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Cut Costs, Save Our Planet With A Biomass Boiler

By Expert Author: Antone Haun

As it becomes increasingly more vital that people look after our planet and monitor our carbon emissions, savvy home-owners have begun to look into alternative sources of energy such as biomass boilers. The ever rising price of gas and oil are only a sign of a greater problem; that we're running out of fossil fuel and cannot continue to rely on them. Biomass boilers are one potential change that we can make to the everyday lives, and with government-sponsored incentives they are becoming increasingly realistic.

What is a Biomass Boiler?

Put simply, biomass is living or recently living materials which is often burned for energy - unlike the long-dead animals that make up our coal, crude oil and natural gases. Because of their large size, the last few decades of biomass boiler use have been in large buildings like supermarkets and rural areas where gas lines may not reach, even though they are being seen more and more in domestic properties thanks to a decrease in price and concern for the environment.

Good for the planet

Materials which can be used in biomass boilers have a very important quality - they have what is known a "closed carbon cycle" which means that the harmful gases released during burning are counteracted by the positive results of trees absorbing fractional co2 from the air. Wooden pellets are quite possibly the most environmentally-friendly option as their low moisture content means better efficiency when burned, although logs and wood chips are still suitable alternatives. Wooden pellets are the most popular type of biomass fuel, mostly since the alternative of wood logs and chips retain moisture, therefore needing more heat to begin the combustion process. Grant UK's biomass boilers even have their particular patented turbulator baffle system which recycles waste heat back into the machine, and have as much as 94% efficiency.

Why Biomass?

The biggest motivating factor for making the switch is almost certainly the environmental considerations, although there are bonuses. The initial cost may take you aback in the beginning although the savings are long term, with £80 a year saved when replacing a gas heater and as much as £650 in comparison with an electrical house heater! The biomass fuel costs less than fossil alternatives, and when you make an effort to buy from local or at least national sources they cause hardly any damage to the environment to produce, pack and send. As with all things, it is less expensive to buy the pellets in bulk bags of several tonnes, although that will be much easier for businesses and big homesteads which have the accessible space.

The negative side of biomass

Unfortunately the popularity of biomass boilers has become a long time coming, and you may still find some complaints about the system which are being addressed. The size issue has been prohibitive for some people, although increasingly smaller models are always being released, which means you may not need an entire shed or garage to accommodate the machine. The cost of the machine and its installation can cost anywhere between £14,000 and £19,000, an intimidating price, although the UK government's Renewable Heat Incentive is starting out reduce this cost and the cost of any future maintenance. Another issue has been with maintenance of the machines, especially where log-burning boilers are worried, but if the time commitment is prohibitive to suit your needs many new pellet-burning biomass boilers from companies like Grant have self-cleaning and feeding mechanisms, with only an annual check needed.

Biomass is great investment for you home

A biomass boiler is a big investment with a considerable starting cost, sometimes 3 times as expensive as a gas boiler, although it should last throughout your life and the expense of wood pellets is significantly lower than the price of gas which will undoubtedly keep going up. They also require slightly more effort to maintain, although there are many models available now which only need occasional check-ups. For an environmentally friendly long-term heating solution, you simply can't beat the carbon-neutral power of biomass.

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