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Old 10.01.2016, 15:04
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Re: Pellet or Wood burning stove ?

We have an oil fuelled heating system with 2 wall radiators in a room with a lot of windows, and sized about 18 foot x 10 foot. (clearly an old house because it has none of the fabulous underfloor Swissy heating)

3 years ago we installed a wood burning stove - cast iron. And digressing a little - we had to endure the disgust of the Swiss installers because it was made in Italy, but SO much more attractive for our taste than the Tardis looking beasts that the Swiss prefer from the Nordics or Germany.

Anyways. We live 1000m above sea level and so have a LOT of snow in a usual winter, typically from November to April. And I originate from hotter climes anyways so I keep the fire running nearly every night of the year regardless of weather.

We use about 6 pieces of dried 33cm wood every night through the winter season. It burns to about 11pm and if we close off the room, it is still warm in the morning.

We buy 2 ster of brennholz (pallets of chimney wood) for I think CHF 180 each every year.

In fairness, this is the expensive bark stripped wood from the Landi - we've also tried cherry wood from the local farmers which was about CHF 100 per ster but didn't think it burnt for as long. Am sure so much depends on type of wood and how "cured" it is and different parts of Swissy have different pricing levels as well.

We can use the top of our stove to heat casseroles/plates/bolognaise sauce.

Our oil heating consumption has dropped by 18% annually since installing the wood stove. (married to a geek who measures everything)

We explored the pellet burner option as well. Definitely a more efficient method for heating and cost. But no where near as pretty to look at for our taste. (although I see that Italy now are starting to make retro looking pellet burners that are as "cabin woodsy" cute as our current wood burner)

No effect either way on smell. All approved wood stoves within Switzerland are so tightly sealed that the floating ash and smell excitement is.....non existent. Sometimes I sit with the wood burner door open, just to get a whiff but given we live in a wooden house, this is naughty of me!)

We actually use those pellets for our cat litter trays (eco friendly) - the biggest annoyance is that the bags inevitably incur at least one split from the shop to our house, so we wind up with pellets through the car to be cleaned up or worse, pellets spilling and sneaking underfoot - and they're not fun to unexpectedly tread on.
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