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  Reply # 1768088 20-Apr-2017 19:26
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SATTV:

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sounds like there is a problem with it or not the best brand, as that hasn't been my experience with heat pumps. They do also have the benefit of cooling in the summer. They are also fairly responsive, and economical compared to a regular heater.

 

 

 

Wetbacks are supposedly not a great option these days with the new fires, unless you have the water heater right next to the fire, there is usually too much heat loss through the pipe across the distance. Also it make the fire less efficient. 


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  Reply # 1768096 20-Apr-2017 19:44
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I dont know about new modern low emission fire places but a friend had a house with a pot belly stove with a wetback and you had to be careful not to boil the water, we had a chip heater in our family home growing up and that could boil water, the HWC was about 5m away.

 

There will be some losses as water has to go through the pipe but even if it only gets to 50degrees, electricity only has to heat 10 - 15 degrees.

 

John

 

 





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  Reply # 1768104 20-Apr-2017 20:09
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Wood burners can be real cheap if you get a bit of free wood but even when we have to pay full price It's only 430 per year. As for the labour involved with the wood, how many of you pay for a gym membership? your labour is free good exercise and quite therapeutic. Probably the biggest thing for me is the trance I go into while crouching in front of it waiting to fan the flames if needed, It's a primal experience. To top it all off, nothing feels warmer than the flickering orange light with the lights off at night.


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  Reply # 1768118 20-Apr-2017 21:06
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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.

 

 

 

 

Assuming the 45Kg LPG bottles cost you around $100 per bottle. That equates to around 16c per KW/Hr. How much do you pay per unit for electricity? You would also need to calculate a per kW/hr price for pellet fires. As it would be silly to get a pellet fire if they end up being more expensive to run than an LPG gas fire. Especially as delivery fees are included in the price of LPG. And of course with LPG you just press a button and the fire goes. Yet with pellets you have to collect them, store them, and manually load them into the fire.

 

@Romn Since you said you already have somewhere for a fireplace to go. Have a look at the Rinnai Neo freestanding gas fire. 80% energy efficient - 4 star. How important is it to have the ambiance of flames? Or do you only want radiant heat? If you only want radiant heat, just get a bar heater. If you want a heater that blows out hotter air than a heatpump, Then get a Rinnai Energysaver flued gas heater. Or just a cheap electric fan heater.

 

Cheapest overall would probably be a new heatpump. but just check what the C.O.P. is at -10deg outside temp. As alot of heatpump companies quote the headline efficiency as the C.O.P. for +15deg outside temp. Which is never realistic for Dunedin. Also the heat output of a heatpump drops when the outside temp get colder. There are also some heatpumps which use electric elements in the indoor units to maintain heat output in very cold weather. And maybe use the heatpump for bulk heating, and a bar heater or gas fire for radiance / ambiance.






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  Reply # 1768122 20-Apr-2017 21:29
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Aredwood:

 

 

 

Assuming the 45Kg LPG bottles cost you around $100 per bottle. That equates to around 16c per KW/Hr. How much do you pay per unit for electricity? You would also need to calculate a per kW/hr price for pellet fires. As it would be silly to get a pellet fire if they end up being more expensive to run than an LPG gas fire. Especially as delivery fees are included in the price of LPG. And of course with LPG you just press a button and the fire goes. Yet with pellets you have to collect them, store them, and manually load them into the fire.

 

 

 

 

You weren't asking me, but I pay around 15c/kwh of power, and my heat pump has a COP around 4, so I pay around 4c per kwh of heat.





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  Reply # 1768237 21-Apr-2017 07:48
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If the Germany Model is something to go by. the NZ cost of pellet fuel has a long way to go cheaper.  Some Germans have their fuel is blown into the furnace room storage from a truck 6 tonnes at a time.  How would that go at $10 a bag?

 

If you have won lotto.  Move.




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  Reply # 1768284 21-Apr-2017 09:17
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Thank you all for your suggestions.

 

Time to do some costing.

 

 

 

Still not sure heat pump is a good solution for heating in Dunedin as outside temperature is quite cold and in three years there I never need to use it in cooling mode, just opening the windows is generally enough.

 

I will have a look at the gas solution, I need to talk with a plumber to say what it may cost to have a new line through the house (and maybe an additional one for a gas range in the kitchen while I am it). I am afraid of the bottle consumption after that, I am already consuming about 1 bottle every 1.5 months.


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  Reply # 1768318 21-Apr-2017 10:02
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It being cold outside is fine, heat pumps work in low temperatures. I think high moisture and cold lead to ice, which decreases efficiency. Talk to a local installer.





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  Reply # 1768365 21-Apr-2017 10:46
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Live on a farm, woodburner with wetback, free wood from all the trees that die off naturally. No costs for heating and almost none for hot water, but the woodburner only heats one room. To keep my computer room bearable in the winter, I have a portable gas heater and that is not cheap.

 

 





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  Reply # 1768397 21-Apr-2017 11:34
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We installed a pellet fire in our last house (Lower Hutt), and found it ok but I don't think I'd do it again (current house we went with ducted heatpump). There have been some good earlier threads on pellet fires here which would be worth reading.

 

One relevant comment I recall is that, with a pellet fire, you're at the mercy of a very narrow range of providers for the fuel - are there more options than just Nature's Flame? Other posters recalled how the price per bag has increased significantly over time - something that can easily continue in the future. You can mitigate this in the short-term by buying decent quantities of pellets (I think we bought a single order of 500kg or more), but I assume they have a limited lifespan (and may be prone to absorbing moisture?).

 

Perhaps I'm somewhat sensitive to sound, but I also found the noise of our pellet fire annoying. The constant hum of the fan, and then the sound of the pellets being dropped. It wasn't also brilliant at starting first pop, and when burning low could sometimes go out or smoke a lot. Sure, these are probably adjustment issues that could be fixed, but it's just worth pointing out they're not necessarily a "set and forget" solution.

 

If this is your primary heat source for the house, you'll also need to consider how you'll distribute the heat; our experience with heat transfer kits (again, with the pellet fire) was poor, but I imagine if done properly (decently insulated ducting for instance) it'll make a difference. But other options - whether it be gas or heat pump-based central heating, or even multiple heatpumps - may offer other solutions to the same problem. Personally, this problem of distribution is one of the main reasons that led us to a ducted heat pump - I dislike the overly intense heat of a wood burner or pellet fire; even with a distribution system I find them headache-inducing.


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  Reply # 1768948 22-Apr-2017 16:00
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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

 

 

 

 

 Normal wood is sold my firewood merchants, who advertise the stuff.

 

It's also far cheaper than pellets.

 

Push a button...uhuh. Best to stick with the heat pump then I think


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  Reply # 1768952 22-Apr-2017 16:07
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I have a family member that has a pellet burner, their biggest negative with it is noise. The Fan and pellet delivery is noisy. It is very warm but does seem to get through pellets quite fast. They  are cleaner than traditional wood burners and the pellets are easy to store and pick up from the shop. 





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  Reply # 1768988 22-Apr-2017 17:38
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MikeB4:

 

I have a family member that has a pellet burner, their biggest negative with it is noise. The Fan and pellet delivery is noisy. It is very warm but does seem to get through pellets quite fast. They  are cleaner than traditional wood burners and the pellets are easy to store and pick up from the shop. 

 

 

The earlier all inside units can be noisy. Some of the newer pallet stove models have the combustion/exhaust blower mounted outside along with the pipes. These are quieter like a decent brand heatpump.

 

The only real restriction with them, is the need for battery backup when the power goes out. That and heat output. I think the biggest is around 5-7kW.

 

I'd prefer a log burner that has a second combustion chamber (to burn off any smoke, aka: wasted fuel) that are more efficient/cleaner and can allow you to have much higher heat output when needed. Also electricity isn't a factor.

 

My preference although more costly is gas. Flick a switch, done. I prefer the manual piezo fires with a fan that is not required during power blackout. No de-frost cycles, kinder on allergies or asthma, and someone else can fuel it up for you. The convenience is cost though, but still cheaper than electricity.

 

The current place I'm in is old school, still has a coal burner. It throws out tons of heat and is pretty clean burning with the right firebricks that get the coals burning nice and blue rather than orange flames.

 

Diesel or heating fuel is also an option. A friend had a central heated Diesel system, I couldn't imagine the cost but there was certainlly heat when you wanted it. I think around 15kW it could output and has all the benefits of gas.


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  Reply # 1775940 4-May-2017 22:31
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Pellet fires are good to a point you have more maintenance costs with them and they need power to work.. the evolution from pellet fire solutions seems to be popular they took over from nature's flame as the importer.

If you can be bothered woodfires are an amazing way to heat your home it means chopping wood and storing it but nothing comes close to the lovely heat you get from them IMHO.

@timmmay that's simply not the case with an eco flue system I'm sure I have told you this before


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  Reply # 1775943 4-May-2017 22:49
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Stan: Pellet fires are good to a point you have more maintenance costs with them and they need power to work.. the evolution from pellet fire solutions seems to be popular they took over from nature's flame as the importer.

If you can be bothered woodfires are an amazing way to heat your home it means chopping wood and storing it but nothing comes close to the lovely heat you get from them IMHO.

@timmmay that's simply not the case with an eco flue system I'm sure I have told you this before

 

 

 

How much ceiling cavity space do you need for an eco flue, as it looks like it draws air from the ceiling cavity? I have seen that they can stick out of the ceiling, if you have a sloped ceiling which can look ugly. The shape of the cowls also look a bit odd on the eco flue, they look a bit like a 'knob' or snake head.


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