Using range cookers and wood burning stoves with a back boiler to heat your home
Posted by Laurence Jones on 4 January 2012 at 11:29 am
There are several ways of using biomass to heat the home. I recently blogged about independent biomass boilers that run on pellets, wood chip and logs. However, there are two other noteworthy ways of using a biomass fuel source in conjunction with a central heating system.
Although these appliances will probably not be eligible for the domestic side of the renewable heat incentive (due to be announced in 2012) in the same way that an independent biomass boiler is likely to, they can still be a good way of reducing household dependency on gas and oil.
Wood burning stoves with a back boiler
“Wet back” stoves (as they are commonly known), work by heating water via a piped system that is connected from the appliance to a hot water storage cylinder. The stove will generate hot water and also provide heat to the radiator circuit (depending on the appliances rated heat output).
When correctly installed, stoves with a back boiler can provide hot water to the storage cylinder even when there are power outages, as well as heating your lounge in the same way that a traditional stove would. Any heat provided by the stove will off-set the need to use your gas or oil system, with the potential also to reduce your fuel bills.
Wood burning range cookers with a central heating boiler
These appliances provide two functions. Firstly as a cooker and secondly as a boiler for combined heating and hot water. Often favoured for their aesthetic appeal and warming effect in the kitchen, some range cookers are also able to link up to a central heating system in much the same way that a wet back stove can. During summer months, appliances such as these can often be adjusted to be used simply as a cooker in order to help improve the appliance's efficiency.
Picture by William Warby
About the author: Laurence Jones was marketing support officer at HETAS
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