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A rocket mass heater is an efficient and sustainable heating system that utilizes simple design principles to generate heat for residential or small-scale commercial spaces. It consists of a combustion chamber, typically made of metal or masonry, connected to a long horizontal or slightly inclined duct called a “heat riser.” The heat riser is filled with insulating materials such as firebricks or cob, which absorb heat from the combustion chamber and create a strong draft to pull air through the system. As air flows through the heat riser, it becomes superheated, reaching temperatures of up to 1,000 degrees Celsius (1,800 degrees Fahrenheit). This hot air then exits the system through a secondary combustion chamber, where additional fuel particles are burned, further increasing efficiency and reducing emissions. Finally, the heated air circulates through a thermal mass, such as a bench or masonry structure, where it releases stored heat into the living space.

Rocket mass heaters are known for their high efficiency, clean combustion, and low fuel consumption compared to traditional wood stoves or fireplaces. They can be constructed using locally available materials, making them a cost-effective heating solution for off-grid or rural settings. Additionally, rocket mass heaters are renowned for their ability to provide long-lasting radiant heat, even after the fire has been extinguished, making them ideal for cold climates or energy-efficient homes.