Requires: Local supplier of sustainable fuel, Insulation.
Biomass heating systems burn organic matter for fuel such as wood pellets, chips or logs, or manure. Biomass boilers can be connected to central heating and hot water systems. The main advantages of biomass systems are that:
However, biomass systems require more labour-intensive maintenance than fossil fuel boilers, including:
Biomass boilers are larger than their fossil fuel equivalents so adequate space is necessary. They also require space for the flue, and for fuel deliveries and storage. Biomass boilers also emit particulates and nitrogen oxides (NOx), which means they are unsuitable for use in densely populated areas. Future legislation may restrict the burning of biomass in certain areas.
Logs can be cheaper fuel to buy than pellets, but this will depend on wood suppliers in the local area to reduce transportation costs. If space is available, it is well worth considering buying unseasoned logs and storing them for a year to let them season (air-dry) before burning. This will reduce the purchase cost significantly. Seasoning logs is important because burning unseasoned (wet) wood increases the amount of soot deposits and the chances of chimney fires.
Energy Saving Trust, Generating Renewable Energy, Biomass. Available from: https://energysavingtrust.org.uk/advice/biomass/ [Accessed 26th January 2021].