Are you interested in rocket mass heaters? Maybe you’ve heard the rumors that they may be one of the most efficient ways to heat your home?
The first rocket mass heater prototypes were already described in the 1980’s. Although very similar to a masonry heater, rocket mass heaters are known for being built cheaply with easy-to-find materials and producing heat quicker.
So how does Rocket Mass Heaters work?
One of the key elements in this design is that the fire burns sideways. I know that sounds strange, but what happens is that the heat that rises becomes extremely hot and result in a strong convective current. Next, the hot gasses hit the barrel which absorbs the heat; leaving the gases cool and easier to move around. The gasses that exits are mostly just CO2 and steam. This is why you can enjoy a rocket mass heater even inside a teepee!
Besides being one of the most sustainable ways to heat a house, rocket mass stoves can also be built in just a day or two and with materials costing up to 20 bucks or less! Obviously, the fancier you want it, the more money you're going to have to cough up. But isn't that amazing? Not to mention, the heat from one fire can last for days by being stored in the thermal mass of cob.
Cob is a wonderful thermal mass that consists of subsoil, straw, water and sometimes lime. That's what makes it such a wonderful thermal mass. (Thermal mass, of course, is any material that can absorb and retain heat.) What's amazing about cob is that it is an extremely stable structure and can be molded to form any shape you desire! A natural and organic option.
So let’s take a look at some different examples of rocket mass heaters.
1. Add Design
Salvaged bricks, cob mortar, old salvaged stove pipes, clay, sand, aggregate and mineral insulation! Those are some pretty easy to find materials for building a structure that will efficiently heat your home and keep your feet toasty warm.
2. Luxury Staircase
Here we’ve got an elegant staircase, fireplace, and heated sofa all in one! It creates a dynamic flow to the room, is a big statement piece and will definitely impress guests!
3. Heated Staircase
How luxurious is this design?? A staircase heated by the warmth of your handmade rocket mass heater. Warmed up by using nothing more than old branches you found in your yard.
4. Day Bed
How amazing would this be during those cold winter nights? A toasty warm place to lay down, read your book, and enjoy the cold weather. Some people go for sofas, and some people go for day beds! How lazy do you want to be?
5. Decorated with Rocks
You can class up your rocket mass heater with thermal mass objects like stones and flat rocks. It has a beautiful look when you add your personal touch and a bit of creativity.
As you can see here, there are so many ways you can get artistic with your rocket mass heater. Adding a subtle border with rocks, hanging decorations from the barrel, adding drink holders and comfortable cushions too!
As you can see rocket mass heaters release such a clean output, they are even safe (and used) in outdoor teepee’s! That’s some pretty amazing stuff!
That’s right! A rocket mass heater can even look sleek and modern for your flashy home. Just take a look at how gorgeous this rocket mass heater looks!
9. Greenhouse Heating
10. Shelf Warmth
Warm up your plant shelf for your favorite tropical plants by adding an addition to your rocket mass heater. The clay is enclosed with decorative wood.
Add shelving to your unit so you can have more areas to store and display items that you have collected! How about that rock collection you’ve been saving from all your years of traveling?
A beautiful brick rocket mass heater that has a temperature gauge, an exposed barrel for an industrial look and of course a nice place to sit. My tip would be to add a more comfortable cushion for you to sit on!
So is a rocket mass heater a good option for you? Let's take a look at some of the pros!
- Rocket mass heaters are efficient when looking at the small amount of wood burned compared to the amount of heat gained.
- Low in pollution, this clean heating option keeps you closer to living off the grid and is a great eco-friendly alternative.
- Save money on wood by simply collecting small branches and any scrap wood you can get your hands on.
- Rocket mass heaters look dreamy, unique and beautiful!
Of course, there are always to cons to consider as well…
- Even though rocket mass heaters are efficient for letting off heat all day, they do however take quite a while to get started up. You may have to tend your rocket mass heater every few minutes until you get it going.
- Careful! Your rocket mass heater's barrel is scalding hot so watch out if it is within touching distance!
So now you can decide if you think rocket mass heaters are worthwhile additions to family homes. Make sure you continue do lots of research and ask a professional when you're ready for the go-ahead. Have fun and stay warm!