Rocket Mass Heaters have a lot of advantages over a conventional wood stove. They:

  • Let off heat gradually over the day, so you don't need to keep tending a fre
  • They burn up the smoke, using that energy for heat, and not releasing nearly as many CO2 emmissions into the air. The exaust is nearly pure steam.
  • They burn up the creasote, making the burn not only safter, but also more efficient.
  • They generally require about 1/10 of the wood to heat your home.
  • You can build a rocket mass heater at home, in a day or two.
  • It releases less CO2 than natural gas or electric heat
  • Even if you purchase the firewood, it still costs less to operate than natural gas

Here's a nice diagram of the inside of a rocket mass heater (from Paul Wheaton's article on Rocket Mass Heaters):

inside of rocket mass heater wind and fire

Rocket Mass Heater diagram

And here's the windflow in action, and a completed rocket mass heater (also from Paul Wheaton's article on Rocket Mass Heaters, which happens to be a wealth of rocket mass heater knoweldge):

fire and wind gif in rocket mass heater

Rocket Mass Heater in action

Rocket Mass Heater cob and stone

Rocket Mass Heater made of cob and stone


If you're interested in building a rocket mass heater, you can find Erica and Ernie Wisner's L-shaped plans for free on permies:

l-shaped 6 inch riser rocket mass heater plans free

Click for free Rocket Heater Plans through

L-Shaped Rocket Mass Heater by Erica and Ernie Wisner

L-Shaped Rocket Mass Heater

The Wisner's also have various plans, booklets, and manuals for sale at

Ernie and Erica's rocket mass heater plans, fire science book, builder's guide manual

over 10 rocket mass heater plans, plus booklets and extras


Paul Wheaotn has now made 8 DVDs on the subject of efficient wood heat through the power of Rocket Mass Heaters. 

Here's a quick summary of what is on each of the DVDs (see this article on wood heat to find out more):

  • DVD 1: Fire Science (learn how Rocket Mass Heaters work)
  • DVD 2: Sneaky Heat (building an even more efficient Rocket Mass Heater)
  • DVD 3: Boom Squish (the dangers of heating water in a pressurized system)
  • DVD 4: Hot Rocket (making a rocket stove that cooks quickly and effieicently)
  • DVD 5: Cob Style (building a cob-style rocket mass heater)
  • DVD 6: Pebble Style (building a pebble style rocket mass heater that uses pebbles, instead of cob or masonry for it's mass)
  • DVD 7: Shippable Core (how to make a ligher-wieght core of a rocket mass heater.)
  • DVD 8: Innovators Event (rocket oven, rocket, an outdoor rocket mass heater/cooker/smoker; A "batch box style" rocket mass heater with measured output cleaner than anything we have ever encountered)
Wood burning Stoves 2.0 better wood heat, fire science, pocket rocket

Better Wood Heat DVDs 1-4

Better Wood Heat DIY rocket mass heaters, cob, pebble, innovators, rocket oven

Better Wood Heat DVDs 5-8

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