For domestic heating purposes, biomass boilers are an
efficient way to generate heat around the home.

How biomass boilers
work

Biomass boilers
work by burning wood fuel such as wood pellets, wood chip or logs to create
heat. There is a storage area (hopper) where the wood fuel is kept, and a
boiler where the fuel is ignited. The wood fuel is automatically fed into the
boiler from the hopper and then ignited by an auto start. The temperature is
controlled via an electronic thermostat.

They can replace oil or gas boilers to heat water and
radiators or under floor heating. They burn logs, wood chips, wood pellets or
other forms of biomass. The most advanced biomass boilers are fully automatic
and can control the amount of fuel and air supplied to the combustion chamber.
Because of this, they are highly efficient, and the emissions are kept low.

The best wood fuel to
use

All wood fuels need more storage space than fossil fuels, and
there are three common types of fuels used which are logs, wood chips and wood
pellets. Wood chips and wood pellets can be used in automated systems and
stored in a hopper. Logs however must be fed into the boiler which makes them
more dependent on human input. If the wood isn’t seasoned or is too damp it
will not burn as well and will create smoke and tar.

Planning permission
for biomass boilers

Biomass heating systems are permitted developments, so long
as the flue doesn’t exceed the height of the roof by one metre or more. There
are also a number of restrictions in conservation areas, world heritage sites
and listed buildings, so check with local planning guides to ensure you can use
one.

Things to consider

Biomass boilers require more space than conventional gas or oil fuelled boilers, and storage space will also need to be taken into consideration as damp fuel will not burn as efficiently. It’s also important to source reliable suppliers of fuel to make sure they are nearby so you don’t have to pay an extortionate amount for delivery.