Licensed Installing TULIKIVI® Dealer
for Alaska's Kenai Peninsula
Mark Twain's 1891 Opinion of Masonry Heaters
In 1891, MARK TWAIN (Samual L. Clemens) devoted several pages of his book, Europe and Elsewhere to the masonry heater and pleaded for its introduction to America:
"Consider these things. One firing is enough for the day; the cost is next to nothing; the heat produced is the same all day, instead of too hot or too cold by turns; and one may absorb himself in his business in peace; he does not need feel any anxieties or solicitudes about his fire; his whole day is a realized dream of bodily comfort.
America could adopt this stove, but does America do it? The American wood stove, of whatsoever breed, is a terror. There can be no tranquility of mind where it is. It requires more attention than a baby. It has to be fed every little while, it has to be watched all the time; and for all reward you are roasted half your time and frozen the other half. It warms no part of the room but its own part; it breeds headaches and suffocation, and makes one's skin feel dry and feverish; and when your wood bill comes in you think you have been supporting a volcano"
If you are serious about heating with wood:
Normally when firewood is burned in a metal wood stove or traditional fireplace, over half of the potential heat energy contained in the wood is "lost" up the chimney as incompletely burned smoke particles and gases that polute the air and form creosote in the chimney pipe. To get the total available energy from burning firewood, you need to burn finely split, dry well seasoned wood as HOT and FAST as possible, with NO restriction of air supply. Obviously you cannot do this in a metal wood stove because it would be glowing red and scorching you out of the house,.. possibly even causing a house fire!
However, in a Soapstone Masonry Heater the gases are "contra-flowed" downward through built-in stone passageways and "flashed" at high temperature, converting the smoke particles and creosote gases into more heat energy that is absorbed into the soapstone mass of the heater. You will burn half as much firewood to get over 90% of the available heat energy captured and gently radiated into your home! Plus no creosote buildup in the chimney and very little pollution of the air!