A bumper stick that I’ll never forget read “There is no PLANet B”. Eco friendly heaters are important now more than ever. The days are long gone when you didn’t have to worry about what impact you had on the world. There’s a lot more of “us” today than ever before and the world’s resources are steadily being used up. One way eco friendly conscious people can make a change is by picking a heater that reduces the impact it has on the world in which we live. To pick the best eco friendly heater though you need to make sure you consider where it gets its energy from, how efficient it is and how “clean” it is.
There are a lot of heating options out there. The most common nowadays are heat pumps, wood heaters, diesel heaters, solar heaters and electric heaters to just name a few. Some of these are more eco friendly than others, meaning they tick more of the critical points I listed above, energy source, efficiency and cleanliness. A lesser know but in my opinion the best eco friendly heater is a pellet heater. There’s a good chance you’ve never heard of them or know very little about how pellet heaters work, so keep reading and I’ll break down why I think they are a good heater for anyone wanting to reduce their environmental footprint.
Eco Friendly Heater Energy Source
First, where does the heater get its energy or heat from? Heat pumps have become increasingly popular because they use at least half to a third of electricity as a standard electric heater. That makes them cheap to run but where is that electricity coming from? Many countries, including most of Australia, get electricity from burning coal. So while a heat pump is energy efficient it still gets its energy from a dirty source. If you want to get away from burning coal, then a heat pump may not an eco friendly heating option. Compare this with firewood. Many people cut down native trees to burn which obviously are gone forever.
The energy or fuel used in pellet heaters, wood pellets, is very eco friendly. Pellet heaters burn wood pellets which is basically timber. Now, don’t be fooled by this. First, wood pellets are typically made from waste wood product, like sawdust. This is very eco friendly because it is turning a waste product that was traditionally thrown away into something that can be recycled and used for heating. Also, the trees used to make wood pellets are often plantation trees. These trees were grown specifically for the purpose of making wood pellets. No native or old forests needs to be cut down to make wood pellets.
Efficiency and Eco Friendly Heaters
Next, efficiency. I wrote an article about efficiency and why I think pellet heaters are efficient, but basically the more efficient a heater is the more heat you get out of it. As I mentioned above, heat pumps are the absolutely most efficient heaters available today. The technology is almost magic like in that you can get more heat out of a heat pump than a standard electric heater. $1 spent on electricity might get you the equivalent of $2 to $3 in heat that you would normally get from a traditional electric heater. However, while heat pumps are very efficient, the heat is horrible, stuffy and many people complain it does not feel warm.
Pellet heaters are about 90% efficient. They aren’t as good as heat pumps, but 90% efficiency is still very good. Compare this with wood heaters which are about 60% efficient. Now, gas heaters and diesel heaters are also about 90% efficient, which is basically the same. However, diesel heaters use an energy source, oil, which is anything but clean. Gas heaters burn gas, which is much cleaner than oil but if you don’t have natural gas where you live then running a gas heater from LPG can be very expensive. At least with pellet heaters you get very high efficiency and the wood pellets are also eco friendly.
Another thing that makes pellet heaters so efficient is the wood pellets contain very little moisture. Moisture in firewood as you know is a huge problem. The higher the moisture content the less heat you get out of firewood, it’s why people have huge piles of firewood drying. However, you can buy wood pellets today and burn them tonight. They contain less than 10% moisture, which helps to make pellet heaters even more efficient and super eco friendly.
Emissions and Eco Friendly Heaters
Lastly, how “clean” is the heater? The best eco friendly should burn clean, meaning very few emissions are produced. You might think heat pumps are very clean because they use electricity and don’t pollute. However, where does that electricity come from? This relates to the energy source. Heat pumps in Australia use electricity generated by coal plants, which is anything but clean. Diesel heaters burn diesel which is produces a lot of emissions. Wood heaters, are extremely inefficient and this shows in just how much smoke is produced while burning firewood. It’s why over the years regulations around wood heaters has become more strict as they try and reduce the amount of smoke they produce.
Again, pellet heaters fit the bill nicely here as they burn very, very, clean. We’re talking at least 1/3rd the emissions of a wood heater. Also, once a pellet heater is going there is no visible smoke. You’ll find in many states around Australia that pellet heaters are not as heavily regulated by EPA rules and regulations, because they just burn so clean. This is another reason why I think pellet heaters are the best eco friendly heater. They burn super clean and don’t pollute the air which is extremely important as more and more people live in built up residential areas.
Summary of Why Pellet Heaters are the Best Eco Friendly Heater
If you are looking for the best eco friendly heater then consider buying a pellet heater and visit a retailer in your area today to see how clean and efficient they really are. Prices range from budget to luxury European Piazzetta pellet heaters, so there’s bound to be something to fit your budget. Wood pellets are made from recycled wood waste and burn so clean that you see no smoke once the pellet heater is going. I also think pellet heaters are the best heater for a tiny house as they come in various sizes and wood pellets, the fuel they burn, come in easy to handle bags that can be easily stored, especially when compared to firewood.