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What does biomass boiler maintenance involve?

Posted by Trish O'Flynn on 31 May 2017 at 11:50 am

If you are thinking of installing a biomass boiler, I'm sure you are thinking of how (and when) the boiler will be maintained.

In the video below, SuperHomer Mark Brown tells us about the operation and maintenance of the KWB Easyfire wood pellet boiler fitted in 2009 in the five bedroom house in South Buckinghamshire where he lives with wife Liya and their children. The house was built in the early 1980s.

The boiler has a self-ignition system, self-clean mode and very few parts. Mark does the annual maintenance and cleaning himself, after watching the service engineer, but he still gets the professionals in every five years. Mark also suggests that biomass boiler owners may wish to use engineers experienced with their specific brand of boiler.

The maintenance involves opening up the boiler (after it has cooled down!) and cleaning off the fine ash and clinker which will be deposited on the interior of the boiler and burn plate. Mark’s detailed video (14 minutes long) of the annual cleaning and maintenance can be viewed below.

What other maintenance will the boiler need?

Biomass boilers are eligible for the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) which may recoup some of the installation costs. You can DIY, but if you receive the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) it is recommended that you maintain the boiler in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure maximum efficiency. Manufacturers usually recommend that your boiler is serviced at least once a year and may require you use a Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) certified installer.

There are other ways you can keep your boiler working at maximum efficiency. YouGen installer member David Hill of Carbon Legacy recommends you

  • monitor fuel quality and consumption - your boiler will operate more efficiently and require less maintenance if you use good quality wood fuel products
  • make sure you have ample fuel supply, and
  • keep up with planned maintenance.

Mark and Liya Brown are committed to reducing their carbon footprint and have achieved a 90% carbon saving by investing in solar thermal and PV, insulation throughout the house and, of course, the biomass boiler.

Take a look at Mark and Liya’s SuperHome page.

 

Video credit: SuperHome 59 on YouTube

More information about Biomass Boilers and Energy Saving and Renewable Energy on YouGen.

Find a Biomass Boiler installer

About the author: Trish is a web content writer with the National Energy Foundation.

If you have a question about anything in the above blog, please ask it in the comments section below.

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Comments

1 comments - read them below or add one

Ben Whittle

Ben WhittleComment left on: 31 May 2017 at 6:04 pm

Having recently read an awful lot of background on burning wood I have to say I am now completely against the use of wood pellets. They are, according to the official DEFRA reporting spreadsheet worse for the environment than burning oil in carbon terms.

Unfortunately they are also big emitters of PM2.5s, worse again than natural gas or oil boilers.

It's time they were taken off the RHI technology list

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