WhatStove?

Review of Klover Smart 120 wood pellet cooker

Totally automated wood pellet boiler - warmer house, less humid + a focal point. Super happy.

Pete Cullum 2 years ago

Living about 100 metres from the beach in Cornwall makes life interesting in terms of heating an old, drafty house. There is no mains gas here and most choose oil or LPG to heat with. LPG and oil were ruled out quickly due to cost and environmental impact. Air source didn't appeal - I know how long anything metal lasts outside here and I have radiators not underfloor heating anyway.

I went with a Pellet boiler installed by local guys and can't recommend them or the Klover Smart 120 stove enough. This was a huge investment for me and it took a long time for me to commit. The installers were very helpful - two home visits and many conversations exploring the most appropriate systems, plus they were kind enough to show me their own stove in action at home. For me this was the clincher. Nothing like seeing something actually working well in someone's home. There seems to be so little info on these in the UK which is such a shame as they are just great - I am a real convert.

The house has never been so warm (and dry - humidity has been a real issue). And even on really cold days I'm spending about a third on pellets compared to the worst day I had with my electric boiler previously.

Some thoughts:

Bar the odd clean and filling with pellets, it is fully automated. It acts just like any other boiler - switches itself on when thermostat calls for heat or hot water needs heating. Once satisfied, it switches itself off again.

There's something great about a real flame. Great to wake up to in the morning, feel the radiant heat from the stove and the radiators and see the orange glow coming from the stove in the kitchen as I come down stairs.

On a cold day it will use several bags of pellets (say 3x 10kg bags at say £2.70 ea - 5 degrees and gales outside) but that's still cheap and my house is right on the coast, partially insulated and drafty. There is no magic bullet here, but I am very pleased.

There is a fan which blows air into the crucible while it is heating - these are not silent so expect some noise and locate accordingly. I think this is common with all pellet stoves. When first installed this was fairly noticeable, now 3 weeks later I am getting used to it.

Ash is a by-product - don't believe reviews claiming a teacup of ash after a month. Mine has a tray which needs emptying out every 2-5 days depending on the pellet make and how much I use the heating / what power setting etc. Currently on Brites which seem to produce less ash than Ecomind and power 4.

You'll also need to regularly clean out the stove - at least every 1-2 weeks according to the instructions. If you want no maintenance then this is not the stove for you (however cleaning is quick and painless)

I personally love the appearance - I've gone for the traditional in black, but really it's a modern take on an Aga. I will probably never use the oven or hot plates - but useful to have. It uplifts my kitchen and makes it far classier. Installation is very expensive compared to e.g. Oil boiler, however I believe it has added resale value easily covering install costs, plus I am getting a good RHI incentive. Oh and the house is actually warm for once.

On RHI - I have a fairly terrible EPC which for me means more RHI. There are online calculators which will give you a guide on payments, but in my personal experience they are a bit generous.

Finally, I would highly recommend a pellet stove, particularly from Klover because they appear to be well built and well thought through, but also the installer for the South West - great guys, fun and friendly, full of tips and in my experience, sound advice. If you want a responsible future proof way to heat your house, and don't want to be hobbled by oil prices which appear to be only going one way, then this could be it.

Just be aware of a few simple tasks surrounding the small amount of ash, cleaning and logistics required for getting your pellets. A tonne makes things cheaper, but at a guess that's around 1.5 - 2 cubic meters of space you need for storage.

The best thing? Carbon neutral heating and hot water all fully automated, and cheaper than most other fuels. Just a brilliant piece of kit.

Overall rating:

5 flames

Build Quality 5 flames (avg 5)
Quality of finish 5 flames (avg 4.9)
Value for money 5 flames (avg 4.9)
Ease of use 5 flames (avg 4.4)
Ease of lighting 5 flames (avg 4.9)
Firebox size 5 flames (avg 4.6)
How well does the airwash work 5 flames (avg 4.4)
Controllability 5 flames (avg 4.8)
Handle operation 5 flames (avg 4.7)
How likely are you to buy it again? 5 flames (avg 4.8)
What is your overall satisfaction? 5 flames (avg 4.9)