You can improve the way in which your home is heated, just by making some subtle adjustments…
What is a biomass boiler?
Biomass is a material, that comes from plants or even plant-based organisms. Biomass boilers are like gas and oil boilers that are found in most UK homes, except they are fuelled by solid biomass. The material used is usually either wood logs, chips or pellets. As a result, this type of boiler is bigger than others and requires more maintenance.
How does a biomass boiler work?
A biomass boiler with the latest technology has a fuel storage section, which automatically delivers the wood to the combustion area, for it to be lighted by a probe. While the fuel burns, it heats the water, through a heat exchanger.
A gas boiler is constantly supplied by the gas network, whereas an oil boiler has a large tank. However, with a biomass boiler, the fuel needs to be regularly topped up, by hand or automatically. A hopper is an automatic mechanism, which enables a higher volume of fuel to be stored. It can also refuel the boiler when needed, creating less work for you. However, due to the solid fuel involved, a biomass boiler still needs to be emptied and cleaned. The frequency in which you are required to do this depends primarily on the level of technology in the boiler.
As most popular boilers work by burning fossil fuels, carbon emissions are released into the atmosphere. With the UK government envisioning 2050 as the year, whereby the country achieves net-zero, there needs to be a realistic, cleaner, heating alternative.
Burning wood to heat homes is a carbon-neutral process. This is because, it produces the same amount of carbon dioxide as the tree absorbed when it was growing, essentially, cancelling itself out.
When compared to other types of boilers, biomass is a strong competitor. Like gas and oil boilers, biomass boilers can achieve high levels of energy efficiency, meaning very little energy is wasted. This is good news for homeowners, as it means they avoid a drop-off in quality while heating their home in an environmentally friendly way.
When sawdust and wood shavings are put together, they form small pellets. Wood pellets are the most popular type of fuel for biomass boilers because their compact size means they can be burnt automatically. As they have a higher calorific content, they are more efficient than wood chips or logs.
Wood chips were previously logs, that were fed through wood chipping machines. Due to their simplicity, wood chips are cheaper to buy than pellets. However, cost aside, they are not always the best option for domestic boilers because they are bigger in size. This increases the cost of transportation and makes them harder to store. They also have a higher moisture count than wood pellets, making them less efficient.
Only some biomass boilers can be fuelled by logs. This is a good option for homeowners who have access to waste wood near their homes, as it can massively reduce fuel costs. However, like wood chips, they have a high moisture count, meaning they don’t deliver as much energy as wood pellets.
Homeowners are still able to get a FREE boiler grant or insulation grant via the ECO scheme, which is still available to households that qualify. Warma UK are currently working throughout the UK helping privately owned and rented homes to improve home energy efficiency and save money on rising energy bills.
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