January 18, 2009 by Brian Klipfel, under Fire Works Masonry News.
This simple stucco Finnish contraflow heater warms the center of a 100 year old home in Milford, Ct. The old home is being completed upgraded by the new owners.
When considering the home’s energy plan, the family started by increasing the home’s efficiency and lowering the home’s heat load. The family gutted the old plaster and lathe walls and filled the uninsulated empty voids with insulation. The old single pane windows were replaced next with modern low emissivity energy efficient windows.
The home also had an existing original fireplace. The fireplace was not energy efficient nor safe by modern code standards. When considering energy efficiency in their plan, this fireplace had no place.
The front and rear of the old, traditional fireplace.
The fireplace and chimney were demolished and removed leaving the space open for a wood burning appliance and vented with a new metal double wall insulated chimney pipe.
When considering a heat source for the old home, the family decided on an old wood burning solution; a clean burning masonry heater. The family contacted Amazin’ Masons and the heater design work began.
The family wanted a simple heater to fit the space and design style of the home. They liked the idea of a clay stucco finish on a heater with clean straight lines. A few possible designs were sketched for review.
Once the design for the new heater is finalized, the work can begin on the core. The heater’s core goes up quickly using Masonry Stove Builders’ Heat-Kit.
The Heat-Kit core is completed and ready for the capping slabs.The block veneer begins around the Heat-Kit core. Four inch concrete blocks are used for an inexpensive heater shell.
Once the stucco plaster is completed, the doors are installed and the first curing fires begin.
Fire Works Masonry