• cheap to run. About a tenth the cost of natural gas, electric or conventional wood heat.
• clean. They emit about a hundredth of the smoke of a conventional wood stove.
• good for the environment. Less than 2% of CO2 emissions of natural gas or electric heat. Can reduce your carbon footprint as much as parking 7 cars.
• sustainable. It uses a renewable fuel which is easy to find and store.
• cheap to build. About $200 to $600.
• quick to build. Often built in a weekend
• luxuriant. Like the luxury of a heated floor but without all that standing.
This was the first 4-DVD set created by Paul Wheaton and his merry band of rocket mass heater innovators. It is a great introduction and shares lots of good information about fire in general, and what can be done with rocket mass heaters.
DVD 1: fire science
This is where ernie and erica set stuff on fire in all sorts of wacky ways. This is the foundation for understanding how rocket stoves and rocket mass heaters work the way they do.
DVD 2: sneaky heat
The wood burning stove built in this DVD is the result of a collection of experiments that led to a rocket mass heater an order of magnitude better than any previous rocket mass heater. For the first time ever we have a shippable core.
DVD 3: boom squish
Named after a series of podcasts where we discuss the dangers and strategies of alternative hot water. Caleb Larson and Ernie work together to talk about how to do this right. Caleb is a professional alternative hot water installer and is very familiar with the explosive properties of steam, flash point and vapor lock.
DVD 4: hot rocket
We set out to prove that a few twigs can outperform a huge propane turkey cooker. Mission accomplished. This is with a J-tube style rocket stoves. Other rocket stoves feature an L-tube style the requires constant manual feeding. The J-tube style is self feeding. This DVD will also have information on some tiny home made cookstoves, and several different pocket rocket designs.
UPDATE! This video series was filmed in 2012. Interest in this was so big, we created a NEW 4-DVD set in 2016 featuring TEN rocket mass heaters. This new video set is called Better Wood Heat: DIY Rocket Mass Heaters.
It's been a long time since I watched these DVD's, so my memories are a bit blurred But, as in case of many videos filmed during workshops, there are moments where all you can see are backs of participants, sound quality suffers and you do not see what is being written on the board, that's why the note for this DVD is only 8. Apart from that it is loaded with interesting and useful information, from begining to the end.
My main interest was in DVD 2, but I have found a lot of interesting bits and pieces in every part.
"Fire science" was quite a pleasant surprise, it is good to go back to basics and why's before attempting to build a rocket stove.
I liked portable design of the RMH shown in the second DVD, as well as small rocket models presented in video 4.