Wood fuelled heating systems can be used to heat a single room in your home and provide hot water for boilers, by burning wood pellets, chips or logs.
There are two ways of using wood to heat your home;
- A standalone stove burning logs or pellets to heat a single room. Some can also be fitted with a back boiler to provide water heating as well.
- A boiler burning pellets, logs or chips connected to a central heating and hot water system.
Log burning stoves and boilers would need to be filled by hand however some pellet and chip burners use an automatic fuel feeder which will refill them at regular intervals from fuel storage units called hoppers.
The benefits of biomass heating
- A low carbon option: the carbon dioxide emitted when wood fuel is burned is the same amount that was absorbed by the plant as it was growing. As long as new plants continue to grow in place of those used for fuel, the process is sustainable. Some carbon emissions are caused by the cultivation, manufacture and transportation of the fuel, but if the fuel is sourced locally, these are much lower than the emissions from fossil fuels.
- A good use for waste wood: burning wood can be a convenient means of disposing of waste that might otherwise be sent to a landfill site.
Costs and Savings
A pellet stove costs about £4,300 including installation, a log stove can cost as little as half this. An automatically fed pellet boiler for an average home costs about £11,500 including installation, fuel store and VAT at 5%.
When a wood boiler replaces a coal fired system or electric storage heating up to 9.5 tonnes of CO2 emissions will be reduced. If a coal or electric heating system is replaced savings could be between £170 and £ 390 a year. Wood costs can vary and often depends on the quantity you are able to purchase and whether you have the storage capacity.
For a list of wood fuel suppliers in your area, visit the log pile website