability, and health-supporting features. And it is an investment in self-sufficiency and freedom from fossil fuels.

The book discusses different masonry heater designs, including variations extant in Europe, and explains the growth of their popularity in the United States beginning in the late 1970s. For the reader who may be familiar only with open fireplaces and metal woodstoves, Masonry Heaters will bring a new understanding and appreciation of massive heat storage and gentle-but-persistent radiant heat. Masonry heaters offer a unique comfort that is superior to that from convection heat from forced-air systems, and more personal than that offered by “radiant” floors. As Matesz demonstrates, the heat from the sun or from a masonry heater is genuine heat instead of just insulation against the loss of heat.

Those who are looking to build, add onto, or remodel a house will find comprehensive and practical advice for designing and installing a masonry heater, including detailed discussion of materials, code considerations, and many photos and illustrations. While this is not a do-it-yourself guide for building a masonry heater, it provides facts every heater builder should know. Professional contractors will find this a useful tool to consult, and homeowners considering a new method of home heating will find all they need to know about masonry heaters within these pages.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781603583114
Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing
Publication date: 09/07/2010
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 352
File size: 29 MB
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About the Author

Ken Matesz first learned about masonry heaters in the early 1980s, built his first one in the early 1990s, and opened the Masonry Heater Store, LLC after the turn of the new century. Matesz's first solo heater project in 1994, a Finnish-style heater in his own home, gave his family heating energy independence. Now, with his new book, Masonry Heaters, he hopes to show many others how they can achieve the same freedom and a better standard of living using this simple but elegant way of heating. He lives in Swanton, Ohio.



Table of Contents

Foreword / Albie Barden
Introduction : What is a masonry heater?
Part 1. Redefining the Hearth
The hearth is the resaon for the house
A brief history of fire and hot rocks in North America
Thermal comfort : The vertical radiant advantage
Benefits of masonry heaters
Part 2. Designing a Piece of the Sun
Location
Design options
Heating requirements of the house
Part 3. Building a Piece of the Sun
The inner life : Cores and flues
Codes, clearances, footers, and foundations
Part 4. Living with a Piece of the Sun
Fuel to burn
Using a masonry heater, bakeoven, and cookstove
Masonry heater maintenance
Appendices
A. Resources
B. R-values of common building materials
C. Elevation and outside design temperatures for various cities
D. Heating degree days of various cities

What People are Saying About This

Richard Heinberg

When I travel in the Northern states of the U.S.--particularly New England, where most people depend on heating with oil--I fear for these millions of folks for whom depleting, climate-changing fossil fuels are all that stand between winter comfort on one hand, and death by freezing on the other. Masonry Heaters explores one of the most promising alternatives, and its message needs to get out far and wide, and fast.
— Richard Heinberg, Senior Fellow, Post Carbon Institute and Author of The Party's Over: Oil, War and the Fate of Industrial Societies

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