What is biomass heating?
Biomass heating systems burn wood pellets, chips or logs to power central heating and hot water boilers. Alternatively you can just use a stove to heat one room of your home and this can be fitted with a back boiler to provide water heating too.
So what are the benefits of biomass heating?
1. While the price of wood fuel can vary, it is still often cheaper than other heating options.
2. It’s a low-carbon option. The carbon dioxide emitted when wood is burned is the same amount that was absorbed over the months and years that the plant was growing. There are some carbon emissions caused by the cultivation, manufacture and transportation of the fuel, but as long as the fuel is sourced locally, these are much lower than the emissions from fossil fuels.
3. Financial benefits – You could benefit from financial savings by installing a biomass boiler, but how much depends on what system you are replacing. If you replace an older gas heating system with a wood-burning system you might save up to £70 a year, but if you are replacing an old electric heating system you could save as much as £880 per year. (According to Energy Saving Trust)
The financial benefits don’t just end with the savings, however. Thanks to the Government’s RHI scheme you may be able to receive payments for the heat you produce from a wood boiler or a pellet stove with back boiler.
Yes. Biomass boilers and stoves should be kept clean and swept regularly to remove ash. The levels of ash are usually low so this can be done once or twice a week – never more than once a day.
Some boilers are self-cleaning systems and will collect ash for you. Others will need to be shut down once in a while to be cleaned as if the ash is not cleaned out regularly, it will build up and could lead to boiler failure and shut down.
If you have a wood burning stove or boiler the chimney and flue pipe must be swept regularly to remove all soot deposits and prevent blockage.