Embarrassingly for somebody who’s an avid heat-pump fan, I heat my house with an oil-fired hot-air furnace. I also have a pellet stove in the living room, which I use as supplemental heat in winter evenings, when we tend to huddle in the living room anyway. This keeps the furnace from firing up so often, saving oil (although as a result, rooms in the rest of the house get chilly.)

It would be just as easy, it turns out, to combine a pellet or wood-burning stove with an air-sourced heat pump. They can be used separately, as I do, or linked via a back boiler. Either way, the wood could reduce the need for heating load to the point that solar panels can cover all of a heat pump’s usage.

Details are here in a site called DirectStoves, which sells wood-burning stoves in the UK.

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