Heating: pellets or pellets, what’s the difference?

Granules or pellets, both names can be used to designate this fuel. (©Sebastien Rabany / Adobe Stock )

The atmosphere of a wood fire, without the smell of the chimney fire, and a performance allowing to lower the heating bill. the pellet stove is attracting more and more households.

A booming mode of heating, due to government incentives to equip themselves, the ban on the installation of oil or coal boilers since July 1, 2022 and boosted by the war in Ukraine and galloping inflation .

Between 2020 and 2021 already, “sales of pellet stoves have increased by 41% and sales of pellet boilers by 120%, with 180,000 and 32,000 pieces respectively”, details in a press release Propellet, the national association of wood pellet heating professionals.

But before starting, it is necessary from the outset to make the precision: pellets of wood or pellet, is there a difference?

Wood pellet or pellet?

If the two terms are used, in reality they mean the same thing. “The wood pellet […] is also known by the English term of “pellet””, explains Propellet on its site.

“For lovers of etymology, ‘pellet’ is a term used on the English side, because its shape is reminiscent of a ball (“bullet”)”, adds a spokesperson for Propellet to

Pellets or pellets, therefore, it is the same thing, that is “a fuel that has the shape of small cylinders of 100% natural wood”.

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Wood pellets mainly come from the compaction of by-products from sawmills such as sawdust and shavings. […] It is a very homogeneous, dry, dense and fluid fuel. Its very low humidity rate (less than 10%) gives it a high calorific value and allows heating appliances to have excellent performance.

Propellet National association of wood pellet heating professionals.

Stoves and boilers

If you find the name pellet stove or pellet stove, it is therefore normal. Not to be confused with the pellet boiler, which will use the same fuel but in a different situation.

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The pellet boiler is a central heating device, which will produce “hot water from wood pellets stored in a silo”, specifies TotalEnergies.

The pellet stove, on the other hand, will be used more as auxiliary heating, a bit like a wood stove which, on the other hand, uses wood logs as fuel (and not pellets).

A competitive product

Beware, however, with rising energy costs (gas and electricity) and inflation, the cost of pellets has also soared, almost doubling in one year.

“We are between 80 and 100% up on the same period last year”, emphasizes Eric Vial, General Delegate of Propellet, specifying that “however, given the economic situation, pellets are increasing less than other energies and it will ultimately never have been so competitive”.

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