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Clean Heat Options

Pellet Fires

Flued Gas Fire

Wood Burner


Heat Pump


Pellet Fires

Pellet burners are one of the most environmentally friendly ways of heating your home. Pellet burners burn compressed wood pellets in a purpose built fire. Whilst they look like a conventional wood burner, the pellets (sold in 15kg bags) are loaded into a hopper at the back of the unit and are fed into the fire by an automated feed system.

By adjusting the amount of pellets fed into the fire it provides control over the amount of heat produced.

Pellet fires cause less pollution than wood burners.



No more chopping or storing firewood

Cons Pellet burners are expensive to buy compared with woodburners and gas heaters. Prices start from around $3,500, plus installation
  Most models light electrically - no need for matches or firelighters   They can only burn pellets - no free firewood
Some can be set to switch on or off, using a timer They require electricity to work. A battery and inverter or a small generator can be added to be a back-up power supply, but these add to the cost
With most models the room temperature can be thermostatically controlled They have fans and a hopper-fed motor, so they make some noise. Some models can have the flue fan mounted outside the house to reduce noise
They usually have a smaller diameter flue than woodburners, which make installation easier. The flue can be taken out horizontally through an external wall  
They burn very cleanly, so are less of a community health hazard  
The pellets are made from sawmill waste - burning it is carbon-neutral  
The fuel is manufactured from an abundant renewal resource  



Flued Gas Fires

If you want lots of heat and real flames, then a flame-effect gas fire could be an option. Or you can choose a floor mounted energy saver model. Running costs are higher than for a wood burner or heat pump – but you can’t toast yourself in front of a heat pump or just press a button to light a wood burner. Natural gas and LPG are clean-burning for pollutants. Make sure if you use gas heating that it is flued.

Pros Ease of use Cons Cost - flued gas is possibly more expensive than an equivalent sized heat pump and certainly more expensive than a woodburner.
  Quickly warms a room and maintains a comfortable temperature   If you have mains gas you need to pay a monthly connection fee, even if you only use your gas heater in the colder months
  Some gas heaters need electricity to work so will not work in a power cut
  Burns fossil fuel



Wood Burners

Wood burners are a common form of heating in New Zealand. Ministry for the Environment has an approved list of wood burner’s that are more efficient and produce less air pollution than wood burners in the past. Regardless of the wood burner’s age, how the wood burner is operated affects whether it is a source of clean heat. Fuel used must be dry, seasoned wood otherwise a smoky fire producing high levels of pollution is the result.


ULEBs or Ultra Low Emission Burners are a new kind of wood burner that has two combustion chambers, compared to the one of a conventional wood fire. Light your fire in the top chamber with kindling and a small amount of wood. No wood goes into the lower chamber. This chamber is designed to bolster combustion by re-combusting gases (typically smoke), expelled during primary combustion. This secondary combustion creates maximum heat in conjunction with very low emissions.

Pros Atmosphere and ambience Cons If not used properly woodburners will produce less heat and will cause more smoke which is detrimental to our air quality

Heating bills not affected by rising electricity prices

  If you don't buy your wood supply, then you need time to source and split your wood
You can still heat your house if there's a power cut Time and energy required to light fires, and time taken to produce heat required to warm your house
Burning wood is carbon-neutral because it's a renewable resource, but burning it cleanly is the key to making it environmentally friendly too Have to ensure you have space for your firewood to be stacked correctly and protected to keep it dry


Heat Pumps

Heat pumps are a great way to heat your home and do not produce any of the harmful PM10 particulates in the air. They provide convenient, efficient, thermostatically-controlled heating that can be pre-set at different times of the day to turn on and off. The simplest versions are designed for a single room; the most complex, for a whole house. It takes 20 to 40 minutes to bring a room up to temperature, after which the level will be maintained within one or two degrees.

A heat pump works by extracting heat from the air outside your house and bringing it indoors. It’s like a refrigerator in reverse. Some areas of Rotorua have high concentrations of hydrogen sulphide (H2S). This gas is very corrosive and can cause problems with metal corrosion and electronics, all of which are incorporated within heat pumps. Before choosing a heat pump check with your supplier how they propose to treat the heat pump to ensure it can withstand Rotorua conditions and confirm any effects the Rotorua conditions may have on manufacturers’ warranties.

Pros Warm, dry and comfortable Cons

Can be noisy. Fans run both the interior and exterior units when switched on. The fan in the inside unit should produce little more than a low hum in low-speed mode, but the compressor plus the fan in the outside unit can be quite noisy

  Can quickly bring a room up to temperature and then maintain it   Heat performance can reduce in low temperatures. Extracting heat from outdoor air gets more difficult as the temperature drops.
No gas charge Circulating air can cause draughts. Check with your installer about the best place to position your unit to minimise any draughts
A reverse-cycle heat pump is the only type of heating system that can both heat and cool a room  
If you switch a heap pump into cooling mode, it will also dehumidify the air in your house  
Many heat pumps incorporate a washable filter unit that removes dust and particles from the air