Biomass Boilers In 2023 - Are They Suitable For Your Home?

When choosing a boiler for your home, you should be aware of all your options. While gas, oil, or electric boilers may be your first choice, biomass boilers are an excellent, sustainable option many homeowners overlook.

Continue reading our insightful guide to learn more about biomass boilers, their unique benefits, and whether they would be the right fit for your home!

What Are Biomass Boilers?

Biomass boilers are certainly less common throughout Ireland, with most households opting for their gas counterpart. This is largely because the rising popularity of heat pumps, another eco-friendly heating alternative, somewhat overshadows biomass boilers.

However, biomass boilers have plenty of benefits that make them a worthy contender against other heating solutions. These boilers work similarly to gas and oil boilers; only they burn wood instead of non-renewable fossil fuels.

With Ireland looking to hit net zero by 2050, biomass boilers are a smart heating option and offer to future-proof your home as the nation shifts toward a more sustainable future. There are many options out there, so do your research to find the best biomass boiler for your home.

How Do Biomass Boilers Work?

Much like gas and oil boilers, biomass boilers produce heat through combustion. Biomass refers to the organic fuel it uses, the most common being wood. This fuel is fed into the boiler’s combustion chamber, either manually or automatically, via a hopper.

Once in the combustion chamber, the fuel (in this case, wooden chips, pellets, or logs) is ignited and starts burning. As a result, hot gases are sent through the system and into a heat exchanger, where it will heat water in your central heating system.

The primary difference between biomass and traditional boilers is their fuel, which is essential when tackling climate change. Fossil fuel boilers used for domestic heating are responsible for around 48% of all carbon emissions in Ireland.

Biomass boilers are just one way to decarbonise how you heat your home, using renewable and sustainable fuel. Interestingly, biomass boilers are considered carbon neutral, as the amount of carbon they produce during combustion is absorbed by trees and other organic matter, cancelling it out.

Are Biomass Boilers Suitable For Your Home?

There are a few considerations to keep in mind when deciding whether a biomass boiler is right for you. Before jumping ahead and investing in a new biomass boiler, read through our list of key considerations to help you make an informed decision.

Storage Space

Biomass boilers are considerably larger than gas or oil boilers as they use a physical fuel to produce heat. You will need ample space to store your boiler as well as space to store your fuel. Many homeowners choose to create a dedicated cover or room for their boiler system outside, or you can keep them in your garage if there is space.

You should try to keep your fuel supply near the boiler to make refuelling easier and more efficient. You will also need somewhere to store your wood fuel, that will keep it dry.

Fuel Supply

While gas boilers have a constant fuel supply from the grid, you will be responsible for your own fuel supply when running a biomass boiler. The type of fuel you choose to use is up to what is most accessible to you. For example, if you have access to plenty of free wooden logs or waste wood, this option would be best.

You can also purchase bulks of wood pellets or chips to be more cost-effective, but you will need ample storage for a bulk supply.


Like most boilers, biomass boilers require annual maintenance to ensure it is running correctly and efficiently. Yearly maintenance can also reduce the risk of costly breakdowns and lengthen the lifespan of your boiler.

On top of this, you will need to clear your boiler of ash every so often. Each biomass boiler has different requirements, so ensure you understand what your boiler needs regarding maintenance.


The cost of biomass boilers is another consideration. Biomass boilers cost significantly more than traditional boilers, but they can offer many long-term money-saving benefits.

The price of biomass boilers ranges anywhere from €3,000 to €8,000, depending on the type of boiler you buy. For example, you can expect to pay more for an automatic biomass boiler than a manual one. You can also opt to go somewhere in the middle and purchase a semi-automatic biomass boiler.

However, it is also essential to note the running cost of biomass boilers compared to gas and oil. Biomass boilers can help you save money in the long term as they are much cheaper to run. They can also help you save on energy bills as they don’t rely on fossil fuels to heat your home.

The Size Of Your Home

Biomass boilers are far better suited to larger households with a high heating demand, as you can get the most out of your money. If you own a small flat or house, you would likely benefit more from a different renewable heating system, such as an air-source heat pump.

Should You Invest In A Biomass Boiler?

If your home meets the above requirements and considerations, investing in a biomass boiler can have plenty of benefits. They are an effective, eco-friendly heating solution that can greatly lower your household’s environmental impact.

Furthermore, wood is an inexpensive and renewable fuel source compared to fossil fuels, so you don’t need to worry about running out! The long-term costs can justify the high upfront price of a biomass boiler, helping you save money long into the future.

If you are still unsure whether a biomass boiler is the right match for your home, consider talking to a professional who can assess your home and give you the answers you need.