Hybrid versus Premium
Premium Masonry Heater
The Premium Masonry Heater is constructed of soapstone both in its core and its exterior. Soapstone is the densest rock on earth, which lends itself to greater thermal mass, which means it has greater heat storage and radiant properties. Thermal mass refers to the weight of the object and its heat storage and transfer capability. The greater the weight, the more heat storage and transfer capabilities the object has. There is no controversy in the industry that soapstone possesses greatest thermal mass of anything currently known.
Take two masonry heaters of the same exterior dimensions, one is made entirely of soapstone and one is not. Which heater under the same conditions will perform with the greatest efficiency as far as radiant heat production is concerned? The one which is made entirely of soapstone will, hands down.
Does this mean that the Premium Masonry Heater is always the best choice in all situations? Not necessarily. It generally is the best choice in areas where the winters are consistently long, cold and unrelenting. It would also hold true in geographic areas where temperatures and weather conditions are predictable and consistent. In those conditions, the reliable, constant heat of soapstone is very desirable.
Hybrid Masonry Heater
The Hybrid Masonry Heater is constructed of soapstone on the exterior and refractory brick (fire brick) at its core. Refractory brick is not as dense as soapstone, but it still has great heat storage and radiant properties. It is manufactured to withstand very high temperatures in ovens of all types.
The thermal mass (weight) of refractory brick, depending on the variety, is less than soapstone. We estimate that it can be as great as one-third less. That you have less weight can be an advantage in certain climate and/or construction situations.
Because the Hybrid heater has a lower thermal mass than soapstone, it will tend to heat up faster, as well as cool down faster. In some situations that can be an advantage, such as when you live in an area where there is great fluctuation in temperature. In a climate that has very cool mornings and rather warm afternoons, you may prefer that the heater cools off in the afternoons!
You may ask if there is a price difference. That refractory brick is less expensive than soapstone is a help with budgetary concerns. It is a very viable option, both in addressing climate and budget considerations. If you decide that the Hybrid is your best choice, we believe you will be very happy with that choice. Our design team will be glad to help you with any further questions.