What is biomass?
Biomass is a community or domestic heating system that burns wood pellets, chips or logs. This can either be used to power a central heating system or to provide direct heat into a room.
Because the CO2 emitted when the wood is burned is equivalent to the amount that was absorbed by the plant when it was growing, biomass is a low carbon option. It is also potentially cheaper to run than fossil fuels.
Is my house suitable for biomass?
Biomass boilers need a supply of wood to burn so you will need an area close to the boiler that is large and dry enough to stock this wood. Some chip and pellet burners also use automatic feeders which refill the boiler at regular intervals.
You will also need to install a specially designed vent with sufficient air movement to allow the stove to run efficiently. If you have a chimney it can be installed with a biomass friendly flue without great expense.
What are the options?
There are two types of biomass systems to consider. You can either have a stove which is positioned appropriately to radiate heat around the room it is installed in. Or you can have a boiler which is connected directly to the central heating and hot water system. The latter is particularly useful for a community sharing a single biomass unit.