Masons Demonstrate How to Build Clean Burning Wood-Fired Reisdential Heaters Using 500=Year-Old Technology

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The Masonry Heater Association of North America will host a masonry heater building workshop April 16-22, 2010 at Wildacres Retreat, 1565 Wildacres Road, Little Switzerland, North Carolina.  Expert masons will be leading the classes all week. The press is invited to see how this old technology is being used today as an alternative (and Green) heating method.

A masonry heater is a special type of fireplace made of stone, brick, stucco or tile which will actually heat your home safely and comfortably.

A masonry heater is a special type of fireplace made of stone, brick, stucco or tile which will actually heat a home safely and comfortably.  Masonry heaters burn wood, which is North America’s cheapest and most abundant bio-fuel.  We currently use less than 10 percent of available deadfall timber from our forests.  Masonry heaters burn efficiently and with very low emissions.  So how do these wonderful inventions work ?

Masonry heaters work on the principal of thermal storage due to the considerable thermal mass of the materials used in their construction (most of them are heavy, often weighing tons).  The best masonry heaters soak up most of the heat from the wood blaze within the brick or stone firebox through a cleverly designed system of channels or chambers which “harvest” heat from the hot gases as they pass by.  This energy migrates through the masonry slowly until it reaches the surface where it “illuminates” the room with invisible rays of heat known as infrared radiation.  This way heat from a fire in the morning can still be warming a home in the evening.

Masonry heaters have been used for centuries in Europe for both heating and cooking.  In the rush to build new societies in the Americas masonry heaters somehow got left behind, and are only now being rediscovered by energy conscious citizens and green building enthusiasts.

This year masonry heater, bake oven, and barbecue builders will be coming from Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, and the USA for the annual Masonry Heater Association of North America workshop.

Members of the press are invited to catch the heater builders in action during their week-long annual pilgrimage to Wildacres Resort near Asheville, North Carolina on Tuesday afternoon, April 20, starting at 2:00 PM at the workshop area which is located on the left fork of the road just before  the entrance to Wildacres.  There will be professionally made delicious brick oven pizza, beverages and, of course, fire, for all who attend.  The MHA would appreciate it if the press would notify the Director in advance of their arrival for meal planning purposes.

Contact Richard Smith, Executive Director of the Masonry Heater Association of North America at execdir(at)mha-net(dot)org or 520-883-0191 for more information or visit

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