pellet solutions to save more
Pellets are a form of fuel that heats up a home in a more practical and cost-effective way. It costs about 25% less than methane and two times less than diesel oil used for heating purposes. Moreover, its price has been fairly stable over time, with a slight increase due to growing demand, but nothing comparable to the drastic increases and price swings of fossil fuels.
But what are the most cost-effective pellet solutions to heat our homes?
There are various alternatives that must be carefully evaluated depending on your initial situation and the investment you want to make.
A small pellet stove to save money
In some cases, all you need is an air pellet stove to ensure more comfortable and uniform heat and save on your heating bill. A 6-8 kW product may be enough to heat part of the home, for instance where you spend most of the day, leaving the onus of heating the rest of the rooms and domestic water to the traditional boiler.
Some stoves, like ducted pellet stoves, can heat several rooms at the same time by conveying the heat through the pipes in the walls. The initial cost will be slightly higher, also considering that the installation will be a bit more expensive, but actual heating will cost less.
With this kind of stove, you can calculate savings of over Euro 220 per year if the pellet stove is used to replace a methane system; just under Euro 800 per year if it replaces a diesel fuel system; and over Euro 1200 per year if it replaces an LPG system (data from AIEL, the Italian Agroforestry Energies Association, calculated for a 150 m2 home with average insulation and 12 MWh in terms of primary heating demand, amounting to an annual consumption of 1200 Nm3 of methane, 1200 litres of diesel and 2550 kg of pellets).
A hydro stove for the entire system
Compared to a more challenging initial investment, a pellet hydro stove is the way to go for affordable heating. Indeed, you can use it to heat the entire system -traditional with radiators or underfloor heating – with pellets. The hydro stove is indeed designed to exchange heat with the water in the system and ensure even and comfortable heating throughout the home.
This means even higher savings. For instance, in a 160 m2 home with energy class E, by choosing a hydro stove instead of a diesel fuel boiler, the overall heating cost would drop by 50%, saving about Euro 2700 – 2800 a year (our simulation is based on data from AIEL, the Italian Agroforestry Energies Association, relating to the primary energy costs in Italy).
Bear in mind that more powerful hydro stoves, combined with the designated kit, can also produce domestic hot water, thereby fully replacing a fossil fuel boiler. A further step to avoid using the boiler even in summer is the installation of solar collectors, which in summer guarantee plenty of hot water and during sunny winter days still help the stove to maintain the temperature of the heating system.