How to choose a wood-burning appliance? What are the main criteria for selecting a wood-burning appliance?
This article will enlighten the reader who is looking for a wood-burning appliance. If you have a specific question about a device or your wood installation, do not hesitate to ask it on our forum wood heating
The criteria for choosing the right wood-burning appliance
There are three basic criteria in choosing a wood burning appliance, they are related and the rest must take a back seat if you want to come up with a wood heating solution that will satisfy you with use for years to come.
The 3 main criteria for choosing wood heating:
1 - Your thermal needs
What do you need? A hot air back-up for one or a few rooms (which remain “chilly” in winter for example for reason X or Y?), To replace an existing hydraulic boiler to reduce your fossil fuel bill? Or even integral central heating for your new home or in the event of a change of boiler? Criterion 1 "My additional or integral wood heating"?
2 - The nature of the firewood you will use
This choice strongly depends on your region (price, availability, etc.), on your ability to store wood “correctly”, but also on the desired comfort. Criterion 2 “Fuel supply and storage”.
3 - How much will it cost me and how much will I save on my energy bills by switching to wood?
Heating with wood can be the most economical heating that is provided that the installation is done correctly and that the fuel is of good quality. Because unlike fuel oil or gas, there are strong disparities in price and quality between regions and between suppliers. For more information on the potential savings of firewood read the article on types of firewood: advantages, disadvantages and price with useful energy.Criterion 3 "Economic profitability of my wood heating".
The main criteria to choose a heater
The "secondary" criteria
- Level of comfort sought? Full, partial or no automation? The criteria are subjective and depend on your personal case. For example, a wood-fired boiler with manual recharging is quite incompatible with a house which remains empty 10-12 hours a day.
- Is the architecture of your house compatible with additional wood heating? Thermally, not all homes are "designed" (far from it) to heat with hot air from a localized source (partitioning). If this is not the case, work can be considered (ducting for recovery and blowing of hot air) but they will inflate the bill. Mechanically, it is necessary to be able to install the stove and the evacuation of the fumes of course. If it is not present, the installation of an evacuation duct (chimney) up to the roof will be necessary. Except with pellet stoves which can be satisfied with a horizontal discharge and a small external casing thanks to their blower.
- Your budget. The prices of a wood heating solution range from 200 to 400 € for a 1st price tin stove to 30 € and more for the automated boiler or the “luxury” mass stove.
- The design of the device. Wood stoves are often placed in the main living room, so their design must meet your expectations and integrate for the best at home. But be careful to always place the "thermal performance" criterion before that of "design" (unless you want a wood fire "just for the eyes" of course and heating is not your priority)
- Operation noise. With the first generation pellet stoves, the problem of the noise of the blower turned out to be quite annoying for some people. It does not allow its use in a bedroom (or mezzanine bedroom for example) or even near it.
- Am I really ready to switch to wood heating? Heating with wood is more restrictive than heating with fossil fuels. You have to be honest, even with a 100% automatic boiler you will never achieve the comfort of a gas or oil boiler.
You will, for example:
- periodically clean the exchanger of your boiler (also valid for an oil boiler but less frequently),
- check the condition of your pellet storage silo,
- sweep the chimney more often than with oil.
There are some problems caused by wood heating in browsing our forum heating.
But the Wood heating also has many advantages which makes it a very popular heating medium. In France, at the start to the end of the 2000s, more than one in four households was heated with wood, as a back-up or as a main source of energy!
Here are the generalities to know before launching "headlong" in the choice of one solution or the other.