Using a heatwave to best advantage


Of course, when we finally do get some great, hot weather in Scotland, the very last thing on our minds is planning how to stay warm next winter!
But as we all know, time really flies, and if you’re going to get a new system put into your home, it makes good sense to do it at a time when you don’t need a lot of heating. Waiting for autumn might be a bit of a risk, given our erratic weather!

Many more people are now looking at using wood pellet boilers to heat their homes. Although pellets have been around for a long time, it’s only fairly recently that the supply chain has become sufficiently well-established and reliable for the pelleted systems to really take off.

A wood pellet boiler, if hand-fed, usually has its hopper topped up weekly with 10kg bags of pellets. We offer delivery of up to a tonne at a time of 10kg bags, and also storage facilities for those who prefer to come and collect as and when they need it, yet still getting the cost advantage of co-operative bulk buying. The bags are clean and easy to handle.

Because the capital cost of installing a wood pellet boiler is relatively high, it’s only really an option if you expect to stay in your house for a good while to come. Grants are available through the RHI (Renewable Heat Incentive) and the most up-to-date information on this is available here. More and more housing associations are installing pellet boilers for their tenants but, as we’ve discovered, not all those tenants have been supplied with sufficient information about how and where to source their fuel or how to set up their systems to  get the most value form them.

Low moisture content is always the bottom line with all wood fuels. Whether it’s logs, wood briquettes, wood chips (not recommended for most domestic situations) or wood pellets you’re using, it’s the moisture content that determines how much heat you get out of it, and also how well your boiler or stove and flue survive. Burning wet fuel can corrode metal, soot up the flue and blacken glass doors in a surprisingly short space of time, literally burning money through inefficiency and increasing the risk of chimney fires substantially.

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Quick guide to choosing the best Wood Fuel for your stove and lifestyle.

Wood Fuel Co-operative

*Break - We strongly recommend you break these briquettes in half (or less for very small stoves) because they do expand whilst burning and you don't want them to overfill the fire.
*Easy to light - We always use a Firelighter and Kindling Sticks to start our fires. Most briquettes are graded four stars to light because they are quite dense and require kindling.


  • All stove and flue combinations tend to have different burning characteristics. Fuel that works well in my stove may not work so well in your stove, and vice-versa.
  • Most modern stoves are more efficient than most older stoves, meaning a modern quality stove will burn fuel more economically and generate more heat over a longer period.
  • Always try to burn fuel with a 'lick of flame'. Smouldering fuel to try to extend burn time is bad for your stove, flue and the environment due to unburned particulate matter in the smoke.
  • Be prepared to break briquettes into smaller sections to fit into your stove comfortably. Many briquettes do expand whilst burning and you don't want them to expand onto the glass.
  • The chart above indicates which briquettes are easy to break. Some are small enough so they don't need breaking. This makes for a cleaner environment around your stove.
  • All briquettes, except Everyday Value and Hotmax, benefit hugely from using kindling to light them. I suggest five kindling sticks will be sufficient, meaning a net should last 30 days.