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Choosing a biomass boiler – Top 5 things you need to know

For all the eco-friendly, self-sustaining folks out there, biomass boilers are becoming a must-have household item. A good quality biomass boiler is compact, automated and is very close to a fossil fuel system. This means it is better for the environment with a nearly zero net carbon footprint and they can offer lower running costs.

Read on to find out all you need to know about choosing a biomass boiler for your home.

1) Types of biomass boilers

There are three main types of biomass boiler available for your home easily distinguishable by the different fuel type used in each: log gasification, wood chip and wood pellet fuelled boilers. The best option for most households is a pellet boiler. They are efficient, small and very close to a fossil fuel system making them a solid investment. They are also more cost efficient and have a low carbon footprint.

2) Where do I store the boiler?

You will need a large space in your home to store and run your biomass boiler. This can either be a large utility room, a space built for the boiler or a section of your garage. You will need space to move around your boiler too, so you will need to consider this in your plans.

3) What features should I look for?

As with any home appliance there are several things to take into consideration when choosing your biomass boiler.

  • Manufacturer: You want to choose a manufacturer that is well known for building and installing biomass boilers. They ultimately have a better understanding of the biomass boilers and their usage. You want to know you are in safe hands when it comes to keeping warm all winter.
  • Ash disposal: Your biomass boiler will produce ash that will need to be cleared and disposed of regularly. How often you clean your boiler will depend on how efficiently your boiler will perform. A really good unit will have an automated mechanism that will self clean the system meaning you do not have to do it yourself.
  • Heat exchanger: Over time the surfaces of the heat exchanger can become coated in ash and affect the efficiency of the boiler. Some models come with a motorized cleaning feature that, again, means you do not have to clean the boiler yourself.
  • Ash removal: Ash that comes out of the combustion chamber and the heat exchanger will go into an ash bin and possibly into a larger trough that doesn’t need emptying more than twice a year.

4) Refueling the Boiler

This is boiler specific and some boilers may have extra features that make this process easier. Basically, you will need to watch for when the fuel levels are getting low and empty a sack of pellets into the system. It isn’t difficult or messy to do this job but it is necessary that there be someone around to refuel when the boiler requires.

5) Boiler controls

The controls on your boiler are very straightforward and explanatory and you can usually keep your existing controls if it is easier for you. You may want to consider installing additional, specialist controls just for your boiler such as weather compensation. The specific controls help to make your boiler run more efficiently.

This blog looks at the five things you need to look for and consider when purchasing an eco-friendly biomass boiler. You will find information on the different types of boilers, installation and maintenance.

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