27/02/2020

Woodburning Stoves vs Smart Stoves

We’re guessing you already know what a woodburning stove or a log burner is, and you may even have heard about pellet stoves - but do you know what a smart stove is? Or the differences between the options available? Worry not, this blog covers all you need to know. From the pros and cons of each to the differences that set them apart. 

Fuel Source 

The most obvious difference between wood-burning stoves and smart stoves is the fuel source. Woodburning stoves and log burners use logs or coal in some circumstances. Both of which are costly and bad for the environment, particularly when burned. However, smart stoves use recycled pellets to create clean and efficient heat. 

Wood pellets are manufactured using waste from offcuts left during the manufacture of wooden products and wood that is recycled after its original use. Unlike fossil fuels, recycled pellets are convenient and inexpensive. This eliminates the need for logs or coal, so there’s no dirt or mess to clean or a chilly wait for it to fire up. Instead, you simply empty a bag of pellets into the stove’s hopper and the smart technology will deliver a controlled dose of fuel to the burn chamber. The stove will continue to draw pellets as needed and will even alert you when the supply is running low.

Burning recycled wood pellets is an eco-responsible choice and managed forestation projects help to sustain this valuable resource. Using recycled wood pellets, extends the life of original wood still further, making smart stoves a genuine renewable energy source. Relatively little energy is used to produce the pellets and burning them releases no more carbon dioxide than is absorbed by the equivalent tree during its life cycle.

Performance, Efficiency & Control

This is where things get interesting. Wood burning as we know it doesn’t allow users much when it comes to the performance, efficiency and control. They’re certainly not the most efficient option on the market, and in terms of controls, they offer practically nothing. There’s no automation, there are no digital controls and once the fire is lit and the fuel has been added there’s no way of lowering the temperature other than to wait. This means that a lot of manual refilling, cleaning and other aspects are required to keep the fire going, but what if you didn’t have to do any of that? 

Control

One of the great benefits of Smart Stoves is their controllability and compatibility.  In addition to the user controls on the stove itself, each model can be operated remotely thanks to a dedicated smartphone app, making it easy to adjust and control whether you’re in your home or out and about. Too hot or too cold? Use the app to turn the heating up or down. Want to return to a warm and cosy home? Remotely turn the stove on ready for when you get back. The app will allow you to initiate ignition, set the power level or adjust the room temperature to give you unlimited control of your heating. All Prasino Smart Stoves offer a range of user settings and built-in room temperature sensors, providing fast response to auto-ignition and comfort level adjustment. They’re also compatible with connected smart devices like Alexa, Hive, Google and Nest. 

Performance

Smart stoves are fully sealed and coupled with a unique primary air circuit. This takes the air required for combustion directly from outdoors, preventing cold air from entering the house. All models fully comply with or exceed Eco-design requirements and reduced particulate emission legislation. The built-in operating technologies ensure that the supply of fuel, supply of air, burning temperature, and flue temperature are all fully automated, monitored and measured to guarantee efficient performance.

Efficiency

The average efficiency of a modern woodburning stove is usually around 60-70% with the more efficient stoves achieving around 80%.

All Prasino Smart Stoves have an energy rate of A++ offering optimum efficiency. Dependant on the style you choose, you can expect an efficiency rating of at least 87.7% right up to 95.6%

Sustainability

Over the past few years, many more people have become environmentally conscious and more aware of the impact they have on the environment. UK air quality has reached a crisis point, with towns and cities across the UK regularly failing to meet their standards and the increased popularity of wood burners is only making the problem worse. Miniscule specs of soot are one of the most harmful kinds of air pollution and can be extremely dangerous, not just to the environment, but also to humans as it can lead to lung, heart and respiratory problems.

Smart Stoves have a unique burner technology which is designed to neutralise up to 80% of particulates and carbon dioxide upon ignition, achieving ultra-low carbon monoxide emissions of just 0.06%. Smart Stoves generate exceptionally low emissions levels, already meeting or exceeding the latest legislation designed to reduce these harmful effects associated with traditional log burning stoves. 

While both wood-burning stoves and pellet stoves have come a long way toward cleaner operation, Prasino Smart Stoves have minimal smoke, minimal CO2 impacts and also promote recycling.

Safety

‘Playing with fire’ can be risky, and necessary precautions should be in place to ensure safety whilst tending to the fire. When using a wood-burning stove, appropriate kindling and the use of gloves are essential. That’s before you consider the risks from the stoves themselves. Log burners give off sparks from the fire which can lead to burns. They can also build up creosote; a category of carbonaceous chemicals created from burning wood or fossil fuels. Creosote can be extremely hazardous and has been known to cause house fires. Firewood can also attract unwanted mould or pests into your house from outside. 

When using a traditional wood-burning stove you need a lot of wood to keep it burning. Logs can often be costly and this leads to some homeowners collecting their own firewood from local woodland areas, or to buy cheap wood which is untreated. Although this might seem like a great idea, this wood is described as ‘wet wood’ and there are a few issues as to why it shouldn’t be used. Even though it is tempting to simply collect your own wood, wet wood can have a moisture content anywhere between 40-60%. The water vapours from the wood will then create a brown/black sticky residue. Not only will this require further cleaning that takes up time and money but this corrosive material can cause real dangers. It could burn through your chimney liner or it could block your chimney leading to a chimney fire. Not only can wet wood be a danger, but it also results in poor quality fires that need to be refilled on a regular basis and will provide less heat but more smoke and noise. For glass-front wood burners, it can also blacken the glass, leaving more soot and other residues behind and the glass can become damaged over time. This is without mentioning the environmental impact that wet wood can have. 

However, smart stoves are much safer thanks to all the smart systems in place. As well as igniting itself, smart stoves will automatically switch themselves off every time that the door is opened. Unlike wood burners, they are not hot-to-the-touch making them much safer for children to be around. Plus, the contained flames will prevent flying embers and sparks.

Aesthetics 

If you’ve heard of pellet stoves before, you probably remember these huge industrial-type/styled burners that took up a hefty amount of space and didn’t look too attractive. Certainly not something that most people would want in their homes, particularly in their living room. However, those days have gone and the smart stoves we offer now are modern, sleek, contemporary and available in a range of different styles and colours. As the sole distributor of Palazetti in the UK, we are proud to bring Italian design to the homes of Britain. 

From contemporary and modern designs to more traditional stoves, we have a range of colours for each design so you can choose one that will complement your decor. There are slimline options as well, perfect for homes where room dimensions are a little snugger. Whatever your style preference, we have an option to enhance any space and designs to suit every home. It’s also worth noting that smart stoves will provide you with the same bright flames as a woodburning stove. 

Maintenance

Some level of maintenance will be required no matter what type of stove you opt for as all stoves require cleaning and component checks. However, with built-in Speedy Clean technology, smart stoves are quick and easy to clean, making it easier for you to keep your stove looking pristine.

Wood burning stoves will need to be inspected on an annual basis by a certified chimney sweep so they can check the flue along with all the other components. Like with chimney maintenance, it will also need to have residue and soot cleaned out periodically. However, the main concern is the catalytic combustor; this must be inspected a minimum of 3 times per season. Therefore a lot of consideration should be taken in regards to the maintenance. 

Smart stoves, however, are relatively easy to maintain in comparison. Inspections can be as simple as checking that the motors and fans are still working properly or removing any excess debris. The process for this is much more straightforward, therefore it’s usually quite a lot cheaper too.

Conclusion 

When buying your stove, you may still be wondering whether to choose a woodburning stove, pellet stove or a smart stove and which is the better option for you and your home. Strictly speaking, smart stoves are a better investment due to factors such as maintenance, efficiency, safety and more. But ultimately, the decision lies with you.

Visit a Showroom

See the whole Prasino collection by visiting one of our showrooms.

About Prasino

Find out more about Prasino and our supply partner Palazzetti.

Product Range

Browse through our beautiful collection of Smart Stoves now.

Get in touch

Have any questions? We’ve got the answers.