Which is better and cheaper - pellets or a gas holder? Comparative review

It is good when a country house or summer cottage is connected to a centralized gas main. Convenient, almost no hassle with service. And if you need the organization of an autonomous system? Chopping wood, fiddling with coal on a frosty morning is not very pleasant. The search for alternative options begins. And many users find it difficult to make a choice: pellets or a gas holder, which will be better in a particular case.

If you are also looking for an optimal solution, we will help you understand the issue - in this article we will compare fuel in terms of price, quality, efficiency. Let's touch on the cost of the equipment itself, its installation, ease of use, as well as reliability and safety. Let's see what and in what cases is more economical, why it is important to take into account the peculiarities of the region. We will summarize all the review data in a table in order to visually assess the advantages and disadvantages of the systems.

The content of the article:

  • General information about the gas holder and pellets
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  • Comparison of fuel and equipment performance
    • Criterion # 1 - Fuel Efficiency
    • Criterion # 2 - heating cost per season
    • Criterion # 3 - the cost of pellet and gas boilers
    • Criterion # 4 - ease of use of systems
    • Criterion # 5 - reliability and safety
  • Final Comparison Table
  • Conclusions and useful video on the topic

General information about the gas holder and pellets

The pellet boiler runs on "modernized" wood. These are wood fuel pellets made from compressed sawdust, wood chips, shavings.

According to safety rules for storage of pellets, it is necessary to equip a separate room with minimum humidity indicators.

Pellet boiler and billet warehouse

The pellet boiler has a burner, a hopper, it is equipped with automation. It can work autonomously for a week if there is an auger that continuously supplies fuel to the boiler. Remote control models available

A gas holder in a simplified description is a container for storing liquefied petroleum gas.

The design of the gas holder includes: an automatic system for regulating pressure, volume, gas distribution in the system.

Installation of a gas tank on the site

The gas tank is installed mainly horizontally and underground. It must be placed at a distance of at least 10 m from residential buildings and at least 5 m from outbuildings

Comparison of fuel and equipment performance

Let's make a comparison between pellets and a gas holder for clarity. In the comparative review, we will take the following data as a basis. For heating an area of ​​10 m2 with a ceiling height of 3 m, 1 kW of energy is required. Additionally, you can take into account a stock of 15-20%, which will be used to heat water.

The average operating time of boiler equipment is 10 hours / day. The duration of the heating season in central Russia is 7-8 months. a year. The rest of the time, the boiler is used to heat water and maintain the minimum temperature in the premises at 8 degrees.

Criterion # 1 - Fuel Efficiency

1 kg of pellets is equivalent to 1.6 kg of firewood and releases 5 kW of energy when burned. If the area of ​​the house is 100 m2, you need 10 kW per hour, i.e. 2 kg of pellets.

The average efficiency of such fuel ranges from 50-90%. Efficiency depends on the heat loss of the building, the quality characteristics of the pellets and other factors. These are the lowest rates when compared to electricity and gas.

How to determine the quality of pellets

Good pellets are smooth, shiny in appearance, have no longitudinal cracks, hard to break, 6 mm in diameter. But it is impossible to guarantee quality even in a batch from one supplier.

Another nuance is the variety of pellets. They are white, industrial and agro. The former have a low ash content; when using them, the boiler needs to be cleaned once a month. Agro is made from sunflower, buckwheat, they are the most "dirty", but cheaper than others.

Comparison of pellets from different raw materials

Fuel Net calorific value, kW / kg Ash content,%
Wood chips 3,9 ≤3
Straw pellets 4,18–4,68 4,4–7,0
Wood pellets 4,7 ≤2
Pellets with composition:

70% straw;

30% wood.

4,32–4,67 <5,11
Agropellets ≥4 <6,0
Corn cob pellets 3,6 1,0–3,0

Why does it matter? The choice of a boiler, efficiency and fuel cost depends on the availability of this or that type of pellets. White pellets are expensive, but they have the highest calorific value.

And here liquefied gas shows a stable 97%. Fuel is supplied evenly, the process is fully automated. The system does not depend on network drops, pipeline accidents, gas quality is almost always high. 1 kg of liquefied gas produces 12.8 kW of energy.

Criterion # 2 - heating cost per season

A ton of pellets is sold at a price of 8-9 thous. rub. Let's take the average - 8.5 thousand. rub.

During the heating season at 8 months. we get the following numbers:

  • losses - 28,224 kW / h;
  • fuel consumption - 5644 kg;
  • amount - 48 thousand rub.

Let's add the cost of delivery - from 7 thousand. rub. For waste disposal, you will need to pay from 5 thousand rubles. rub. We get 60 thousand. rub. for the heating season. If you need the services of a stoker, this will entail additional costs in the amount of 10 thousand. rub. per month.

One liter of LPG (liquefied gas) costs 18-20 rubles. already with delivery. 1 m2 area leaves an average of 27 liters per season. T. e. the volume of a gasholder of 2700 liters should be enough for the entire heating period. Is it really so?

Gas tank filling with propane

The gasholder capacity is filled up to a maximum of 85%. The volume of the remainder should vary in the range of 25-30%. Therefore, a 2700 liter tank with active use will need to be refilled twice per season.

The total costs for LPG are 49-54 thous. rub. in year. We talked in more detail about the gas consumption from the gasholder in next article/

So what is cheaper to heat - gas or pellets? Gas is a little more expensive at a price, but pellets require additional efforts and costs.

Criterion # 3 - the cost of pellet and gas boilers

Let's figure out the cost of the equipment. The range of prices for a pellet boiler is large: from 40 to 100 thous. rub. and higher.

You can include a conventional solid fuel boiler, potbelly stove or buleryan in the system. But such structures need modernization of the grate.

There are several ways to reduce the gaps so that the granules do not fall through:

  • replace the grate;
  • apply a wire mesh above or below;
  • insert the pads.

The pellets will burn under such conditions, but in the absence of constant forced air exchange and maximum supply, part of the pellets can literally fly into the pipe due to natural draft.

Automatic pellet boiler

Pellet boilers with automation are more expensive - from 150 thousand. rub., but they are comfortable to operate and are able to maintain a stable temperature in the premises. If there are power outages in the region, take a look at simpler models

And you also need delivery, installation and connection, as well as debugging a pellet boiler. All this will cost another 23-25 ​​thousand rubles. rub. In total, we get an average value within 175 thousand. rub. But you still need to equip a room for storing pellets - fuel reserves take up a lot of space.

More pros and cons of heating with a pellet boiler, as well as recommendations for its choice, we gave in our other article: Pellet heating boilers: types, advantages and rules for choosing the best boiler

Organization of storage of pellets

The heating season requires 5-6 tons of pellets. 1 ton of such fuel takes 1.5 m3, i.e. for storing bags, packages, you will need a separate room of several square meters. m

For house maintenance 100 m2 a gas holder with a capacity of 2700 liters is enough. The price of the tank is 155-165 thousand. rub. Plus cost gas boiler - from 40 thousand rub. We get approximately 260 thousand. rub.

Land works, gasholder installation, delivery and other organizational work will cost another 60-70 thousand. rub.

Criterion # 4 - ease of use of systems

Heating with pellets implies the presence in the household of a person who will searching for fuel, storing it, loading it, tracking the combustion process, cleaning the boiler, removing waste.

Some of the actions can be automated if you choose a boiler with an automatic feed and the ability to schedule a fuel supply schedule. Then the loading of the pellets can be carried out once a week, but this will entail additional equipment costs.

1 ton of pellets, depending on the ash content, gives about 5 kg of waste. Even a boiler with good automation does not completely eliminate the need to clean it. Plus, in addition to purchasing the appropriate equipment, you will need electricity to maintain the system.

Heating system selection

When choosing a heating system, it is worth starting from the region. LPG delivery is everywhere and at about the same cost. But the price and availability of pellets depends on the area.

The gas tank is refueled 1-2 times a year, the process takes a couple of hours, then the system works independently. LPG does not need to be loaded; it moves by itself through the pipes and provides heat.

The tank is located underground and does not take up space, it does not need a separate storage room.

But the gas tank requires technical inspection twice a year: in spring, in autumn. If necessary, cosmetic repairs are carried out.

Often, tank installation companies offer free equipment maintenance for the first year. Then a contract is concluded for 12 months. with a monthly fee of 12-13 thous. rub., which includes an emergency exit. One-time maintenance costs 3.5-4 thousand rubles. rub.

To see a detailed analysis of the pros and cons of heating with a gas holder, please go to by this link.

Criterion # 5 - reliability and safety

Solid fuel and pellet boilers are reliable if two conditions are met: there is a supply of fuel and a person serving the system. Plus, in the absence of pellets, such equipment can be loaded with other solid fuel: wood, coal.

There is no doubt about the reliability and the gas holder. Gas vaporization occurs even at the lowest temperatures. The human factor does not influence the process.

Features of installing a gas tank

Problems with the gas tank arise due to the wrong choice or installation of the tank. What matters is the height of the nozzles, the exact calculation of the immersion depth of the installation. If you correctly select a container, a gearbox, carry out a high-quality installation, there will be no complaints

In terms of safety, there is a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning when using a solid fuel or pellet boiler. When the boiler room is located in the house, you need to be ready to respond to smoke at any time: open windows, doors, reconfigure equipment. Therefore, it is advisable to install immediately and carbon monoxide sensor.

LPG is safe when stored properly. In the event of a leak, the liquid gas goes into the ground, since it weighs more air.

Leakage is possible when operating an old tank with worn out seams. Plus, it is important to observe when installing gasholder placement rule away from stray currents and heating mains (SP 62.13330.2011).

But in the room where the gas-using equipment is installed, a gas leak may occur for various reasons - breakdown of the boiler, stove, violation of the tightness of the joints, etc. In order to detect it in time, it is advisable to install gas leak sensor.

Final Comparison Table

The above calculations are relevant for a house 100 m2. The costs do not reflect all the options, the real figures are influenced by the climate of the region, the severity of winter, the level of thermal insulation of the house.

Options Pellets LPG (gas tank)
Efficiency 50-90% 97%
Fuel cost 48 thous. rub. in year 49-54 thous. rub. in year
Cost of equipment from 40 thousand rub. from 155 thous. rub. plus gas boiler
Connection Boiler installation Installation of a gas tank on the site and a boiler in the house
Ease of use You need regular loads of fuel daily or once a week. The quality of the pellets is important. Full autonomy after refueling 1-2 times a year.
Reliability High High, problems can only arise with the wrong choice and installation
Security Danger of carbon monoxide High, no risks
Electricity dependence Yes No
Fuel warehouse Needed Not needed
Service Loading, cleaning Tank filling, technical inspection twice a year

A bunch of gas holder plus a gas boiler provides ease of use, a certain independence from external factors (electricity, quality of pellet production). But it implies the availability of free space on the site away from residential premises and the implementation of such a project will cost more than a “competitor”.

Pellet equipment is cheaper, as is the fuel itself. But it requires high quality pellets, constant maintenance or additional costs for modernization. At the same time, it gives a low efficiency when compared with a gas holder. But the gas boiler also requires an annual maintenance.

We also recommend that you familiarize yourself with the comparison with each other. gas tank and main gas.

Conclusions and useful video on the topic

Experience in operating a pellet boiler Zota Pellet 15s with remote control cost 165 thous. rub.

Installing a gas tank with some nuances and connecting equipment to it.

Part 1:

Part 2:

When choosing what to install - a pellet boiler or a gas holder, take into account all factors of economic benefit and operating conditions.

The amount for the purchase of equipment, its installation, connection refers to one-time costs. The cost of fuel and equipment operation are already fixed costs and they are the ones that hit the family budget hardest.

What kind of fuel do you use? Share your experience with other users - the feedback form is located below.

If you still have questions on the topic of the article, ask our experts and visitors to our site in the comments block.

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