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Domestic Biomass Boilers — what are they? How do they work? How much could it save me? There are all questions that might be rummaging round your head at the moment, but fear not, they will all be answered by the end of this article. Read on to find out everything you need to know about biomass boilers, and whether they’re right for your home.
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In This Domestic Biomass Boiler Guide:
Biomass Boilers Explained
Modern, biomass boiler systems mainly use wood in the form of pellets, chips or logs to power domestic boilers. Wood pellets are currently the most popular as they are cleaner and easier to maintain, resulting in less ash. Wood isn’t the only source used in modern biomass boilers and other forms of biomass, including cereal, are being used today. The biomass boiler is connected to a central heating and hot water system. The cost of wood fuel can vary greatly but it is still considerably less expensive than most other forms of heating. This variation in cost is often down to suppliers, who may factor in high transportation costs.
With regard to carbon dioxide emissions, it is suggested that the carbon dioxide emitted when burning wood is the same amount absorbed during the growth of the tree. Although a sustainable process, some carbon emissions are unavoidable, including emissions caused during cultivation and manufacture, as well as the transportation of the wood. These are still very much lower than emissions from fossil fuels, especially when sourced locally. Be aware of the type of system you install if you live in a smokeless zone. However, some modern wood installations burn so cleanly that they are certified for use in these areas.
A good pellet stove may cost you somewhere in the region of £4,000 – £5,000 including installation. A log system will likely cost half this, including installation of a new flue or chimney lining. For domestic biomass boilers, you may be looking to pay from £5,000 to £11,000, including installation flue store. Be aware that if you live in a conservation area you will need to check with local planners to ensure that it complies with building regulations. A manually fed log boiler system will be in the lower price range and an automatic pellet fed system will be somewhat more expensive. You will find that these costs vary from company to company and you should shop around for the best incentives and deals. You may be eligible to apply for a government grant through the Renewable Heat Incentive and should seek advice on this.
Pellet cost depends greatly on the size and method of delivery. If you have the room, then buying in bulk will save you a fair amount of money. The average cost of a tonne bought by this method is currently around £180 – £200 in most parts of the UK.
Logs are somewhat cheaper, and you can further reduce costs by buying unseasoned logs in bulk and allowing them to season for around a year. This is a very cost effective way of buying logs, provided you have the storage space.
Tundra Wood Heating Systems do a complete range of boiler systems to suit most domestic environments. The Tundra Elite is for large properties and is often used in commercial settings as it is capable of heat outputs from 9-100kW. The Tundra Compact is suitable for medium to large homes as well as some commercial businesses. The Tundra Country is a large, manual fill boiler, mainly used in domestic settings and the Tundra Habitat is a smaller, stylish addition to the home.
Treco are another reputable company leading the way in the installation of complete biomass boiler systems. All of their boiler systems are multi fuel and will use wood pellets, wood chips, cereals and miscanthus. They claim to pride themselves on good advice and service as well as efficient, no nonsense installation of the right system for the property. Their biomass technologies will integrate with any existing heating system, underfloor heating, domestic hot water and even solar installations.
Bioenergy are committed to the development of the UK energy efficient, low carbon heating market. They were successfully involved in some of the UK’s first carbon neutral, biomass boiler and low carbon heating projects and specialise in log and pellet installations. They provide an extensive range of domestic biomass boilers from 3-90kW.
Whatever type of domestic biomass boiler you decide on, request information on simple maintenance procedures in order to keep your system working to maximum effect. They should be kept clean and swept regularly to remove ash. Some boilers have inbuilt self-cleaning systems but, if not, the boiler will need to be shut down in order to clean ash by hand. Some systems compress the ash mechanically, thereby reducing the number of times the ash bin needs to be emptied.
There you have it — all you could possibly want to know about domestic biomass boilers. After reading this, you may (or may not) be comparing your current boiler’s eco-friendly factor, to what it could be with a biomass boiler.
Think your boiler needs a little spruce up? In that case, it’s time to head over to our short form, and pop in your details. Once you’ve done this, our local professional installers will get in touch with free boiler quotes. It’s time to go green!