What is the best heating option for my needs?
A wood burning or a pellet stove? Tips to help you choose your stove
Enjoy warmth in your home along with cosy chats and family fun. Watching a movie or reading a good book is one of those little winter treats… and a stove is exactly what you need to ensure that warm and attractive feel at home.
One of the questions that we are often asked is whether it is better to install a wood burner or a pellet stove. This type of stove works with bioenergetic fuel and is more environmentally friendly than conventional heating systems. They’re being used more and more.
In this post, we’ll give you the basic lowdown so that you can choose between a pellet or wood burning stove, depending on their particular features and your needs at home.
Does a pellet stove heat up more than a wood burner?
Both stoves offer a pretty similar heat and warm up a room in a few minutes, with the heat reaching practically everywhere.
Although pellet stoves can heat up more area in m2 than wood burners, you should choose the most suitable one for your home. It’s very important that you buy one with enough power. Keep in mind that about 1kw provides heat for an area of 10 square metres. If, for example, your room doesn’t measure more than 60 m2, a small stove will have a greater output and will be more effective than one of 14kw. Avoid making the mistake of buying a bigger stove than you need, as otherwise you will overheat the room and spend more on electricity.
We recommend that you ask our experienced staff and clue up on the technical features of these stoves, as they will help you to know what heat each particular one generates.
Which is the cheapest stove?
Pellet stoves are more expensive because of their functioning, and wood burning stoves are more economical. However, don’t be guided just by the initial cost of the stove, we recommend that you compare the usage cost of each stove before opting for the cheaper one.
As for the cost of the fuel, both pellets and wood are quite cheap, but it’s not enough to calculate the price of a kilo of wood or pellets, you need to consider other elements such as performance and energy efficiency.
Pellet performance is 90% superior, in other words, nearly all the pellet is burned and the energy loss is minimum. In contrast, the heat output from burning wood is about 70%-80.
Comparing a pellet stove and a wood burning stove of a similar heat output, the resulting fuel costs would be as follow:
- Wood burning stove:
- Heat capacity: 8,5 kw
- Performance: 75 %
- Heat output: 6,37 kw
- Consumption: 3,7 kg/h
- Price wood: €180/tn -> €0,18/kg
- Price per functioning hour: €0.66/h -> €0,10/kwh
- Estufa pellets:
- Heat capacity: 7,4 kw
- Performance: 92%
- Heat output: 6,8 kw
- Consumption: 1,53 kg/h
- Price pellets: €5,50 sack of 15 kg -> €0,36/kg
- Price per functioning hour: 0,55 €/h -> 0,08 €/kwh
This means 20% in the direct cost of fuel, making pellets cheaper than wood.
What’s the installation of the stove like?
It’s essential for both wood burning or pellet stoves to be placed in a room with an external air outlet.
The main difference in the installation is that a pellet stove needs to be close to an electric plug, as this type of stove runs on electricity to work.
One aspect to consider when deciding where you are going to put it are the manufacturers’ specific recommendations regarding safe distances from walls, furniture and other inflammable objects.
The best thing is for a qualified professional to install the stove, as an incorrect installation can cause various problems. That’s why we offer you the chance of using the services of our specialised team to come to your home and install it properly, checking that the chosen location for it is correct and ensuring optimum functioning of the stove.
As for storage space for the combustible fuel, pellets are sold in sacks and are generally easier to store. By contrast, finding a place to store wood can be more complicated, particularly in small houses. If you have an open-air space, don’t worry and just store it there. Some stoves have a shelf to store a few logs, or you can use it as a decorative feature and keep the wood in woven wood baskets.
How does each stove work?
Both types of stoves transmit heat by radiation or convection. But pellet stoves need to be connected to electric power, meaning that you can control the temperature at all times, as well as programme it for when you want it to be on. You also don’t have to keep on topping it up with pellets all the time, all you have to do is fill the container and this automatically fills the combustion chamber. On the contrary, the wood burning stoves need to be loaded more frequently and always manually.
Which stove is cleaner?
Regular maintenance and cleaning of the stoves is essential in order to guarantee their performance and durability.
Pellet combustion is quite clean and less messy than wood burning stoves. Pellets generate less ash and soot, so you don’t have to clean the stoves as often. By contrast, you need to clean and empty out the ashes in a wood burner more frequently.
Having read about the features of both types of stoves, which one will you choose?
If you have any queries a need personalised advice, you can come and see us at our store; we’ll help you choose the best stove to keep your home warm!
Here are a few suggestions for stoves which are currently in stock at our store in Mahón: