You may have sought out means to use less of the earths finite resources or to reduce the amount of carbon emissions that you directly or indirectly contribute to the atmosphere. However, you are not willing to shiver inside your home. Nor do you have the financial means or the desire to invest in an entire solar panel array or a wind turbine setup.
Biomass boilers represent a potential solution. Biomass is a second-generation biofuel that uses waste products from carpentry, construction and paper production to form chips and pellets that can be used for fuel. As a second-generation biofuel, biomass avoids the diversion of food crops into fuel production and the destruction of rain forests and other virgin ecosystems that make first-generation biofuel production controversial.
Setting up a biomass boiler does require a considerable up-front financial investment. Furthermore, professional installation is recommended for nearly all biomass boilers. However, the government of the United Kingdom has established financial assistance to help reduce the burden of installing and maintaining a biomass boiler in your home.
Biomass Chips Versus Pellets
In most household installations, a biomass boiler that burns pellets is called for. In their smallest size, biomass boilers that burn pellets can be installed in a utility room of a detached home. However, if you are heating a larger structure, biomass boilers that burn wood chips are called for. Such biomass boilers require the construction of a separate enclosure along with sufficient clearance on all sides for proper installation.
Professional Installation Recommended
If you are building your own home and are properly skilled in handyperson tools, it is possible to install the smallest biomass boilers yourself. However, in most instances, professional installation is required. The Energy Saving Trust recommends that you contract with an installer that has been certified either by the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) or by Renewable Energy Assurance Limited (REAL) as a member in good standing of the Renewable Energy Consumer Code (RECC).
Storage Space and Proper Permits Needed
Unlike gas boilers, biomass boilers do not receive a steady stream of pellets or chips from the local utility. As a result, you must construct and maintain a storage facility on your property. If you live in a residential area, you may need to disguise your storage area to avoid creating a potential eyesore. You should also ensure that your biomass chips or pellets are protected from the elements. In all instances, you must maintain your storage area well away from any potential fire risks. Before you invest in a biomass boiler, ensure that you have the proper permissions to move ahead with your plans. You should check whether ordinances exist in your area that would restrict the operation of your biomass boiler. You may also need permission from your local planning authority for the flue for your boiler.