Heating the Crawl Space of Your Home, Cabin or Shed with a Rocket Mass Heater to Keep Your Home Warm During the Coldest Polar Vortex
What is a rocket mass heater?
A rocket mass heater a hyper efficient wood stove that uses far less wood to get a far more effective result, whether it’s heating or cooking. It grew out of efforts in developing countries to build a more fuel efficient, safer cooking stove and it has since morphed into an idea that could eventually replace your furnace.
When building your first off grid cabin, one of the chief concerns is what is the best to heat it. Most people rely entirely on wood fuel. A regular wood burning stove will make a big dent in the precious wood pile. But not with a rocket mass heater. For those who haven’t encountered one before, the rocket mass heater (RMH) is a well proven though not widely used way to burn wood very efficiently, and then capture all the heat produced, in a mass – normally a bench or bed – by passing the flue horizontally through it. (see below)
First it burns small fuel, which we typically don’t use in our range cooker. Secondly, it burns very efficiently and thus cleanly, so less fuel is required. Most people are a little skeptical about the claims made for RMHs, especially the cleanliness of the exhaust and the temperatures that could be reached inside the burner, but they are indeed very true.
Most will require a 20ft horizontal flue, heat retaining bench that snakes its way around the crawl space underneath the cabin and a 50 gallon steel drum needs to be designed as part of a building as outlined in the diagram above. It would be smart to build this at the same time your build your home or cabin.
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