Wood pellet burners


Wood pellet burners look similar to conventional wood burners, but they offer a lot more control over how much heat is produced and when. They are a very environmentally friendly and clean burning heating option.

  • Pellet burners have low emissions and provide convenient, easily controllable heating. Most units have a remoter control, thermostat and can be timer controlled.
  • Most models have a fan built in to better distribute heat around the room.
  • The pellets are made from 100% wood residues (sawdust and wood shavings)
  • The controlled density and moisture level of wood pellets means that they burn with more consistency and lower emissions than logs.
  • Burning wood from sustainable forests is carbon neutral. While trees are growing, they capture carbon dioxide from the air. This carbon dioxide is released either when the wood is burnt, or when the tree dies and rots. While some emissions are produced in the transporting and processing of the wood, this is only a very small amount per unit of heat
  • Wood is renewable and sustainable. New Zealand has extensive areas of forestry.
  • Some wood pellet burners can be fitted with a wet back to heat water as well, check with your supplier about this option.
  • Low emission pellet burners are allowed in some areas where new wood burners are not allowed in houses that haven’t had a wood burner before. For more information check with your local council. Local council website directory.

There are a number of things to consider when choosing a pellet burner:

  • Insulate first. Make sure your ceiling and underfloor insulation is sorted first – you’ll be able to buy a smaller pellet burner and your home will be cheaper to heat properly.
  • Get a building consent. You need a building consent from your local City or District Council for the installation of a solid fuel burner. These authorities, including the regional council, may also have additional requirements for solid fuel burners, please check with them. Find their contact details on the Local council website directory.
  • Choose an authorised pellet burner. Check out the Ministry for the Environment’s list of authorised wood pellet burners.
  • Work out what size you need. Use the heater sizing calculator to work out how much heat you need.
  • Heating more than one room. Most wood pellet burners generate much more heat than is needed for one room, but unless your house is very open-plan or has internal door openings which go right up to the ceiling the excess heat will not effectively travel into other rooms. Heat transfer kits, which are designed to pump warm air from one room into one or more other rooms, can assist with heat distribution. Heat transfer kits are available from DIY stores, but as there are a lot of factors that can affect how well they work, EECA suggests you contact a professional tradesperson.
  • Many pellet burners need electricity to work so they may not be well suited to areas that experience blackouts regularly.
  • Use a certified installer. Quality installation is fundamental to a pellet burner’s performance and safety. We recommend that installation be carried out by a certified Solid Fuel Appliance Installation Technician of the New Zealand Home Heating Association.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s operation and safety instructions.
  • Use safety guards to protect children. Pellet burner surfaces can get very hot and can be a danger to small children.
  • Keep flammable objects well away from the pellet burner while it is in use.
  • Store your wood pellets in an areas that is suitably dry.
  • Only heat the areas you’re using, and only while you’re using them.
  • Keep the heat in by shutting doors and curtains.
  • Set the thermostat for healthy indoor temperatures. World Health Organisation guidelines recommend at least 18˚C in any rooms you’re using (or at least 20˚C if you have vulnerable people in the home, like children, the elderly or the ill), and at least 16˚C in bedrooms overnight.
  • Don’t set the thermostat higher than you need it. Setting the thermostat to the maximum won’t heat up your room any quicker.
  • Use the timer. It doesn’t take long to heat up your home, and leaving your heater running when you’re not at home is a waste of energy. Set the timer so your pellet burner comes on half an hour or so before you need it.
  • Service and maintain your pellet burner as per the manufacturer’s instructions. This is important for maintaining its safety, performance and longevity.


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    Mr. Alex Nguyen

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    Mr. Evan Nguyen