Renewable Living | Warm Roofs, Solar PV, Wood Pellet Boilers

FAQ – Biomass Boilers

wood pellet boliers

What is biomass?

Biomass is biological material derived from living, or recently living organisms. In the context of biomass for energy this is often used to mean plant based material.

What are the system costs?

Total system costs vary considerably from installation to installation. Typically the cost of the boiler will be a relatively small proportion of the total cost, perhaps one third for a log boiler installation. A boiler house, fuel store, accumulator tank, fuel feed system, and flue will all add to the cost, as will design, project management and commissioning.

Can biomass boilers be used with radiators or underfloor heating?

Yes. BURNiT boilers and stoves are capable of heating your whole building and Domestic Hot Water and work extremely well with radiators and underfloor heating.

Can Biomass be used for all of my heating and hot water needs?

If sized correctly, a biomass boiler should take the place of a traditional boiler and is far greener and efficient. The average house uses around 23,000 kWh of heat per year for heating and hot water – a 15kW biomass boiler should be sufficient for a reasonably well insulated home.
Do biomass boilers smell?
Not at all – biomass fuel is burned within a closed, well designed flued system, so should be no smellier or smokier than a standard gas boiler.

Is biomass fuel expensive?

If you have access to free logs, then it won’t cost you a penny to produce hot water or heat your home. If using Pellets it’s significantly cheaper than using oil, LPG or electricity. Fuel prices are always rising, so expect the savings between biomass and fossil fuels. With government’s Renewable Heat Incentive out next year, your system will even pay you.

Can a biomass boiler be connected to my existing heating system?

A Biomass boiler can be seamlessly integrated into your existing heating system. It is no different than replacing your existing Gas or Oil boiler.

How often do you have to empty the ash?

This depends on whether using Logs or Pellets and what time of the year. With Pellets most people find themselves emptying the ash bin once a fortnight, but your Roses love it.

Are there any grants for biomass boilers?

Yes, at present for commercial installations, you can receive the renewable heat incentive which is a quarterly payment depending on the amount of heat used (8.6p per kWh for 20 years). On Domestic installations Domestic RHI has now been introduced (April 2014) and will be 12.2p per kWh for 7 years. For more information please see our RHI page.

Do biomass boilers require much maintenance?

Biomass boilers need to be kept clean. You need to make sure you have sufficient fuel in the hopper, check the flue occasionally and empty the ash bin every couple of weeks. But we would recommend any annual maintenance contract with your installation company.

Where can I obtain pellets and store the fuel?

Renewable Living can help you find a good quality supplier near you. Most boilers come supplied with a 500Ltr hopper as standard - but if your require a larger solution we recommend wood pellet silos.

Can I use a biomass boiler with a solar thermal system?

There are no two technologies that work better together than these two. Solar thermal panels are the most efficient way to generate hot water during the summer months, and in the winter your biomass boiler will take over if your solar thermal panels aren’t generating sufficient heat or hot water.

Do your biomass systems come with a warranty?

All Biomass boilers come with the manufacturers warranty.

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