Looking to buy a pellet heater but don’t want to throw away your old heating system? The good news is there are many benefits to using a pellet heater with other heaters like a heat pump or wood heater. In Tasmania the weather can be unpredictable. One day it’s warm, the next it’s freezing cold. A pellet heater is a great for those cold days, but it’s not always the most efficient option. By using a pellet heater with a heat pump or a wood heater, you can save money and ensure that your home is always comfortable. Below I take a look at how to use a pellet heater with heat pump or wood heater to maximize your heating.
Pellet Heater and Heat Pump
A heat pump uses electricity to transfer heat from one place to another, instead of generating heat directly. It works by absorbing heat from the air outside and transferring it into your home. This makes heat pumps highly efficient, especially during milder weather because the air outside your home is “warm” and has plenty of heat that can be easily extracted and transferred inside you house. Pellet heaters create lovely, natural warmth by burning wood pellets and despite being more efficient than wood heaters, they aren’t as efficient as heat pumps. Pellet heaters are great, but it is most effective during extremely cold weather when a heat pump may struggle to maintain a comfortable temperature in your home.
By combining a heat pump with a pellet heater, you can take advantage of the efficiency of the heat pump during milder weather and switch to the pellet heater when it gets really cold. You’ll save money on heating because on those days when it’s not extremely cold, the heat pump will be extremely efficient and much cheaper to run than a pellet heater. You’ll still be warm and save money by not burning pellets. However, when the temperature drops to colder levels you can switch the pellet heater on. This way you get real warmth when it’s cold but save money by not burning pellets when the weather is mild and use the heat pump.
Pellet Heater and Wood Heater
Combining a wood heater with a pellet heater can be an effective way to ensure that your home is warm and comfortable throughout the winter season. Wood heaters provide a reliable source of heat that can last for hours, even after the fire has gone out. However, the downside to wood heaters is that they can produce too much heat, especially in smaller rooms, which might mean you need to open a window to let some heat out. On the other hand, pellet heaters won’t over heat a room and offer much more temperature control, making them an excellent choice for use during milder days or when you’ll be in and out of the house.
Some people like to keep their wood heater if they have the space and also install a pellet heater, which allows them to avoid over-heating their home and save money by not burning more firewood or wood pellets than needed to stay warm. Using a pellet heater as a primary heat source during the day, and switching to a wood heater during the night, can be a great way to maintain a steady temperature in you your house. If you live somewhere that can experience very cold winter days, you can use the wood heater when the temperature drops below zero, for example, and switch to the pellet heater on milder days.
Just be aware that a pellet heater and wood heater can’t share the same flue. You will need to install separate flues. Pellet heaters can heat most houses no problem but I understand that on real cold days or at night it is sometimes nice to see a burning fire in a wood heater. If you are lucky enough to have the space to install both a wood heater and pellet heater, the it’s a great way to keep warm and enjoy the best of both heating options.
Pellet Heater and Electric Heaters
Electric heaters are expensive to run and I don’t recommend you buy one unless it’s to be used sparingly and only to heat a small room. However, many people already have an electric heater and using one with a pellet heater is a great way to save money and heat your house more efficiently. If I were you I’d use a pellet heater when it’s cold and you want to heat a large area, like the lounge room and warm the rest of your house. Pellet heaters are much better at heating larger areas and are cheaper to run than plug in electric heaters, so you’ll save money doing this and keep your house much warmer.
However, don’t throw away your electric heater just yet. On days when it’s just a bit chilly and you only need heat for an hour or so before it warms up, plus you are only looking to heat a small area, then an electric heater is still a good choice. Also, you could use an electric heater in your bedroom overnight while sleeping. Setting the electric heater to a low temperature will keep your bedroom warm and it won’t be expensive to run because it’s running in low and only heating a small area.
Put simply, use a pellet heater to heat your house and on those cold days. Otherwise, use an electric heater for short periods of time and small rooms. This way you’ll save money and stay warm.
Pellet Heater and Other Heaters
There are plenty of other heaters out there besides heat pumps, wood heaters and electric heaters. I listed those three above because in Tasmania and Australia it’s the most common types of heating. There are also diesel heaters and gas heaters to name a few more. You can definitely use a pellet heater with these types of heating. However, diesel heaters are more commonly used in caravans or temporary living areas. While you can install a pellet heater in a tiny house, it’s not so easy in a tent or back of a vehicle you may be camping in. In these cases it’s obviously better to use a diesel heater.
Gas heating, well it depends. Natural gas piped to your home is about as efficient as a pellet heater and may cost more or less to run. It really depends on what you pay for gas. However, in Tasmania pellet heaters are cheaper than gas heaters. Gas heaters might be good if you don’t feel like getting pellets from downstairs on a cold day or it’s night time and don’t want to refill the hopper on the pellet heater. Me personally I’d pick either a gas heater or pellet heater. There’s more of a difference between wood heater and pellet heater than gas heater and pellet heater. However, they can be used together and will provide a similar heating experience.
There’s no need to get rid of your heat pump or wood heater if you are looking to buy a pellet heater. When using a pellet heater with other heating, like a heat pump, you can save money by using the heat pump during milder weather and switching to the pellet heater when the temperature drops. If you’ve got a wood heater, use it at night and switch to the pellet heater when you need quick heat, like before and after work. This way, you can ensure that your home is always warm and comfortable, no matter the weather outside. By using a pellet heater with another heater, you can enjoy the best of both worlds and save money.