We live in the far south of New South Wales and are off the power grid. We began building our rammed earth, pole and straw-bale home at Dignams Creek in 2006. We wanted our home to be ecologically sound. Our heating options were solar power, bottled gas or wood.
With a constant supply of firewood falling down around us, a wood-burning heater was inevitable. But we were not happy with slow combustion heaters. They produce a lot of heat when going, and none the rest of the time. They send most of the heat up the chimney which is a waste and they are prone to creating pollution and deposits. So we spent a long time looking at other options.
While on holiday with family in Europe we were stranded in a mountain Rifugio during a blizzard. In the morning we had a snowball fight then came in to find that they had lit a masonry heater. The fire lasted for a couple of hours, the masonry absorbed the warmth and then radiated it all day. We curled up against it reading books with our damp clothes draped over it to dry. The heat was beautiful, not too hot. We had found what we wanted for our home. We then saw old ones in castles and farmhouses, discovering that they had been around for centuries. Coming back to Australia we discovered that they had never made it here.
With all the experts being half a world away we toyed with trying to design and build our own. We looked at bringing someone out to Australia to build one for us. Then we discovered these kits and decided to build it ourselves. It was straightforward to build and we loved the end result.
Our heater exceeded all our expectations – a single burn kept our home warm for 24 hours and we loved leaning against it. Friends who visited were equally impressed.
We realised that masonry heaters were the answer to the problems of the slow-combustion heaters that were getting wood-burning a bad name; and Australia needed to know about them.
This led us to start Heavenly Heat. We now have highly satisfied customers across Australia.