Rises in gas and electricity prices mean that specifying more energy efficient and renewable heating options such as biomass is even more important, as Ian Sams from Specflue explains
Renewable energy means energy produced from sources that are constantly replenished. Generating heat or electricity from renewable sources reduces reliance on fossil fuels, plus installing renewable heating in your new home, rather than relying on the grid, will reduce your carbon footprint and ensure you are more protected from any future price rises.
Pellet stoves provide one of the most practical and economical ways to heat single or multiple rooms in a home. In fact, in providing the same heating power, pellet and wood are decidedly more economical compared to traditional fuels such as oil or gas.
As the search for green energy sources intensifies, pellet stoves have seen an upturn in popularity, becoming a viable, economical, and popular option for home heating systems in the last decade.
WHY USE BIOMASS HEATING SOURCES?
Pellet stoves burn wood pellets, which are classed as CO2-neutral. These biomass fuels are a renewable energy source, and although they release carbon dioxide when burned, it is considerably less than fossil fuels. A stove is designed to heat a single room – but may be fitted with a boiler to provide water heating as well.
Pellets are made of sawdust, a product of the wood processing industry. If the forests from which the wood comes are managed sustainably, the carbon balance of pellet combustion is zero. This is because the amount of carbon emitted during combustion is the same as the amount of carbon absorbed by the tree during its growth.
However a pellet stove also provides an attractive addition to any room, not to mention providing a level of convenience thanks to its automatic ignition and wireless controls.
WHAT IS AUTOMATIC IGNITION?
An automatic ignition pellet stove uses electricity to light itself, and either requires no interference or assistance from a user, or requires that you simply push a button. You can adjust the temperature with a mobile app or a room thermostat. Some models can even be programmed and operated daily or monthly via a mobile app.
The stove automatically feeds pellets as necessary to maintain a comfortable temperature in your home. As a safety feature, the convection and combustion blowers will continue to operate until they no longer sense heat in the firebox, thus protecting your home from any unwanted re-ignitions.
PELLET STOVES AND OPEN PLAN LIVING
Many new homes are now designed with an open plan layout. Open-plan living means occupants can share the same zone, encouraging conversation and stronger family relationships, however they can be difficult spaces to heat. This isn’t the case with a pellet stove.
Pellet stoves can be installed with a liner in a conventional chimney or more commonly with a metal twin wall system. The installation should comply with building regulations specifically document J.
The efficiency of a pellet stove can be as high as 90 per cent, meaning that as little as 10 per cent of the energy generated by the pellets is lost via ventilation. This figure means more when compared with other forms of heating which also rely on fire. Traditional inset open fires for example work at an efficiency rate of 35-40 per cent, which means that approximately 60 per cent of the heat energy you’ve paid for goes up in smoke. Older stoves can reach 60-70 per cent efficiency, and DEFRA/Ecoready stoves – which have been designed with efficiency at their heart – can reach 80 per cent efficiency. But nothing can currently rival the heating efficiency of a pellet stove.
When researching pellet stoves, you should look for one which complies with Ecodesign, the European-wide initiative designed to improve efficiency and reduce emissions from solid fuel stoves. Ecodesign 2022 is the stove industry’s response to the DEFRA Clean Air Strategy which aims to improve air quality and reduce emissions/pollution.
Self-building gives you the opportunity to design a bespoke property to suit your exact needs. Managing your heating with a pellet stove will not only provide an aesthetically pleasing addition to your property, but will also help to futureproof your heating.
Ian Sams is commercial director at Specflue