Installing a Biomass Boiler: 6 Things You Should Know Beforehand

3 minute read

Return to the article list

As the world continues to seek sustainable and renewable energy sources, biomass boilers have emerged as an exciting alternative for heating homes and businesses.

Harnessing the power of organic materials such as wood chips, pellets, or logs, a biomass boiler offers a clean and environmentally friendly alternative to traditional heating systems.

However, before diving into the world of these boilers, it is essential to understand some key considerations involved in their installation.

From site requirements and fuel availability to maintenance and financing options, installing a biomass boiler involves some crucial factors that could shape your decision-making process.

Site and Space Requirements

One of the key considerations when installing a biomass boiler is the site and space requirements.

With various sizes and designs available, it is crucial to ensure that you have enough space for the unit to fit in, as well as reserving clearance space around the boiler and its components, should parts ever need to be removed and replaced.

Before making any decisions whatsoever, check your available space and ensure that it meets the specifications of the biomass boiler you intend to install.


Fuel Type Suitability

Although a biomass boiler can operate on different fuel types, such as wood chips, pellets, or logs, it is essential to evaluate how suitable they are for you.

Log boilers are typically used by people that can source the fuel directly from their own land, as it’s a very cheap source of fuel. For people consideration a log biomass boiler, the most important thing to be aware of is how frequently they will have to interact with it. Log boilers require manual filling, and during winter, this will be at least twice a day. 

Wood pellet and wood chip boilers are different to log as they are fully automated. Fuel is delivered to a bulk fuel store, with no need for the owner to manually fill the boiler each day.

Wood chip is the cheaper of the two, but typically the fuel is dropped on the floor outside of the store and plant, such as a telehandler, is needed to move the woodchip into the fuel store.  

Pellets are more expensive than chip,  but they are easier to deal with as the fuel tanker blows the pellets directly into the fuel store, meaning they are suitable for any site.


Heat Demand

Accurately calculating your heat demand is another vital step in the selection process.

By assessing how much heating you will need, you can determine the appropriate size of the biomass boiler required for your property or business.

Oversizing or under sizing the boiler can lead to inefficiency and potential energy wastage.

Permits and Regulations

In some cases, obtaining permits and complying with regulations is necessary before installing a biomass boiler. Smaller biomass boilers (<45kW) can be installed under permitted development, if certain conditions relating to the flue are met. Any biomass boiler larger than this will require full planning permission, though the application process is typically smooth, as local authorities look positively on green forms of heating, such as biomass.

The vast majority of biomass boilers that are installed run on virgin wood. Waste wood can also be used as a fuel if the biomass boiler is designed to run on it, however, there are additional regulations when it comes to using waste wood as a fuel.

Either an Environmental Permit is needed, or a U4 Exemption permit.

Consult with the local regulations and ensure that you comply with all the necessary requirements before proceeding with the installation.


Maintenance and Upkeep

Biomass boiler servicing, maintenance and upkeep are significant considerations for biomass boiler owners.

Regular maintenance is essential to ensure the efficient and reliable operation of the unit.

Factor in the time and resources required for maintenance tasks when making your decision. By proactively addressing maintenance needs, you can extend the lifespan of your biomass boiler and avoid potential issues as well.

If you have a biomass boiler installed with an RHI tariff attached to it, then one of your ongoing obligations of being on the RHI scheme is having a service once a year from a HETAS approved company, such as Treco.


Overall Cost

Finally, when assessing the feasibility of a biomass boiler, consider the overall cost of installing a biomass boiler.

This includes the cost of the unit itself and the expenses associated with installation. Additionally, explore potential financing options that may be available to you.

By figuring out the cost of installing a biomass boiler, you will make a better and more informed decision on why installing a biomass boiler is a great idea.


It’s a Lot to Think About, But it’s Worth it

Biomass boilers offer a sustainable and eco-friendly heating solution, utilising organic materials to generate heat while reducing carbon emissions.

By understanding and addressing these considerations, you can successfully integrate a biomass boiler into your property, contributing to a greener and more sustainable future.

Embrace the power of biomass and experience the benefits of efficient, renewable heating in your home or business.

For further information, or if you have a question about one of our fantastic biomass boilers, or if you need a biomass boiler servicing, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Do you have a biomass or low carbon project?

Speak to our biomass team today

01884 250790

Back to top