Natural Building Blog

Earthbag Building & Other Natural Building Methods

Rocket Stove Mass Heaters

Rocket stove mass heaters come in all shapes and sizes

Rocket stove mass heaters come in all shapes and sizes


We’ve briefly mentioned rocket stove mass heaters before. Here’s an excellent site that compiles a lot of free info about them and has free plans. (Detailed drawings are for sale, but anyone should be able to figure out the process by looking at the illustrations, reading the text and watching the videos.)

“Rocket mass heaters in a nutshell:
– heat your home with 80% to 90% less wood
– exhaust is nearly pure steam and CO2 (a little smoke at the beginning)
– the heat from one fire can last for days
– you can build one in a day and half
– folks have built them spending less than $20

Rocket stove mass heaters can be very beautiful as well as functional.

Rocket stove mass heaters can be very beautiful as well as functional.


This could be the cleanest and most sustainable way to heat a conventional home. Some people have reported that they heat their home with nothing more than the dead branches that fall off the trees in their yard. And they burn so clean, that a lot of sneaky people are using them illegally, in cities, without detection.

When somebody first told me about rocket mass heaters, none of it made sense. The fire burns sideways? No smoke? If a conventional wood stove is 75% efficient, doesn’t that mean the most wood you could possibly save is something like 25%? How do you have a big hole right over the fire and not have the house fill with smoke? I was skeptical.

And then I saw one in action. The fire really does burn sideways. The exhaust is near room temperature – and very clean. The smoke doesn’t come back up because a huge amount of air is getting sucked into the wood hole. Neat! I sat on one that had not had a fire in it for 24 hours – it was still hot!”

Lots more at Rich Soil.com
Note: the self-feeding feature (vertical sticks) is important. This eliminates the most common complaint of having to frequently tend the stove.

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4 Responses to “Rocket Stove Mass Heaters”

  1. Joe says:

    My one concern would be the open fire pit. I could see this as a hazard for cats and small children. Although I guess you could build some kind of screen to cover it. Any thoughts, ideas, or recommendations?

  2. Sara Markis says:

    TY!!!

  3. Craig from Maine says:

    I love rocket mass heaters :)

    I found the e-book online.

    Here is a short video that shows one being constructed :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NYJyxptclos

    Keep up the good work Owen !
    Craig from Maine

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