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Last updated: 12 March 2018

All You Need To Know About Biomass Boilers

What Is a Biomass Boiler?

Biomass boilers are heating systems operating on biomass, which is plants or plant-based materials used as fuel. Examples of such can be logs, wood pellets or wood chips.

How Do Biomass Boilers Work?

The working principle of a biomass boiler is rather simple: first, wood fuel is placed in the special area of a boiler called hopper and then it is automatically transferred into the actual boiler, where the fuel is ignited. The generated heat can be controlled by using an electronic thermostat.

Read more: Why To Choose a Biomass Boiler?

For Whom Are They Suitable?

Biomass boilers are generally suited for those who are not connected to mains gas and who have lots of space, around 6-7 cubic metres, that can contain one biomass boiler as well as a fuel storage essential for installation.

Why Buy One?

You may be willing to acquire a biomass boiler for a number of reasons: 

  • Biomass fuel is quite cheap in comparison with oil or gas equivalents
  • You can save some money from Renewable Heat Incentive payments – a scheme designed by the UK government to attract more people to install renewable heating systems such as biomass boilers
  • Generally, wood fuel is sustainable in terms of both quality and price 
  • Biomass boilers are carbon neutral 
  • Biomass boilers do not produce much smoke if properly managed
  • On a large scale, biomass energy is beneficial for environment

Some Things to Keep In Mind

If you want to buy a biomass boiler, you need to remember a couple of things:

  • A large amount of space is required to set up a biomass boiler
  • Initial prices for purchase and installation of a biomass boiler are very high
  • Wood fuel must always be dry, otherwise it cannot be used to provide heat
  • It is extremely important to clean a biomass boiler regularly
  • You must check if there are available supplies of fuel near your location. The closer they are to your home, the less costly it is for you
  • A high enough chimney must be located in your house so that a biomass boiler could operate correctly

How Much Do They Cost?

As to the prices of biomass boilers, it all depends on the different suppliers. However, some general estimates can be done. Boilers can cost from £5,000 up to £11,000 with installation, flue and commissioning included. The approximate average costs per kW for biomass boilers are 10-20kW -£945; 20-50kW £568. It is also vital to take into consideration the current costs of fuel.

If you would like to get a biomass boiler, you must know that this option of providing heat is not suitable for all households due to two major issues – money and space. You must carefully plan your budget and a possible location of a boiler so as not to cause any problems with its work. If your house is good for this, you can enjoy an eco-friendly boiler, which will keep you warm all year round or whenever needed.

Read more: How Much Does a Biomass Boiler Cost?