Heating System Guides

Consumer Buying Guides to Home Heating and Air Conditioning Systems

Wood, Pellet, or Coal Heating Systems

No matter what part of the country you live, wood, pellet or coal heating systems are more popular today than they have been in many years.  There resurgence is due to the high cost of other fuel types including natural gas, propane and electricity. Plain and simply, there is a variety of wood stoves, pellet stoves and coal home heating systems that are dependable and very effective.

Many of this type of home heating systems are used to heat both space and water.  Some are installed inside the home and others are set outside with the heat being transferred inside through water.

For those concerned about the high, volatile costs of heating oil, gas and electricity, coal and wood, or pellet stove heating systems provide very attractive alternatives.  If you have ready access to free or inexpensive fire wood, they can also be very affordable.  At Energy Savers, you can learn more about wood, coal or pellet stove heating systems, their benefits, and how to choose the right one for your home.

Types of Wood or Coal Fired Heating Systems

Review the different types of area heating systems below:

Wood, Pellet or Coal stoves – The types of stoves that heated American homes for centuries are still being produced, only with greater safety and effectiveness.   Most types can use either coal or wood for fuel, whatever is most available and cost-effective. They can also burn other fuels such as wood pellets made from sawdust, wood chips, paper waste and agricultural waste.

Fuel options include corn kernels, sunflowers, beet pulp, dried cherry pits, soybeans and nutshells.  These cast iron stoves radiate heat into the home and some models are also equipped with blower fans for better distribution, possibly through ductwork.  Cast iron ovens are included in some models too.  Traditional-style pot belly stoves are still made but updated for safety and efficiency.

Outdoor Boilers – These wood or coal fired home heating systems are growing in popularity due to their affordability and effectiveness.  The system consists of a large boiler installed outside the home.  Coal, wood pellets or wood is used to boil water.  The heated water travels into the home via an insulated pipe, where it is matched to an indoor hot water system of your choice.

The hot water can then be used in a variety of ways like other hot water heating systems. It can pass through a heat exchanger in an air handler attached to ductwork.  It can be used in a radiant-heat system with in-floor heating or it can deliver heat to baseboard radiators.  Water circulates back to the boiler to be reheated.

The system can be controlled by a thermostat for comfortable indoor temperatures throughout the heating season. These wood home heating systems can also be used to heat water for the household, reducing the use of natural gas or electricity to heat it. In addition to home use, coal and wood fired heating systems are commonly used to heat garages, workshops, greenhouses, barns or sheds and the water can be used to heat hot tub or swimming pool.

Finally, while the technology is very similar to what has been used for centuries, today’s coal and wood home heating systems are safer and more effective than ever.  At the Department of Energy, you can check your local building codes before installing one.  In areas with high pollution, their use can be restricted at times.  For dependable, efficient warmth for your home and your hot water supply, coal and wood fired heating systems are worth a close look.