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Soapstone Wood Stove FAQs

What is the main difference between your soapstone masonry heaters and soapstone surrounded cast iron wood burning stoves, don't they both burn wood and have soapstone, so how are they different?

While they look very similar they are very different in the way they heat. The masonry heaters heat by radiant heat strictly from the heat of the soapstones, the woodstoves heat primarily by convection heat (releasing hot air from the cast iron insert into the room) , although the soapstone that surrounds it will absorb and radiate some of that heat as well, but to a much less efficient degree than the full fledged masonry heaters.

The masonry heater is 100% soapstone inside and outside, the soapstone wood stove is a cast iron insert surrounded by soapstone.

Do these come in one piece?

No, the masonry heaters are assembled piece by piece using a soapstone cement; similar process of laying bricks. Typical installation of a masonry heater takes one to two days.

Are these masonry heaters EPA certified?

Because of their known efficiency and other factors, they are not required to be. Please see the text below extracted from the EPA web site:

"A masonry heater is a site-built or site-assembled solid-fueled heating device, consisting of a firebox, a large masonry mass, and a maze of heat exchange channels. It stores heat from rapidly-burning fires within its masonry structure, and slowly releases the heat into the home throughout the day.

Masonry heaters currently do not require EPA certification."

I have a basement/crawl space under the area where I want to install this appliance, will that be ok?

No, because of the weight of these units, they must go on weight resistant base. Masonry heater foundations shall meet local building codes for standard masonry fireplaces and shall be designed with consideration given to the mass and size of the masonry heater.

Does the soapstone get very hot? How hot does it get?

The maximum temperature of the stones after fully charging it(by burning wood) will be around 200 degrees to a 230 degrees maximum , Fahrenheit . The glass however, like in any other wood burning appliance, will get extremely hot, over 700 degrees Fahrenheit and can cause serious injury if touched.

How long does the soapstone stay hot after burning wood?

After 3 to 4 hours of wood burning, depending on the room's insulation, the soapstone will continue to radiate heat typically for another 12 to 20 hours.

Where are they vented?

The Soapstone Masonry Heaters, are contra flow heaters, one of the reasons why they are so efficient, is because instead of releasing the hot gases from fire straight out the chimney, they have channels which allow the gases to pass, up and down the sides of the heater, heating up the stone before the hot gases are released. They are vented from the rear bottom.