Anyone aiming to save energy and achieve a better indoor climate at home would do well to avoid using central heating and gas fires that only heat the air. Heat walls and ceramic wood stoves ('Russian stoves') are alternatives that make homes healthier and more comfortable to live and breathe in, while also saving up to 60% in energy costs. Radiant heat is in fact infra-red heat - like heat from the sun without its damaging ultra-violet rays. Radiant heat can be produced by having a central heating boiler circulate hot water in pipes built-in to a new wall, or led through elements placed in front of an existing wall.
The stony, porous surfaces of these walls have poor points of contact with the air and thus become radiant surfaces, which are effective as heating surfaces with modest temperatures of 45 to 50 degrees centigrade. The (tiled) surface of a ceramic stove has the same properties at temperatures up to 70 degrees centigrade. Heat walls and ceramic stoves can be built as a do-it-yourself project. We developed a do-it-yourself workshop where ceramic stoves can be built in two days by application of moulding procedures. A guide for building heat walls (a third printing appeared last year - but is only available in the Dutch language) describes the step-by-step construction and installation procedures.
Ceramic stoves built in our do-it-yourself workshop can be heated by wood or gas.