The heater’s masonry mass, made of soapstone, brick, tile, clay or other masonry material, is a network of heat exchange channels made of either firebrick or stone. Instead of venting directly through the flue into the outside air, the hot gases created by the fire flow through the channels, which absorb and gently release heat for as long as 24 hours. This network of channels is the heart of the masonry heater concept. When viewed schematically, it becomes clear that the channels allow the hot gases to traverse back and forth as they ascend, warming the masonry until they exit. The heater’s exterior stays at a constant comfortably warm temperature throughout the day.
Masonry heaters appeal to all types of consumers. Many tend to be practical, and appreciate the unit’s fundamental simplicity. Masonry heaters don’t have blowers, fans, convectors, pipes, burners or boilers that can break, crack or fail when the power goes out; their mechanical reliability is unsurpassed. Others commission custom designs that take full advantage of the stone’s beauty and capacity to be fabricated into elegant designs that become architectural elements of the room.