- Low emissions
- High Efficiency
- Long life
- No infrastructure requirements
- No recycling issues
In August 2015 Australian Standards introduced a requirement for heaters to meet a minimum efficiency level. The level set from 2015 is 55%, which will increase to 60% by 2020.
At the moment, the average operational efficiency for wood heaters in Australia is 65.5%. Masonry heaters typically attain operational efficiency of 80%. Independent laboratory testing of the Tempcast heater in North America demonstrated an operational efficiency of 80% and combustion efficiency of almost 95%. There are no other wood heaters in Australia that reach this level of efficiency.
How to minimise emissions and maximise efficiency
- Burn the fire hot and fast. The faster you can get the fire going the less smoke there will be.
- Use dry timber and do not burn green wood. The higher the moisture content, the more emissions will be produced and the lower the efficiency.
- Build your fire as a ‘top down’ fire – the big wood at the bottom and the kindling at the top. This increases the efficiency of the burn.
Almost every form of energy used for home heating, even renewables, require massive investment in infrastructure, for generation and transmission, manufacture and transportation, which adds to further emissions production.
A masonry heater uses wood, our only renewable material, which is not a fossil fuel and, apart from the fuel used for cutting and transporting it, contributes little to the emissions tally.
There are masonry heaters in various parts of the world which have been in use for hundreds of years. Although we cannot make any such claims for our heaters, which have been in uneventful use for thirty years, they are made of incredibly durable materials; refractory concrete, brick or stone, cast iron and small amounts of steel, which, should they ever wear out, can be readily re-used or recycled.
In use they do not suffer the wear and tear inflicted on slow-combustion heaters by the need for constant refuelling. They could well outlive some of the houses in which they are installed.