I had taken some landscape bricks the former owners decided was a good idea for flooring beneath the fireplace..ugly gray sqare 8″x8″x2″ very thick very exterior-type bricks.. anyway I pulled some of them from behind the fireplace up and had stacked them flush against the back of Cast Iron Franklin.. thinking about it I decided that it would be better to move them back a couple inches to allow cool air to flow under the fireplace and up the backside between the cast back of the fireplace and the curtain of brick.. clear as mud yet?? Good.. While doing this I got to thinking about the whole solar wall idea since this was really based on that principle… and then I got to thinking.. How hard could it be to build some sort of firescreen that would do the same thing with the radiant heat from a fire in a fireplace?

Same sort of intense radiant heat.. different wavelength maybe..but with a good firescreen sort of setup this could really be a boon to those of us with open fireplaces.. I mean I can close the doors of the Franklin but I lose most of my heat up the chimney.. if I could place a solar-wall type firescreen in front of the fire ..wouldn’t this increase my overall efficiency?? Or am I barking up the wrong tree.. err chimney…aww whatever.. any ideas.. any comments?? Could this even be done so the fire could be seen? Hmm. OK this is too much for my little brain to digger out by myself..so I thought.. how about the freethinkers at LittleHouses??? Between Laren and Larry and his other brother Larry..wait a minute …wrong show.. ok between Cliffie and Coach and Woody there should be some sort of way to do something like this… Right?

I know what you are trying to do, but considering how masonry stoves work, wouldn’t you be better off with the bricks up against the stove on back, both sides, and the bottom? I *think* they would be able to absorb more heat from the stove that way, and radiate it out to the room later. I know what you are saying about the solar wall but in that situation, the distance between the glass and the mass wall is to capture the sun’s heat long enough for the wall to absorb it, rather than having it reflected right back out the window.


If I was trying to adsorb heat you would be totally right..I am however trying to ‘convect’ heat..Laren is that the right terminology?… from the IR being emitted from the open front of the stove.. I only want to absorb enough to get a convection current going around the stove.. this seems to be working in the back.. and if I can get the rest of the “IngleNook” (FLW term..basically small open room around a fireplace meant to be ultra cozy and warming..I will try to find good pics to illustrate) built around the fireplace it will help me store and distribute this warm air.. some will be absorbed to use later some will ‘convect’ around the house to warm the house more quickly than a Masonry stove…

Not exactly and far be it from me to tutor on Laren’s turf..but let me say this much.. I believe, and Laren WILL correct me if I am wrong… that idea of a solar wall is to capture only enough heat to get a convection current going to help the inside of the house..this works the exact opposite (well pretty much anyway) of High Mass Solar walls… the idea is to heat the air so it will pull cool air from the floor of the structure up thru the wall and heat it then vent it back into the living space.. as hot air..not absorbed heat.. this quickly heats the interior and provides excess heat (hopefully!) that will stagnate near the ceiling.. this excess can then be absorbed or stored in a number of ways and places all of which totally confuse the daylights out of me.. this concept is still fairly new to me so I am trying to align it with my old more well touted beliefs about storing solar energy inside mass…

It has also made me wonder if we could not make Masonry Heaters work more quickly by providing channels thru which air could be convected from the cool floor …thus heating the home more quickly than a purely Mass heat emitting sort of Masonry Heater.. not suggesting that they be totally redesigned …just a revision of sorts to allow a few channels/chimneys access to the very warm flue pipes and then outlets into rooms the mass accesses?????? Once again I pose more questions than answers… but then that may just be my lot in life.. but it does dry the throat..so slide me big cold glass of Ice Water ok Woody… you know the stuff they make in the desert mountains.. wow..what a concept!

Your comments lead me to consider something that I find quite interesting. Which, is the fact that glass fire screens stop the infrared (heat) from radiating out. I think there may be high temperature plastics, that would not block the heat from radiating to the room, but would still stop the air. Polycarbonate will not take the temperature. Fiberglass blocks too much IR. I am not sure what will do it. There are teflons that can probably handle the temperature, but they are thin, soft, relatively expensive, and might not let the IR through. It would take a little research, but there may be a material to surround a fire, while still allowing a great deal of its heat to radiate.