Will a wood pellet heating system work with my existing heat distribution system?

Modern wood pellet boilers will work with most existing boiler-based and hydronic distribution systems, and some models can be modified to work with forced air systems.

Typically, the current suppliers of wood pellet heating devices make units that work with boiler-based (steam) and hydronic (hot water) distribution systems. Many systems are available that can work with forced-air (furnace-based) systems as well: some some wood pellet boilers can be modified with an air handler to allow the boiler to integrate with a forced-air system, and a few wood pellet furnaces that meet all recent regulations are starting to enter the market. With the help of a professional, you may be able to change out or retrofit your current oil or propane boiler with ease to work with whatever heat distribution system is installed in your home. In some cases, modifications may be required to your heat distribution system to fully integrate with the new wood pellet heating device.

The ideal approach is to think about heating as a whole. Whatever fuel you use, there are three main components to an indirect or central heating system (a system where the fuel heats water or turns water to steam in one place and the heating itself is needed elsewhere):

  1. the heating
  2. the heat distribution
  3. the insulation of your home or office

Replacing your current (oil or propane) boiler with a wood pellet heating system may save you money and provide greater comfort, but it is only one (major) part of what heats your home or work space. The heat distribution system is another important part, and how that heat is contained within your space (building envelope or insulation) is the third part. Ideally, you want to look at all these together, in a way that makes them all work together.

In short, the only way to know for sure is to have a professional installer come and look at your system. Installers working through WePowr communities will provide you with all the options and costs to consider.