Biomass Heating / Wood Fuelled Heating

This is a different renewable energy source from most others as it’s not concerned with solar power whether harvested directly or from stored sources but the use of wood from sustainable forests. In the main trees which can be seeded and grown quickly so the effect on natural resources is minimal.

Biomass heating comes in the form of boilers which can offer a supply of hot water for use in showers and sinks, but also for use in central heating systems. There are many benefits of wood fuel heating as well as additional ways in which to fund the procurement and installation and earn a sum of money thereafter.

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What Are The Different Types Of Biomass Boilers And How Do They Work?

There are several different types of Biomass boilers, the difference in the main comes from the ability to burn different fuel types. These are pellets, logs and chip boilers. Depending on the size of your home or business premises, you will need to compare wood fuel boilers as to their abilities.

  • Pellet boilers come in manual and automated form. They are most suited to residential homes as typically generate enough heat for the average home.
  • Log boilers tend to be manual but can accept all three types of fuel as recommended by the manufacturer.
  • Wood chip boilers are most effective when installed within larger homes requiring more constant and massed hot water supplies and heating. However each type can be installed anywhere.

You will need to consider how much effort you wish to make when heating your home. Buying into an automated fed boiler will allow you to program when the system comes on and goes off by way of a timer, negating the need to manually load, monitor and return to a cold home or cold water supply. Further saving on your energy bills and wood fuel costs.

What Are The Benefits Of Wood Fuelled Heating?

You do of course have to take receipt of deliveries and load the fuel into the stove or boiler. For an additional amount of investment there are automated systems which will negate the need for loading fuel yourself, these are especially handy in the winter months. What other biomass boiler benefits are there?

  • When taking into considered gas and electricity that could be imported into your home and paid for, wood fuel is undoubtedly the cheaper option, even if prices fluctuate from time to time.
  • You will save on your energy bills by no longer having to pay for gas or if switching from an electric boiler, the savings will be markedly more.
  • If concerned with carbon emissions then you can look at the cycle from this perspective. The burning of the wood and release of carbon dioxide is similar to that which the wood took out of the atmosphere in the first place. Hence the cycle restores what is effectively released.
  • You can earn money through a variety of government financial incentives simply by generating your own heating rather than subscribing to the national grid for energy supplies.
  • Carbon release when compared to gas, sees a saving of three tonnes annually.

What Are The Costs Of Wood Fuelled Biomass Boilers And How Much Can Be Saved Or Earned?

The different types of biomass boiler each offer differing values of return on investment and energy savings. The cheapest of the wood fuel boilers is a pellet stove which could cost in the region of £4000 to £5000 including any installation. The cost of entry dramatically increases if you wish to install an automated fed, self cleaning biomass boiler. these can range in price from £12,000 to £23,000 but take into account the savings.

If you are switching from electricity, oil or gas you can save annually approximately £200 to £600 or more a year depending on the size of your home. If switching from LPG you may save even more and up to £1500 a year. There is of course the government incentives which allow you to earn hen you install sustainable and renewable energy sources, of which a biomass boiler qualifies.

The Domestic Renewable Heating Incentive (DRHI) run by OFGEM as of Spring 2014 could enable you to claw back as much as £4000 yearly by generating your own heating. which is where the investment on return comes into play. The savings made alone would take over twenty years to cover the switch, however with government aid you can expect to benefit from your initial outlay in just over three to seven years depending on which biomass boiler you chose and the size of your property.

Third party companies may be able to offer you a free biomass boiler and free installation as part of the government’s Green Deal scheme. You would simply pay the company the difference in energy savings, minus a discount to ensure you benefit immediately. This can typically take seven to twenty five years but you will bring down energy bills and receive free installation and of course a free boiler and may even get pellets or logs for free or discounted as part of any deal.

You do need space to store bags of pellets, chips and logs. If you have more space, you could buy bi-annually or yearly and save on the costs. If you have a wood log boiler, buying unseasoned logs will be far cheaper than those already fully dried out. The process would simply continue on your own property instead before use.Buying any wood fuel in advance and at the same time will bring costs down, meaning more savings.

Is There Much Maintenance With Wood Fuelled Boilers And Are There Any Other Issues?

You will need to maintain a wood fuelled boiler daily and weekly depending on the type you wish to have installed. Log burning boilers require daily removal of ash but most modern biomass boilers have an automated system. Other boilers require the ash to be removed at least weekly if these it not done regularly it may effect the entire combustion system and clog up.

Like most boilers, you should undertake an annual inspection by a certified professional, these can cost approximately £100 but if linked to an insurance with a company, can work out less. The flue also needs attending to at least twice a year and should be cleaned of any ash of debris which could cause blockages and the vent system to not function at an optimum levels. To negate further maintenance try to ensure your wood supplies are sufficiently dry before usage – check boiler documentation if making use of wood from your own land.

Is Biomass Heating The Right Renewable For You And Your Home Or Business?

By no means the least is this renewable fit and forget, it will be a part of your life more than you think throughout the winter months. You will also need to ensure adequate supplies of wood fuel and have space to store the bags of pellets and chips or wood logs. Ordering more than you need will ensure costs are kept down also.

You will need more space than you would for your average boiler. The unit itself can be much larger depending on requirements, then there’s storage room for the fuel and you also have to consider exterior access for a flue and it may not be ideal to use one if you have a thatched roof. View the HETA website for more information.

You probably don’t need planning permission but check with the local authority. If you have time and agility to take receipt of fuel deliveries and load them into the feeder, wish to save money on an ongoing basis and possibly even make a return thanks to government incentives, then wood fuel heating is an ideal choice. Especially so if a business making use of a wood chip boiler on a larger central heating system.