Wood heating systems – technically known as biomass systems – burn organic materials, typically wood pellets, chips or logs, in a boiler or stove to provide heat and hot water.
There are two types: stoves and boilers. Stoves are generally used as standalone room heaters, although they can be fitted with a back boiler to provide hot water. Batch log boilers and pellet boilers offer more convenient and efficient ways to heat with wood fuel than traditional stoves as they can be connected to an existing central heating and hot water system. Pellet boilers range in size from a few kilowatts, for houses or small commercial buildings, to megawatt units for district heating systems. Automatic hopper-fed fuel systems are usually used with these boilers and stoves. The hopper can be either built-in or a separate unit.
Of the biomass boilers, pellet systems are generally the most responsive to heat demands, have the simplest controls and are the closest to fossil fuelled boilers in terms of maintenance and operation.