CANTON In September 2012, Chelle S. Lindahl opened up her Canton home to 25 volunteers who spent three days building and installing a mass masonry heater and rocket stove in her house.
Ms. Lindahl will open up her home again Saturday to show off to the north country her efficient heat source, which costs significantly less and uses much less wood than conventional wood-burning stoves.
Ms. Lindahl works for Local Living Venture, and said the organization is sponsoring a series of in-home tours of mass masonry heaters and rocket stoves in St. Lawrence County starting at 10 a.m. Saturday. Ms. Lindahls new home-heating system not only cost her as little as $250; its saving her 50 to 90 percent of the wood that a traditional wood-burning stove requires.
She said two educational consultants from Tonasket, Wash., who specialize in making the masonry heaters and rocket stoves helped her and the volunteers build a stove out of scavenged old stovepiping and cover it with a cob mixture of mud, sand, clay and straw. Ms. Lindahl said they also made a mass masonry heater and warming bench out of stone and covered it with the cob mixture.
This isnt a retail operation, she said. These are all materials that you could potentially find in your backyard.
The wood goes into a vertical burn chamber and burns sideways through a tunnel that leads to a 55-gallon drum that acts as a combustion chamber. The heat then transfers through stovepipes that wind around the inside of the warming bench.
I do a two- to three-hour fire in the morning to warm the bench and it will radiate heat back into the room the rest of the day, Ms. Lindahl said.
She said the reason its called a rocket stove is because the noise caused by rapid air movement created by a heat pump effect within the 55-gallon drum sounds similar to a small rocket.
Ms. Lindahl said one selling point of the new heating system is its safety. She said that since the heater burns not only the wood but the woods gases, there is minimal, if any, creosote, which is a main cause of chimney fires.
Because its burning off the gases as well, youre getting much more bang for your buck, she said.
With five homes on the tour in Pyrites, West Pierrepont, Potsdam, Southville and Hermon, Ms. Lindahl and her co-coordinator, Jackie D. Bartholomew, have encouraged participants to consider carpooling.
Ms. Bartholomew said they have about 24 people signed up for the tours so far and are hoping for more.
These stoves use renewable energy, she said. We like to teach people skills to make themselves sustainable and capable.
To register for the tours, contact Ms. Lindahl or Ms. Bartholomew at LocalLivingVenture@gmail.com or call 347-4223.