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Goran Kostić, Alfa-Plam company director - Which energy source to choose for heating in the coming winter?

Goran Kostić, Alfa-Plam company director (Photo: Alfa-Plam)Goran Kostić, Alfa-Plam company director
With the approach of autumn, the subject of heating and the question of which energy source to choose are slowly becoming relevant. Traditionally, the largest number of our fellow citizens opts for heating with solid fuel, i.e. wood, although a large number of households use pellets, and an increasing number also use gas as an energy source.

Speaking of pellets, due to the unstable geopolitical situation in Europe, in 2022 there was a drop in the production and sale of pellet devices caused primarily by the unstable energy market.

In the second quarter of 2023, there was a gradual recovery of the pellet market, and therefore also of the pellet stove and boiler market. Wood pellets are available in sufficient quantities in all sales channels, and its price has returned to an acceptable level for the end consumer (250-300 euros per pallet, 1050 kg).

We talk about all this with Goran Kostić, the director of the company Alfa-Plam DOO, which is the largest European manufacturer of solid fuel stoves and is the leader in the production of pellet heaters in the region of Southeast Europe.

Should you buy Alfa-Plam pellet products and why?

- Alfa-Plam pellet stoves and boilers are fully automated systems that control the consumption of pellets and the amount of air required for their combustion using modern technology. Alfa-Plam stoves, boilers and stoves have an efficiency level of over 90% and comply with very strict standards that apply on the EU market, and above all with the EU Ecodesign directive.

What else distinguishes Alfa-Plam pellet stoves and boilers?

- Models of the newer generation of pellet devices have additional cleaning systems that ensure easier maintenance and reliable functioning.

Additional safety thermostats installed in pellet devices prevent overheating of the water in the boiler and self-ignition of the stove, which contributes to greater safety during their use. All pellet stoves and boilers have factory installed components necessary for connection to the heating system.

Is it possible to remotely manage the products or program the operation of the products?

- Programming the operation of the pellet device is done on a weekly basis (turning on and off time and room air temperature). There is also the possibility of controlling Alfa-Plam devices using a WiFi module and an application on a mobile phone, which provides additional comfort to the end user.

How did the sale of pellet devices move in the past period?

- After its appearance on the market, at the beginning of the last decade, the sale of pellet devices in Serbia grew year by year to reach its maximum in the period 2020-2021, years, when a large number of households opted for this type of heating. The growth of pellet consumption, until 2022, had a positive effect on the growth of production and sales of Alfa-Plam pellet devices.
(Photo: Alfa-Plam)
However, the choice of energy source for heating is not at all simple. You need to carefully evaluate what is the most cost-effective option in your case, and one of the most comfortable and cost-effective options is gas heating. Since Alfa-Plam also has gas boilers in its offer, this is an opportunity to get to know them better.

What is the utilization rate of Alfa-Plam gas boilers?

- The utilization rate of Alfa-Plam gas boilers ranges from 91-93% for conventional boilers and 93 to 100% for condensing boilers.

Alfa-Plam offers boilers with condensing technology. Do they achieve above 100 percent efficiency and how is that possible?

- The degree of utilization of condensing boilers can be up to 105% in practice thanks to the utilization of the thermal energy of the condensate that returns to the heat exchanger. This means that the water vapor from the flue gases condenses, and the heat released on that occasion, which would have been thrown into the atmosphere with classic boilers, is used in the heating system.

What powers of boilers are available and for which square footage are they intended?

- The Alfa-Plam company offers conventional boilers in the power range of 13-35 kW, which can heat surfaces in the range of 44-223 m2, and condensing gas boilers in the power range of 20-35 kW, which can heat surfaces in the range of 127-223 square meters.

What about gas boilers that can be installed without a chimney? How do they work and what powers are available?

- All gas boilers of the Alfa-Plam company are so-called facade boilers and do not require chimney installation, instead, the combustion products are removed through flue pipes, which are mounted on the boiler at one end, and the other side is placed outside through an opening in the wall.

(Photo: Alfa-Plam)
What is the warranty period for Alfa-Plam gas boilers?

- The warranty period for all Alfa-Plam gas boilers is two years.

Does gas quality affect reliable operation? What are the experiences when it comes to exploitation in Serbia?

- The quality of the gas has a great impact on the reliable operation of gas boilers. If the gas does not have adequate thermal power, for example, the device works with reduced output power. So far, our experience with gas quality in Serbia is generally good and we have had no problems with the operation of our boilers.

What does the regular maintenance of gas boilers consist of?

- The Alfa-Plam company`s recommendation is to have the boiler serviced once a year, where the emphasis is placed on cleaning the exchanger and burners.

Can Alfa-Plam gas boilers be installed on the existing central heating systems?

- Our company`s gas boilers can easily be connected to existing heating systems in a house or apartment, and it goes without saying that they are also suitable for connecting to completely new central heating systems.

Can buyers of Alfa-Plam boilers count on your support to ensure quality installation?

- All our customers can count on our company`s advisory assistance during boiler installation. All information and contact information can be found on the official Alfa-Plam website.