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Radiant heat from rock hearth

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Nimrod1911, Jan 2, 2013.

  1. Nimrod1911

    Nimrod1911 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2012
    Messages:
    42
    I have been burning a wood stove in my unfinished basement for a few years. Then we insulated and added sheetrock. I noticed a big difference on the heat staying in the home. Then I recently finished rocking the hearth. It is a raised hearth with a brick floor with two benches to each side of the stove (32 inches long by 18 inches tall by 18 inches deep). The stove sits in an acolve made by our cement foundation. (directly above is a gas insert on main level). This alcove is rocked on all sides with a rocked arch as well. (not natural rock but a fake/concrete rock) Thus, there is a lot of mass to this hearth. I wash shocked at the notable increase in the felt heat downstairs. Once that hearth is heated up it really puts off the heat. Do you guys notice a big difference with a large hearth?

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  2. weatherguy

    weatherguy Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    Messages:
    3,896
    Loc:
    Central Mass
    Yeah, my insert in in a large stone fireplace, the size is 4' x 8' and each floor uses a flue, one for the woodstove in the middle, one for the FP upstairs and one for the furnace, when Im burning a while that stone emits heat for a while even when the stove goes cold.
  3. Snotrocket

    Snotrocket Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2011
    Messages:
    209
    Loc:
    Maine
    I have a basement install that the stove is piped into a 3 flu masonry chimney. Its a huge piece of brick about 5ft by 3ft that runs right up the center of my house. Once that is warm it really helps heat the house.
  4. WhitePine

    WhitePine Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2010
    Messages:
    497
    Thermal mass evens out the heat by storing it when the temps are rising and releasing it when they drop. The larger the thermal mass, the more even the home's temperature gradient. Our own home, which is a passive solar design, even has a concrete interior wall designed to increase its thermal mass. It works just as well for wood heat as it does for solar heat.

    In my opinion, any home will benefit from increased thermal mass. Think tile flooring instead of wood or carpet, and stone or concrete counter tops instead of plastic or laminate.

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