wood burner central heating

01/01/2012 - 11:26

Hello ,I have finally bought a house in northern lazio and am now considering investing in the wood burner for the central heating, my neighbour kindly has shown me his and I am off to see another neighbours today .My question is ..price, capacity ..any other info I need ..?My home is 2 levels approx 185m2.. can anybody advise me ?Debs



We have just bought a wood burner here in the UK to take over to our place in Northern Tuscany in the spring.  We looked at buying over in Italy but everythng we saw was quite pricey!  Our place is only small so we have gone for a unit that has the option of attaching a boiler for central heating if we need it.  Going to try it out first to see how much heat it gives us and add radiators next year if we need to.  We don't live full time in Italy so do not spend much time in our place during winter months but the option of a warm house in colder months is attractive - Christmas and New Year beckons maybe in future years? We bought a Stovax Stockton 8 which cost us £750.  If we need the back boiler it will cost us another £200.  Had we just wanted the wood burner without boiler option we could have spent considerably less - £400 - £500 or on ebay there are units for as little as £250 ish!  Not sure about quality though. Getting said wood burner to our house on top of a hill with no road access is the next logistical problem - large friends already lined up to make the trip!! Jan

We've been looking at replacing our old oil boiler for a wood pellet one as it is much cheaper to run but was quoted 5.5k euro for the boiler and new wood pellet stove and labour - that was using our existing rads so we put the plans on the back burner (no pun intended) for 12 month. Still think we will go with it though this year as it will work out cheaper in the long run compared with oil - even with the heavy price tag.

Lorraine, I should shop around for a few quotes as a neighbour of ours has had a pellet stove installed and connect to six radiators for around €4k all in. I can recommend pellet stoves as a cheaper option than Wood burners, but look at the quality of pellets you buy as sometimes the cheaper pellets are poorer quality and less calorific.

There is a lot of comment on wood stove selection in the news letters on the heatingitaly web site and far too much to go into here. However - I nearly always fit the Clearview 750 (14kW)  with the 7kW back boiler and, as suggested above, use a heatbank for storage and transmission of the resulting energy and for fresh unstored hot shower/cooking water.   My all season heating model enables various house sizes to be plugged in and then a range of heating appliances can be inserted .... the annual bill is calculated automatically..... a wood stove is by far the cheapest energy source and I guess we'd all have one for the joy of it anyway but after that there is usually a gap to fill and with heat pump prices now comparable to pellet stoves I'd give serious consideration to the idea of having a small Air Source Heat Pump as well. With one of these you won't need a gas boiler and even solar panels usually give way because the ASHP is so good that the panels struggle to make up their investment. To whet your appetite for an ASHP there's an article in one of the older newsletters on how to get 6kW of heating power completely free of cost.

A woodburner with a water system needs a lot of gadgetry and safety valves apart from the rads. A cheaper system, if your house is suitable, is ducting warm air from an insert or 'foyer' via 10cm ducting pipes to various parts of the house. I recently paid 170 euros for a fire  http://www.bricodepot.fr/montauban/search/node/poele%20foyer I have a system in my farm here in Wales which I bought in France 15 years ago and it's brilliant but you have to get a good source of wood.

Lorraine,there is a Jotul woodburner for sale(see above reference un AngloINFO Umbria site.Shouldn't be too far from Northern Lazio,don't know if this helps or not.