Is there anything cosier than a fireplace in your living room? 6 million French people use wood to heat their property. The wood heating system has one great quality: it is a renewable energy that does not emit carbon dioxide when fuel is burned. Considered a traditional heating system, wood is coming back to replace the gas heating system as well as electricity.
Wood fuelled heating systems generally burn:
– wood pellets or chips
How do wood fuelled heating systems work?
There are two main ways of using wood to heat your home:
- A standalone stoveburning logs, chips or pellets to heat a single room. Some can also be fitted with a back boiler to provide water heating as well.
- A boilerburning pellets, logs or chips connected to a central heating and hot water system.
Contrary to oil and other home heating sources, wood pellet heat has been a stable energy source for the past 20 years. Despite incredible growth over the last few years, pellets are still affordable. The consumption rate is far superior to that of an oil system.
The efficiency of wood is far superior to the other methods of heating, andideal for an eco friendly property.Its humidity rate is below 10%, which improves burning and heat production. It releases neither smoke, nor odour or ash: just gas. Wood pellets are delivered in bulk, and cost around Â£210 per ton.
Logs are more suitable for fireplaces, especially in Alpine chalets. The newest wood stoves offer improved burning rates. Log burning stoves and boilers have to be filled with wood by hand. Some pellet and chip burners use automatic fuel feeders which refill them at regular intervals from fuel storage units called hoppers. Nevertheless, you should take certain points into account, such as: the location of your French property (in a warmer or colder region), the insulation… Choose a dry wood and keep it well protected from rain but if it is still green, wait for at least two years before burning it.
Is a wood fuelled heating system suitable for my home?
A few key questions answered:
- Do you have enough space?
You’ll need a large area near the boiler or a shelter outside your house to store your wood. Ideally this should be close to where the wood is delivered to your home to minimise the distance.
- Do you have a suitable flue?
You need a vent which is specifically designed for wood fuel appliances, with sufficient air movement for proper operation of the stove. Your existing chimney can be fitted with a lined flue, which is relatively inexpensive.
- Do you need planning permission?
You need to talk to your local authority (your Mairie) if you’re planning your flue to extend 1m or more above the height of your roof, or your home is in a Conservation Area or World Heritage Site and you plan to install a flue on the principal elevation visible from a road.