Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Efficient :: Clean :: Warmth
A soapstone masonry heater is the best wood heating device the world has ever seen. It is comprised of a scientifically designed firebox, surrounded by heat exchange chambers that ensure the efficient warming of the adjacent thermal mass. Wood fires are burned very fast and the energy is retained in the thermal mass of stone. The heater releases comfortable radiant warmth for 12 to 24 hours, heating your home and contents, not just the air inside. How It Works

Capture :: Store :: Release
Masonry heaters are designed with a relatively small firebox, designed to maximize Combustion Efficiency or how quickly and completely the wood and gases are burned. Our heaters contain scientifically designed heat exchange chambers and a huge thermal mass of soapstone, designed to maximize Heat Transfer Efficiency or how well the heater transfers heat into house versus up the chimney. Simply put, our heaters utilize a renewable fuel source to heat your home in the cleanest, safest, most comfortable way known to man. Benefits

Health :: Safety :: Comfort
We believe that nothing is more important than the health of our friends and families. Forced-air furnaces, stoves and fireplaces dry out the air, increase airborne dust and allergens, dehydrating the body and increasing allergies. The slow release radiant comfort of a masonry heater is safe for your children to touch and eliminates the cycle of hot and cold common in other wood heat. Discover the benefits of health and vitality only available in a soapstone masonry heater.
Our soapstone masonry heaters will reduce the amount of wood you burn by 70-80% compared with a traditional wood stove or fireplace.  Our customers who have replaced a wood stove, even those with a soapstone veneer or cladding, regularly report reducing wood usage from seven or eight cords per year down to only one or two cords!

There are three obvious benefits from this wood use reduction.

Lifestyle
First is the lifestyle improvement.  Imagine reducing the amount of wood you will cut, split and stack by 70-80%.  No more getting up in the middle of the night to load your firebox… only one or two fires per day to heat your home.

Cost
On average we currently see split seasoned cord wood selling for roughly $200 per cord around the US.  Prices vary wildly by region and species but on average most customers will save around $1,000 per year on cord wood alone.

Environment
Not only do our soapstone masonry heaters operate at better than twice the real world efficiency of even the best traditional wood stoves, but when combined with a 70% plus reduction in wood usage, its a win for you and the environment.
A Greenstone Soapstone Masonry Heater will range in price from $6,000 to over $30,000 depending on size and design.  Shipping and installation at your location is additional and will vary.   Soapstone itself is the major cost driver in our masonry heaters with modern science and decades of real world experience proving soapstone to be a vastly superior masonry heater construction material.

All of our masonry heaters feature soapstone shell and core assemblies with a replaceable refractory inner firebox liner.

Generally speaking, the most important variables in a masonry heater are maximizing thermal mass and radiant surface area and utilizing materials that combine optimum rates of conductivity and thermal capture capacity.  Soapstone is generally recognized to be the best material in the world for both of these.
Our standard production lead time is two to three months.  Additional lead time is required for custom designed masonry heaters.  Lead times are somewhat longer in the late summer and fall, which is our busy season and when most new home construction projects reach the drywall phase.  In new home construction, it is best that we install your masonry heater just after drywall is complete and before interior trim and finished floors.  In locations outside of Colorado, we will generally communicate with you and your contractor to coordinate installation of the flue pipe before drywall is installed.  You will generally require a masonry or steel structural support for your masonry heater.  We will coordinate directly with your design and engineering team to ensure the proper masonry heater foundation.  In existing homes, we will work with you to design and install the most efficient and effective foundation and flue pipe system.

Installation of our masonry heaters is generally a two to four day process.   See our Video Page to understand the major steps in a standard heater installation.
If you’ve made your way to this website, you probably already understand that traditional American wood-burning fireplaces are extremely inefficient and often pull more heat out of the home than they put back in.  Most traditional fireplace in the US are built into exterior walls, which makes the conversion of the actual fireplace structure into a masonry heater less than desirable.  In this situation, we most often recommend placing a soapstone masonry heater in front of the existing fireplace opening, if tying into the existing flue and chimney is advantageous.

If you have a free-standing fireplace that is not against an exterior wall, we can often convert your fireplace structure into a thermal mass radiant heating system.  The process of converting a traditional fireplace into a masonry heater can take many forms, depending on the size, type and design of your existing structure.  Only fireplaces that are completely constructed of stone, masonry and other non-combustible materials, are able to be converted.  If your fireplace is an insert, surrounded by a combustible wood frame structure, conversion is not possible and we would recommend removal and replacement.

For free-standing masonry structures, if the footprint of your structure is at least 30” x 48” and the exterior stone or brick is structurally separate from the interior core of the fireplace, we are often able to build a masonry heater from the inside out, without the mess and expense of complete demolition.  You will also save on the materials and installation of the shell of your masonry heater system.

There are many additional variables that impact our ability to convert any given traditional fireplace.  Please call, email or fill out our online quote form to start the conversation surrounding your project.
All the soapstone masonry heaters from the Standard Series (Vitoria, Cantado and Socorro) are available for delivery in kit form for installation by a skilled DIY homeowner.  Generally some construction and masonry experience is required to successfully complete our kit installations.  Your kit will be delivered with a detailed instruction manual and diagrams of each section or course of the heater.  We are additionally available for telephone support to answer any questions you may have during the installation process.  Please call, email or fill out our online quote form to discover whether  DIY installation may be a good option for you.