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9 posts

Wannabe Geek


Topic # 213949 20-Apr-2017 13:53 Send private message quote this post

Hi,

 

Our heat pump is getting old, really noisy and is not really efficient (and I don't like heat produced by heat pump) we are considering switching to a wood pellet burner along with a ventilation system.

 

Do you have any advice, costing or experience to share on this source of heating?

 

We are living in Dunedin where the offer seems quite restricted.

 

Thank you!


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  Reply # 1767905 20-Apr-2017 13:58 Send private message quote this post

A burner needs a chimney, and a chimney for a freestanding burner needs a hole around it so the ceiling doesn't catch fire. When the fire isn't on that hole cools the house down a lot. It also lets ceiling cavity air in, including insulation. It's also more hassle, though pellets aren't as bad as wood.

 

My wife doesn't like heat pumps either, but likes them better than the cold. If I was building or doing a big retrofit I'd consider central heating - we use heating probably 8 - 9 months a year even in Wellington, in a house that's very old but well insulated and double glazed.

 

Perhaps you should look at a better heat pump? My Daikin is really quite quiet. My Fujitsu is relatively loud. Both are 5+ years old so it'll be different now.





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Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 1767908 20-Apr-2017 14:08 Send private message quote this post

What I don't like with heat pump is that they are blowing air in your face which is not really pleasant, and the heat is not persistent. As soon as you turn it off, the temperature shut down. I feel like with a "burning" solution that radiates, the temperature would be more persistent.

 

And we already have a chimney (the fireplace is not present anymore but there is still a conduct through the roof).


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  Reply # 1767919 20-Apr-2017 14:35 Send private message quote this post

We keep our lounge heat pump on low fan, with the air pointed away from us. The whole room is still warmed fine, but lower fan speeds are less efficient than auto. Over time the warm air warms everything in the room, sofas, walls, tv, etc, so even after it turns off the room should stay warm for a while.

 

Fires are much hotter than the output of a heat pump (approx 55C), and if you want to use a ventilation system to distribute heat around a house that's what you need. Trying to distribute 25 degree air there's too much loss.

 

Good insulation is of course important regardless of your heat source. My old house does ok, since we added lots of ceiling insulation, wall insulation, under floor insulation, and PVC double glazing. It's still not near as good as a new house, but it's miles better than when I got it, uninsulated.





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  Reply # 1767979 20-Apr-2017 16:15 Send private message quote this post

But why a pellet fire, and not a normal wood burner? Heck, even a ULEB fire, which are usually more efficient than a normal wood burner. Otherwise you are restricted by the type of fuel,  and if they ever stop selling the fuel , or it becomes difficult to get, or gets expensive, you are stuck.


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  Reply # 1767982 20-Apr-2017 16:21 Send private message quote this post

Romn:

 

What I don't like with heat pump is that they are blowing air in your face which is not really pleasant, and the heat is not persistent. As soon as you turn it off, the temperature shut down. I feel like with a "burning" solution that radiates, the temperature would be more persistent.

 

And we already have a chimney (the fireplace is not present anymore but there is still a conduct through the roof).

 

 

 

 

the only time i have felt the air from the heat pump is standing directly under it, standing on the couch. I have it set so the air goes left to right  and up and down .




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Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 1767984 20-Apr-2017 16:22 Send private message quote this post

I thought to a pellet fire rather than a normal wood burner because it is easy. You push a button and it works, the fuel is easy to manipulate and store.

 

Normal woods needs more effort to source them, store them, especially if you need to chop them (and if you buy small log ready to use it seems terribly expensive).

 

I am still studying options, I just thought to pellet burner because I rent a bach which had one and I found it really easy and incredibly efficient.


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  Reply # 1767988 20-Apr-2017 16:26 Send private message quote this post

Romn:

 

I thought to a pellet fire rather than a normal wood burner because it is easy. You push a button and it works, the fuel is easy to manipulate and store.

 

Normal woods needs more effort to source them, store them, especially if you need to chop them (and if you buy small log ready to use it seems terribly expensive).

 

I am still studying options, I just thought to pellet burner because I rent a bach which had one and I found it really easy and incredibly efficient.

 

 

 

 

There are certainly some benefits. I guess it also depends on how often you use it, so working out the running costs, and projected running costs in the future. The good thing though about a woodburner, so if you have a garden, you can burn tree branches and twigs, which is essentially free fuel.


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  Reply # 1767989 20-Apr-2017 16:26 One person supports this post Send private message quote this post

If you want easy, what about gas? Either mains supply or bottles.





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Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 1767993 20-Apr-2017 16:29 Send private message quote this post

I thought gas will be more expensive but why not (as I already have bottles of gas for water heating).

 

I really have to find some cost projection.


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  Reply # 1767994 20-Apr-2017 16:30 Send private message quote this post

timmmay:

 

If you want easy, what about gas? Either mains supply or bottles.

 

 

 

 

I have one in my house, which looks like a fire, but is mains gas. Quite spendy to install these days. Got mine about 15years ago but don't use it that often, and the heat it produces is nowhere near the same amount as a wood fire. I also find gas heating does have a bit of a smell to it. But is certainly an easy on/off option, as it has a pilot light.


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  Reply # 1767996 20-Apr-2017 16:30 Send private message quote this post

Romn:

 

I thought gas will be more expensive but why not (as I already have bottles of gas for water heating).

 

I really have to find some cost projection.

 

 

 

 

I would only suggest gas if you have mains. To do it using bottles will be quite expensive. Infact when I went to a heating expert, they said that if you have mains gas, it is one of the most cost effective ways to heat a house. eg using gas to heat a water boiler, with underslab tubing.


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  Reply # 1768054 20-Apr-2017 18:44 Send private message quote this post

I would have a pellet fire over a heat pump any day.

 

We have a 5kw heat-pump and my 1.5kw scope wall heater does a better job of keeping us warm. ( we have had the installer back several times and he says it is withing spec )

 

Unfortunately we don't have the room for one otherwise I would have installed on years ago, the chimney on a pellet fire can go through a wall, they are very efficient and if I recall they pipe is plastic as it just does not get hot, just lets out a little smoke.

 

Ultimately I would have a wood burner with a wetback but just don't have the space to put it in our lounge.

 

 

 

John

 

 





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  Reply # 1768068 20-Apr-2017 18:49 Send private message quote this post

I'm not familiar with the clean air regs in Dunedin so I'm not sure how necessary that component is to your fire choice . I used to work for a fireplace importer and the only reason  we went into the pellet fire market was because it was ultra clean burning, so they were great for the markets that could still have fires but only with a  low particulate output.

 

Personally I would have a traditional wood fire, that meets your council regs, any day of the week over a pellet fire, more so in your part of the country. I haven't done the maths but I wouldn't think  output vs cost  wouldn't be anywhere near as good as for a wood fire.

 

Gas, well we stocked those as well, and they were big sellers, but like pellet fires the output vs cost, I would think, wouldn't match a wood fire.

 

For a lot of people it comes down to cost vs convenience and wood fires aren't that convenient            


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  Reply # 1768077 20-Apr-2017 19:04 Send private message quote this post

timmmay:

 

If you want easy, what about gas? Either mains supply or bottles.

 

 

 

 

Gas is gutless.

 

Looked at them when we built - most were 2 - 4kw.

 

We went for an-built log burner instead which throws out up to 16KW.

 

No comparison in this regard.


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  Reply # 1768087 20-Apr-2017 19:24 Send private message quote this post

driller2000:

 

timmmay:

 

If you want easy, what about gas? Either mains supply or bottles.

 

 

 

 

Gas is gutless.

 

Looked at them when we built - most were 2 - 4kw.

 

We went for an-built log burner instead which throws out up to 16KW.

 

No comparison in this regard.

 

 

 

 

'Up to' though all depends on the quality of the wood and how dry it is etc. But yes wood burner definitely throws out more heat, although it does take longer to get up to that heat than gas. You can also get more efficient and powerful gas ones such as these http://www.escea.com/nz/fireplaces/indoor-fireplaces/dx-series/ which are upto 10kW


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