Searching for a new boiler can be confusing with so many options available. This article will focus mainly on biomass boilers to help you make an informed decision when purchasing a new boiler for your home.
What Are Biomass Boilers?
Biomass refers to the type of fuel the boiler burns to provide heating for your home- in this case, the fuel is wood. Biomass boilers are considered carbon neutral, as wood is a renewable energy source, and growing trees and plants reabsorb any carbon dioxide they release.
Biomass boilers are a more sustainable alternative to fossil fuel-burning boilers such as gas and oil, which emit a much higher percentage of CO2 emissions.
How Do Biomass Boilers Work?
Biomass boilers function similarly to standard gas boilers, heating fuel to raise water temperatures which run through pipes to taps, radiators and underfloor heating in the home. Since biomass boilers burn large volumes of wooden pellets, chips, or logs, the units typically require much more installation space.
Depending on the type of boiler and your heating needs, you can feed fuel into the heating chamber by hand, automatically, or semi-automatically. The fuel cost is also cheaper than fossil fuel boilers, adding to the cost-effectiveness of the appliance.
The price of a biomass boiler depends on the model. Automatic units cost more, starting from £9,000, while hand-fed units are slightly more affordable, starting at £4,000. Nevertheless, it is fair to say that these boilers are much higher in price than a gas boiler, which you can install for around £1,500- £2,000.
Due to their use of renewable energy and lower carbon emissions, biomass boilers qualify for the government-funded Boiler Upgrade (BUS) scheme, reducing the cost of the boilers considerably.
You can discover more information about the pros and cons of biomass boilers by visiting this article: https://www.boilerguide.co.uk/biomass.
Can You Install A Biomass Boiler In Your Home?
Biomass boilers are likely to benefit certain types of homes more than others. Before you purchase one of these sustainable boilers, there are a few things to keep in mind. Firstly, biomass boilers require a large space to install. If you own a small property like an apartment, installing a biomass boiler may not be suitable.
You must also consider how you will acquire your fuel source. Do you have a local store that sells wood chips, logs, or pellets? Are they available for delivery? Do you have enough space to store your fuel supply? These are just a few questions to ask yourself.
Burning biomass also produces ash, which you will need to remove regularly. You can use the ash to create fertilizer if you have a composter. Again, this requires space, so consider how you will sustainably discard the ash.
If your home is disconnected from the gas grid, biomass boilers are an appealing option and are popular alternatives to oil boilers. If you live in a listed building or conservation area, you may need to acquire planning permission prior to installing a biomass boiler.
Are Biomass Boilers Environmentally Friendly?
One of the main attractions of biomass boilers is their sustainability. Unlike gas and oil boilers which run on non-renewable fossil fuels, biomass boilers are carbon neutral, operating mostly on sustainable fuel sources.
Since biomass boilers qualify for the government’s Boiler Upgrade Scheme, they are just one option to consider when searching for renewable heating solutions. The process of burning wood is carbon neutral, meaning that you are neither adding nor reducing the number of carbon emissions in the air by heating your home.
The UK government also encourages the installation of heat pumps within UK homes on their BUS scheme, which is another option to consider for eco-conscious homeowners. Unlike traditional boilers, heat pumps do not require combustible fuel to operate. Instead, they draw renewable energy from the ground or air and transfer it into heat.
Like biomass boilers, heat pumps are also expensive to buy and install. However, they are by far the most efficient system, running at up to 300% efficiency compared to a modern boiler which runs at just over 90%.
While upfront costs for renewable heat alternatives such as biomass boilers and heat pumps can seem pricey, they can help you save money in the long term with cheaper fuel and high-efficiency ratings. If you have the space required to fit a biomass boiler in your home, you can harness the many benefits of this system.
Article written by Boiler Guide.