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Choosing a biomass heating system

Boiler or stove?

Biomass boilers can be used in place of a standard oil or gas boiler, often connected to existing central heating and hot water system. Stoves only tend to heat a single room, usually in conjunction with other heating systems. Stoves with a back boiler can also supply hot water.

Chips, pellets or logs?

Pellets are by far easier to use and much more controllable than logs, and can run automatically in much the same way that gas or oil boilers operate. Most pellet and chip burners
use automatic fuel feeders, which refill them at regular intervals.
Wood chips are not suitable for heating a single house, but can be used to heat larger buildings or groups of houses.
Log-burning stoves and boilers have to be filled with wood by hand. Logs require considerably more work, and you will need a lot of logs to heat a whole house, but they can be cheaper than pellets if you have a good local supply.

Do you have a local fuel supplier?

We offer deliveries of pellets anywhere in mainland Britain. We can also supply of logs. Contact us for a fuel quote.

Do you have space?

Biomass boilers are larger than oil or gas equivalents. You will also need space to store the fuel, a typical domestic system requires approx. 6-7 cubic meters. Your fuel store needs to be located somewhere that’s handy for deliveries and also appropriate for feeding the boiler.

Do you have somewhere to put the flue?

For wood-burning appliances you will need a flue which meets the regulations: the flue usually consists of an externally run new insulated stainless steel flue pipe or an existing chimney – though chimneys normally need lining to make them safe and legal.

Do you need permission?

You may not need planning permission, but we will always check with your local planning office ahead of entering into any contract. All new wood heating systems have to comply with building regulations. As MCS approved installers we will always ensure that your system fully complies with regulations and relevant permissions are gained.

Do you have a thatched roof?

Read HETAS’s advice about building regulations (PDF, 741K)

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