While reading an article in the Alaska Magazine yesterday, I came upon a reference to Russian wood stoves (Pechka) that were commonly used to heat the typical Russian cabin. The stoves were efficient, comfortable and made from local materials.
I researched the matter more and came upon this beautiful description.
The Masonry Stove
"To the uninstructed stranger it promises nothing. It has a little bit of a door. Which seems foolishly out of proportion to the rest of the edifice. Small sized fuel it used, and marvelously little of that. The process of firing is quick and simple. At half past seven on a cold morning the servant brings a small basketball of slender pine sticks and puts half of these in, lights them with a match, and closes the door. They burn out in ten or twelve minutes. He then puts in the rest and locks the door...The work is done.
All day long and until past midnight all parts of the room will be delightfully warm and comfortable...it's surface is not hot; you can put your hand on it anywhere and not get burnt.
Consider these things. One firing is enough for the day; the cost is next to nothing; the heat produced is the same all day, instead of too hot and too cold by turns.
America could adopt this stove, but does America do it? No, she sticks placidly to her own fearful and wonderful inventions in the stove line. The American wood stove, of whatever breed, is a terror. It requires more attention than a baby. It has to be fed every little while, it has to be watched all the time; and for all reward you are roasted half your time and frozen the other half... and when your wood bill comes in you think you have been supporting a volcano.
It is certainly strange that useful customs and devices do not spread from country to country with more facility and promptness than they do.
By Mark Twain"
I'm curious to know if anyone on Home Energy Pros is familiar with these wood stoves and would care to post their thoughts and experience.
So, adding, the air circulations within the home then become an interest. I have a lot of ideas of how to move the excess heat at the ceiling to the floor as the temp-delta is highest.
For wood framing it can be taken off in vents down a wall and under the floor where it's possible to add thermal-mass using pipes of water between joists to put some in the floor, insulation board below the joists. Heating elements then added to the air where it's confined to offset losses.
One I like best were rolls of what amounts to tiny air mattress tubes as a heat-exchanger made to cut to length & put below the insulation in a ceiling to gather the heat & move it down using thermal-fluids that don't freeze or boil. This would be easier to add to existing homes, you can pull insulated tubing between studs & so on. It'd be a nice product system.
Thank you your response Jim. The radiant home I've seen often open the window to regulate the temperature inside the home. I suppose the same thing could happen with the Russian fireplaces. It would be interesting to get feedback from people that have the Russian stoves in their home.
Here are some photos of some of my favorite Russian fireplace/ovens.
This furnace is installed in a room in the 1700 sq ft with excellent thermal insulation. But still - this is an additional source of heat in addition to central heating, heating pipes are in the furnace body, the water circulating in the heating pipes additionally heated thereby raising the temperature of the entire building evenly.
Corner kitchen oven lined dolomite, although to be fair, it is worth noting that the thermal performance is enough not only to the kitchen, but also mid-sized house. At the bottom - with the function of the secondary combustion chamber incinerator.
An interesting variant of the main furnace flue department and two air ducts. The furnace heats the air on the second floor of the house is set masonry and actually the work of the author. p>
Oven built into the house as their main source of heating. It has several shelves at different levels, a large heated bench at the front of the oven. Lining made of natural limestone. Stonework by professional mason.
The first photo originally said 17,000 square feet. I changed the wording to 1,700 because I thought 17,000 sounded too large to be true. Also, the third photo is of the Russian author's home, not mine.
I found out that the above stove designs are of Russian origin, but they are located in Ontario, Canada, not Russia. The link to the original fireplace/stove photos and descriptions in ENGLISH are at STOVEMASTER. See this link for original photos of each of the stoves above. The photos also include images taken during construction.
I've a radiant slab in my straw-bale home R50+ on all 6 sides. I raised the water temp going to the slab to 125 degrees and only needed to heat my home for 1 hour twice a day (just before sun-up and sun-down). This keeps my home @ 70+ degrees 24/7. FYI I live @ 8,000 ft in Colorado outside temp is -17 degrees and I'm bare foot in shorts and a tee shirt without the heat on. The point being if your radiant or masonry stove is over heating your home use less heat less often.
I am an interior designer, and my clients always wants me to suggest them new styles of stoves.
While searching for posts on different type of stoves i came to your post and really i loved reading about Russian stoves.
I am gonna analysis on this Masonry stoves, and definitely my clients gonna love these wood stoves.
Some impressive stoves are available at : Stoves