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The stove mass, the heat from the north.

The mass stove, also called the inertia stove or Scandinavian stove, is an unknown heating system, yet effective, from the Far North. Its original design is particularly appreciated in cold countries in order to obtain a constant and soft heat without consuming a stere of wood per month. That's why this week HandymanDuanche will see what is done in Northern Europe for you to discover the stove mass.


The operation of the mass stove.

The principle of the inertia stove is to produce a large outbreak at high temperature whose heat is stored in the stove mass and then restored slowly, by radiation for a period of between twelve to twenty five hours depending on the volume of the stove. It is indeed the weight of the stove, usually a ton, that allows the radiation of heat over a long period of time.

For better performance, mass stoves use the principle of afterburner. That is, they consist of two combustion chambers instead of one in conventional stoves. This allows heat to circulate and diffuse deeply and evenly into the stove mass. Be careful, the fuel used must be perfectly dry, no matter its essence, otherwise the combustion will be incomplete and thus the stove less effective. Moreover, it is possible to integrate in the mass stove a wood oven or a heated bench. Finally, aesthetic level finishes of the stove can be earthenware, terracotta, stone or refractory bricks

The advantages and disadvantages of the mass stove.

Vincent picarf

The main advantages of the mass stove are economic and ecological. In fact, it considerably reduces wood consumption compared to a conventional stove or insert, thus reducing the heating budget of a home by almost half. Thus, with a large sized stove judiciously placed, it is possible to heat the entire housing provided that it is well insulated and well arranged. At the ecological level, the fumes and gases released by the stove contain few harmful and polluting substances thanks to the complete combustion of the wood. In addition, wood stoves maintain a gentle and constant heat for many hours, even after the outbreak. This saves you from leaving the fire on when you sleep or when you are away. Nevertheless, the imposing weight of these stoves does not allow to install them in all types of housing and moreover, the implementation sometimes requires long and expensive soil consolidation work. Note also that more stoves are heavy and they take longer to heat up, so in case of prolonged absence, it may take more than 24 hours for the housing to be warmed up properly. Last defects and not least, the price, since it takes 4 000 € minimum to acquire one. In addition, the lack of distributors and skilled craftsmen to install and design this type of heating is also a disadvantage to take into account when making your decision.

Installation and maintenance of a mass stove.

The installation and design of a mass stove is a lot of work. Whether it is a kit model, a self-build or a stove made to measure by a craftsman, it is not easy to choose or manufacture the model adapted to the needs of the house and put in place. Be careful before embarking on a self-construction, it is highly recommended to consult with other self-builders, in books or better to follow an internship. As for the maintenance, it is quite limited with at least one sweeping and a mandatory inspection visit every year as well as the emptying of the cleaning hatch to be done from time to time.

Finally, mass stoves are eligible for the tax credit, up to 50% maximum for the purchase and installation of a mass stove made a qualified professional, a significant financial assistance given the rates charged.

Photo credit: Hespul, Tulikivi and Vincent Pucarf


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