Is your biomass boiler ready for winter?

08 September 2017 By Jason Owen, Technical Sales Manager at Ashwell Biomass Solutions

Biomass heating

With the heating season fast approaching it’s a good time to check that your biomass boiler is serviced and ready for the winter period.

Some biomass boilers aren’t running at their optimum levels and some boilers are currently switched off, which means you’re not getting the best value for money from your boiler. This can leave some of you wondering where to turn. We’re one of the suppliers on YPO’s low carbon heat framework and we’re here to offer some practical advice.

It’s important to make sure your boilers are serviced regularly and that a maintenance regime is in place in accordance with manufacturer recommendations and based on the boiler use and environment. Cheapest isn’t always best, so look for a company that provides a mix of value, service and knowledge.

We strongly recommend regular servicing of any biomass boiler. This makes sure the system runs efficiently and effectively as well as reducing the possibility of costly breakdowns. During a service, most reputable suppliers will also check and report back any potential issues or recommend replacement parts if required which helps to encourage smooth running of the boiler.

Where a boiler is run continuously or substantially for a period of time (especially in winter months), there’s added pressure on the system. Therefore, it’s important that there’s regular cleaning and general maintenance to mitigate potential problems.

During warmer summer months the boiler is generally not used as much. This is the most important time to get the boiler serviced thoroughly before switching on. Remember, the boiler would have been running hard during the previous winter and potentially sat not doing anything – or very little – leading up to winter.  The boiler will have experienced wear and tear during that period, and a service/health check prior to switching back on is of utmost importance.

If you didn’t get your boiler serviced during the summer, now is the best time to do this while the weather is still mild.

The frequency of servicing is dependent upon factors such as the running hours of the boiler and the type of fuel used; for example, wood chip generates more ash content than wood pellet and the more impurities in the chip (bark, detritus, etc), the more cleaning will be required. Suppliers should use this information to determine which servicing and maintenance package best suits the client's needs.

In addition to this there are several additional services that you should consider, which include flue cleaning, ash box cleaning, health checks and operative training. These are designed to ensure successful, long term running of a biomass boiler.

It’s worth remembering that if you’re claiming RHI (Renewable Heat Incentive) it’s part of the RHI process to be able to prove that regular servicing by a competent trained engineer takes place.

So, get your biomass boiler winter ready now to help you keep warm this winter.

Ashwell Biomass have a dedicated team of engineers with a wealth of experience.  They’ve been servicing and repairing boilers of various makes, models and sizes for many years. They’re a supplier on YPO’s Low Carbon Heat framework. YPO also offers biomass chip and pellet via a further competition

Categories: Energy

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