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Rocket Mass Heaters


The rocket mass heater or rocket stove mass heater is a hybrid heating system developed from the rocket stove (which was already an improvement over wood-burning stoves) and the masonry heater.

The fuel, usually wood, burns in an insulated combustion chamber at very high temperature. There is a massive thermal mass which is large enough to retain the heat for many hours. They are especially popular with natural buildings and within permaculture designs due to their efficient nature and low cost.

Rocket Mass Heater

Rocket mass heaters need a heat riser that is at least twice as tall as the burn tunnel is long. From: Rocket Mass Heaters by Ianto Evans, Leslie Jackson.

We tried to gather the best resources, videos and tip available online about constructing your own rocket mass heater. If you find it useful then feel free to share this page with your friends.






After much research on the topic here are some of the best demonstration videos of how rocket mass heaters work and how to build one.

Wood burning stoves – super efficient rocket mass heater

“Ernie and Erica Wisner have created over 700 rocket mass heaters, quite probably the most efficient woord burning stoves made. […] This video is of their latest wood burning stove. They’ve had snow on the ground for months, and have seen a fair bit of sub zero temperatures. And they stay warm all day with just one small fire each day. We talk about how warm we feel indoors 19 hours after the last fire was burned.”

Greenhouse construction + rocket mass heater how to tutorial

“Greenhouse construction with a rocket mass heater, including an excellent demonstration of the rocket mass heater sideways burn. The greenhouse construction class is taught by Ernie and Erica Wisner, featuring the rocket mass heater techniques of Ianto Evans (of cob cottage company fame). I cannot think of a better approach to greenhouse heating.”

Rocket Mass Heaters: A better burning wood stove

“Discover the secrets of building an amazing Rocket Stove from Ashley Lubyk of Dirt Craft Natural Building and Rob Avis of Verge Permaculture.”

Rocket Mass Heater Workshop

A video with Rob and Ashley of Verge Permaculture showcasing the construction of the rocket mass heater.


Paul Wheaton

Paul Wheaton

When somebody first told me about rocket mass heaters, none of it made sense. The fire burns sideways? No smoke? If a conventional wood stove is 75% efficient, doesn’t that mean the most wood you could possibly save is something like 25%? How do you have a big hole right over the fire and not have the house fill with smoke? I was skeptical.

And then I saw one in action. The fire really does burn sideways. The exhaust is near room temperature – and very clean. The smoke doesn’t come back up because a huge amount of air is getting sucked into the wood hole. Neat! I sat on one that had not had a fire in it for 24 hours – it was still hot!

” – Paul Wheaton of on rocket mass heaters

Cover photo: Bryce Phelps, CC BY-SA, a Rocket Mass Heater inside a tipi at Paul Wheaton’s permaculture homestead in Montana.

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