Rocket Mass Heater Builder's Guide
Complete Step-by-Step Construction, Maintenance and Troubleshooting
by Erica and Ernie Wisner
Heating with wood is often considered a natural and economical alternative to electricity or fossil fuels. However, even with a fairly new and efficient woodstove, many cords of wood are required for burning over the course of a single winter, and incomplete combustion can contribute to poor air quality. A rocket mass heater is an earthen masonry heating system which provides clean, safe, and efficient warmth for your home, all while using 70 to 90 percent less fuel than a traditional woodstove.
These unique and beautiful installations provide luxurious comfort year round. In cold weather a few hours of clean, hot burning can provide twenty or more hours of steady warmth, while the unit's large thermal mass acts as a heat sink, cooling your home on sizzling summer days. Packed with hard-to-find information, The Rocket Mass Heater Builder's Guide includes: comprehensive design, construction, and installation instructions combined with detailed maintenance and troubleshooting advice, plus brick-by-brick layouts, diagrams, and architectural plans augmented with detailed parts drawings and photographs for clarity. The book also includes relevant and up-to-date code information and standards to help you navigate the approval process with local building departments.
Earthen masonry heating systems are well-suited for natural and conventional builders alike. A super-efficient, wood-burning, rocket mass heater can help you dramatically reduce your energy costs while enhancing the beauty, value, and comfort of your home.
Erica Wisner and Ernie Wisner have built over seven hundred super-efficient, clean-burning masonry stoves. They are dedicated to the search for sustainable solutions and the hands-on teaching of creative, ecological, and practical skills.
Better Wood Heat
DIY Rocket Mass Heaters 4 DVD Set
with Paul Wheaton
Rocket mass heaters are cheap to run -- about a tenth the cost of natural gas, electric or conventional wood heat. They burn clean, emitting about a hundredth of the smoke of a conventional wood stove. And they are good for the environment, contributing less than 2% of the CO2 emissions of natural gas or electric heat. You can reduce your carbon footprint as much as parking seven cars. Rocket mass stoves are also sustainable, using renewable fuel which is easy to find and store. Equally important, they are economical to build, typically costing just $200 to $600 in materials, and a heater can often be constructed in a weekend. Rocket mass heaters are luxuriant, offering warm, gentle heat that lasts and lasts. Continue below for descriptions for each of the four dvds:
DVD One: Cob Style
If a person was going to get just one DVD, this would be the one. A cob style rocket mass heater is "the old reliable". We have two projects to demonstrate this technique. One in a log home and one in a tipi. We put one in a tipi as part of an experiment to test how warm a person can be with a rocket mass heater and zero insulation. We interview the couple that stayed in the tipi for the first winter, with a strong focus on how comfortable they were when it was 26 degrees below zero.
This DVD will also be available as a standalone DVD. We tried to make this DVD dual purpose. Something that could fit within the new 4-DVD set, and something that could fit for people that want just one DVD.
DVD Two: Pebble Style
We will show the construction of three pebble style rocket mass heaters. The difference with these is that the mass is usually a wood bench filled with pebbles and rocks. A different aesthetic. These designs are (relative to cob style) easy to move and modify. They also tend to be lighter, thus, better for installing in places that have a wood floor.
DVD Three: Shippable Core
The kickstarter from two years ago showed an early prototype. We were certain that by the time the video came out, people could buy a shippable core and plug it in. In the time that has passed, that didn't happen. We ended up releasing a variety of information on how to make your own - and now, in this video, we supply the "how to" video for a variety of techniques.
DVD Four: Innovators Event
Last fall we put on an event where Ernie and Erica invited several rocket mass heater innovators that they thought were the best in the world. Each innovator was provided with the materials to create whatever they wanted. The results were: "the ring of fire" - a rocket mass heater shaped in a circle with glass to show the burn; an outdoor rocket mass heater/cooker/smoker; A "batch box style" rocket mass heater with measured output cleaner than anything we have ever encountered; An indoor rocket stove, griddle and water heater.
Purchase All Four DVDs
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