There is a reason why multifuel and wood burning household stoves are becoming more and more popular. They give the householder the option to heat their house sustainably and efficiently and also give them the chance to use a range of modern alternative energy fuel sources. One of these fuel sources are peat briquettes. How do peat briquettes stack up against wood or other fuels for home space heating?
– What are Peat Briquettes?
In the Scottish Highlands and Islands, people have been burning peat to heat their houses for centuries. It is even used still to imbue malt whisky with its complex aroma. Modern peat briquettes on the market are a compressed form of this traditional fuel – compacted blocks of this natural vegetative fiber.
– How effective are they at heating?
Peat briquettes will burn very, very hot. Most people will only put one or two briquettes on their fire at one time. It has been said the same quantity of peat will have a higher energy output than dried firewood, and the energy output is steady with peat, and will continue for a longer time than with wood pellet fuel.
– How long do they last?
Usually, peat briquettes and wood pellets will last for much longer than wood or other fuel sources. They are frequently used by home consumers to keep a stove going over night, so it does not have to be relit each and every morning.
– The down side:
Unfortunately, peat briquettes do not combust with a pleasing flame like wood but rather will give off a small blue tinged orange flame and glow like coal or coke. They can also be more expensive when considered in relation to wood and other fuels. There may also be concerns about digging up and depleting peat fields, which are a natural carbon sink, so an end-to-end analysis is needed to determine whether peat is a sustainable and environmentally friendly option. It is important to always check where your peat briquettes are coming from.
Many people solve at least the first two of the above problems by combining peat briquettes with another fuel source like wood logs, which allows them to take advantage of peat’s superior steady heating and longevity, whilst still getting the benefit of a pretty fire and the cheaper wood fuel to provide the bulk of burned material. It should also be noted that the smell of wood and peat combined is a particularly pleasant combination.
Peat briquettes are one good option to be used as a fuel in a home heating system, though vegetable fiber briquettes that do not deplete peat fields could be said to be a more sustainable option for the mass market in the long run.