Biomass boilers, also called wood-fuelled heating systems, burn organic material such as wood pellets, wood chips or logs in order to provide warmth in one room or power hot water and central heating systems.
A useful form of renewable energy, they can use organic material other than wood, too, including food or industrial waste as well as crops.
They work by burning the organic fuel in stoves and boilers and using the energy generated to heat space and/or water. Because of their environmentally friendly benefits, they are becoming more common in both business and domestic settings.
But, as with all types of energy, they have their pros and cons.
Because it is organic, biomass is considered carbon-neutral due to the fact the amount of carbon dioxide released when it is burned is the same as that absorbed by the material when it was alive.
People and businesses wanting to reduce their overall carbon emissions therefore see biomass boilers as one of the more environmentally friendly ways to heat their home or office space. Using locally sourced fuel will lower this carbon footprint even more.
The Telegraph, says the properties most likely to benefit from biomass boilers are large homes in rural areas without access to gas.
They can provide an easy-to-use form of heating for remote farms and houses whose owners do not want the expense involved in connecting to the national grid.
Being responsible for generating your own heating will also protect you from escalating energy costs imposed by gas and electricity companies – and may well make you money, too, as government incentives may be available for installing ‘green’ energy.
If the fuel is not sourced locally, then there are of course additional carbon emissions involved in transporting the fuel to the boiler. In addition, if large swathes of land are dedicated to producing biofuel crops, the environmentally friendly credentials are vastly undermined.
Biomass boilers also require regular cleaning and maintenance to make sure they perform correctly and efficiently.
Taking these factors into account, you may well be better off with a traditional gas or oil boiler – for boiler installation in Gloucester, see a firm such as hprservicesltd.com.
Installing a biomass boiler is not cheap either. Consider it an investment which will pay for itself over time, not as a short-term way to save cash.