Pellets are made without any additives and are a fuel that is combusted in small amounts at high temperatures. This reduces emissions and environmental impact. Pellets can be used in different types of hearths – in both boilers and fireplaces – and comprise a very energy-rich fuel. If you use pellets in a boiler, little more than a litre is generally required in wintertime to heat an average-sized house for about an hour.
Pellets are a good solution for house owners with an oil-fired or dual-fuel boiler in the basement, although there are even new boilers specially designed for using pellets. If you decide to keep your old oil-fired boiler, you simply replace the oil burner with a pellet burner. House owners who have invested in wood burning with a good boiler and an accumulator tank can easily switch to pellets as well. There are several different solutions for converting a boiler and the costs are often relatively low.
Combining energy sources
Pellet burning is not even an impossibility in houses with electric heating. The solution is a pellet heater. Centrally placed in a house, a heater can replace much of the electricity used for heating while hot water is produced as before. Several heaters are fitted with thermostats, enabling you to set the desired temperature, which is maintained as long as there are pellets left in the hopper.
Much takes care of itself
Using pellets is convenient but requires a fair bit of maintenance. Pellets are fed from the hopper to a smaller intermediate hopper, from which they are fed into the burner. A pellet burner needs to be cleaned about once a month, and the ashes need to be emptied several times a week. Naturally, you need to ensure that you always have a stock of pellets at home. Keep in mind that pellets take quite a lot of space, and that the bags are heavy and cumbersome. This needs to be taken into consideration, not least in terms of ergonomics.
The company that installs your equipment or your pellet supplier can provide information on amounts. Pellets can be bought in different ways. They can be bought by weight from the manufacturer, but most common among house owners is for the pellets to be delivered in large bags, on a pallet or from a bulk truck. If you are considering using pellets, it is an advantage if your house has a large boiler room or some other space suitable for storing pellets.
- Always contact a master chimney sweep before installing equipment for using pellets
- Always put safety first. Protect your pellet store – pellets are an extremely dry fuel and are easily ignited.