Wood versus pellet – why opt for a biomass stove?


Phil Lowe, Head of Sales at Specflue, discusses how opting to install a pellet stove rather than a wood burner can provide the same cosy atmosphere, without a lot of the hassle and the mess:

“Most customers turn to wood burners because they want to recreate the flame and snug atmosphere that memories of an open fire bring to mind. However, if you’re looking for a sustainable, convenient and cost-efficient alternative, the air pellet stove is a worthy contender. Already well established in Europe as a greener substitute, the pellet stove has become a popular appliance, offering an efficient and effective way to heat the home. Using the most up-to-date heating technologies, the pellet stove is a room heater with a difference, burning compressed wood or biomass
pellets to create heat.”

The technology around these appliances has moved on dramatically in recent years and they can deliver the following benefits:

  • Efficiency: Air pellet stoves have an average efficiency of 91%. This is due to the fact that the heat produced by the air stove is distributed more efficiently by means of an extractor located on the back of the hot air exit diffuser. Compared to traditional systems, this allows an increase of 30% heat released into the environment, making its rapid distribution uniform and allowing a saving in fuel consumption.
  • Storage: Storing wood can be a real issue, especially if you don’t have a lot of space. Storing pellets, however, is much neater and easier in comparison. The pellets come in bags and can be stored in a shed or garage quite conveniently. Also, many pellet stoves have a ‘hopper’, which feeds the pellets into the stove so it needs filling
    less frequently.
  • Controllability: Unlike wood burners, most pellet stoves on the market today have an automatic ignition to light the pellets electronically and can be programmed to come on and off automatically using a timer. The programmes are easy to set and the remote control is as simple as using an electronic thermostat on a central heating system. Also, technology now allows you to control your pellet stove from your hand-held smart devices. But, one of the most notable differences to householders who have owned wood burners is that with a pellet stove, they can wake up in the morning and not have to put a log in the stove to get warm.
  • Ambience: Historically, a main drawback to pellet stoves has been the flame (very different from the real flame of a wood burner) and the noise from the stove when the ventilation is on. But, there are appliances on the market that have overcome these problems. For instance, MCZ uses its ‘still’ technology on some of its models such as the Tray; breaking down vibration to eliminate noise and using braziers that are longer and narrower, to give the impact of real flame.
  • Cleaning and maintenance: The pellet stove requires less than 20 minutes every three days to clean the glass and sweep up any mess. Also, maintenance is quick and easy, but will vary depending on the model and the quality of pellets you burn.

With the added benefits of low powerconsumption and high efficiency, the advantages of choosing a pellet stove are now beginning to outweigh the disadvantages, so it’s never been easier to go down the pellet route!

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