Switching to Solid Fuel: What Do You Need to Consider?
Heating your home with solid fuel lets you take control of your heating and energy bills – and also brings a whole heap of character to your property. But choosing solid fuel isn’t something you can just decide to do without any consideration; it’s a big decision that requires a lot of thought.
In this article, we’re highlighting some of the things you’ll need to think about before implementing solid fuel heating in your property.
What appliances do I need?
To enjoy the benefits of reliable, comfortable solid fuel heating, you need to have the right appliances to convey that heat throughout the household. Which appliances you choose depends on how much you want to rely on solid fuels – and which fuel you want to use.
If it’s your entire heating system is going to run off solid fuel, then you’ll be looking for a boiler – or an equivalent. You have a few options here, including:
- A stove (multi-fuel or not)
- An independent boiler
- An open coal fire with a back boiler
- A cooker
You’ll probably also be eyeing up a fireplace to heat up the living room, too. Each option has its own benefits and stylistic characteristics, but your three main choices boil down to:
- A woodburner
- A multi-fuel stove
- An open fireplace
What fuels do I need?
One of the greatest benefits of switching to a solid fuel system is having complete control over the amount of fuel you use; you’re totally responsible for how much you burn. The type of fuel you need will depend on the type of appliance you have – so if you have a preference for a certain fuel type, then choose appliances that fits that preference.
Let’s run through the different fireplace appliances you can choose, along with which fuel is best for each:
- Woodburner – an idyllic choice in the eyes of many, woodburners are widely popular for their character and aesthetic. A wood-burning stove or fireplace needs – you guessed it – wood to burn, but you can also use smokeless wood pellets if you want to be more efficient. If you fancy the woodburner route, check our previous article on solid fuel storage to learn more about firewood storage at home.
- Multi-fuel stove – functioning much in the same way as a woodburner, but with the added benefit of being able to burn multiple types of fuel. This means you can switch up which fuel you want to burn at any time, giving you more flexibility and control.
- Open fireplace – open fires can be a huge statement piece for a traditional living room, and can provide comforting heat up close – perfect for those long winter nights. Wood and coal can be burned on an open fire – but for maximum efficiency, you’ll probably want to opt for a smokeless alternative such as natural anthracite or briquettes.
Thinking about money and the environment
Besides the physical appliances and installation, the economic and environmental considerations will also be important. Your budget will a decisive factor in what you end up with, but you’ll also need to take into account the price of regular fuel supply – though this could be offset by not having energy bills coming from your supplier every month.
If you’re concerned about the environmental impact of, say, a woodburner, then it’s definitely worth looking into smokeless alternatives. The same can be said with coal. You’ll also want to make sure that you know if your home falls in a smoke control area – you’ll need to ask your local council to be certain. If you do, you’ll need to buy an appliance which is either fit to burn smokeless fuels, or one that is HETAS approved for use in said areas.
Where do I get fuel from?
If you’ve never had to provide your own fuel before, getting the right amount, frequency and type is quite the challenge. Before you dive into buying appliances and having them installed, talk to a reputable solid fuel supplier – such as KG Smith & Son – to find out about the best types of fuel for your home.
Once your plans are taking shape, you can then discuss how much fuel you need – and how often you need it.
Having a trusted fuel supplier at your back will make the whole process much easier for you – you’ll have much less to worry about once your heating and fireplace systems are all ready to fire up.
Make sure you’re planning ahead and get in touch with the team at KG Smith & Son today. We can deliver a huge range of solid fuels direct to your home wherever you are in the country. If you’re having solid fuel appliances installed and need an expert team to handle fuel supply for you, we’re on hand to help – so give us a call.