Domestic Biomass Boiler

The Basics Of Domestic Biomass Boilers And The Fuels They Can Use

If you’re interested in cutting back on your heating costs at home while at the same time reducing your carbon footprint, something you should consider is installing domestic biomass boilers. These come in many different types and sizes to fit every kind of need, and every different kind of biofuel that you can imagine. There are also different levels of automation, but with more automatic features the price will increase as well.

The First Step Will Be To Decide What Kind Of Biofuel You Have Available

There are thousands of different kinds of biofuel, in agricultural settings there is the waste from corn husks, corn stalks, avocado seeds, olive seeds, straw, and hundreds of other waste products that are left over after harvest. Poultry, cow, horse and sheep bedding made from wood shavings are also thrown out by the ton and can be had for free in many areas.

In the food manufacturing sector nearly anything that is dried can be burnt for fuel, products like fruit peelings, seed husks, spent grains from brewing beer, used cooking oils, crushed seeds after oil extraction, coconut shells and millions of tons of other waste. Some estimates show beer brewing leaves 90% of the ingredients as waste after the process is complete.

There is also waste from manufacturing items from wood such as furniture, flooring, lumber, and other products. The waste from landscaping, tree trimming and house building. If you work in any of these industries you may be able to actually charge for the waste removal and hauling, then use it to make heat in your own domestic biomass boiler or furnace.

If Near Total Automation Is Important, Then Wood Pellets Are Best

Wood pellets are the most easily automated biofuel because they’re of uniform size, shape and moisture content. They can be loaded into a hopper that will feed them into the firebox of the boiler as needed with a large feeder screw that is computer controlled. There are large enough hoppers to enable the average home to only fill it once per week, making it the most hands free system.

However, even though the pellets tend to be less expensive than oil, gas and coal, they won’t be able to compete with free biofuel, that can be sourced from many places for free, with a little ingenuity and work. Many people in their jobs have inside tracks on free fuel that won’t be available to everyone.

Once You’ve Decided On The Fuel There Are Several Types Of Boilers And Furnaces

The major difference between a boiler and a water furnace is that the boiler heats the water above the boiling temperature and uses that steam pressure to force the water throughout the system. It’s slightly more dangerous because of the pressure, but boiler systems have been in use for hundreds of years.

A water furnace works in a similar fashion, but the water tank isn’t under pressure, it will have a relief outlet for steam, and uses an industrial water pump to send the hot water through the system. Water furnaces can be placed outside of the home where stoking them with fuel is less of a mess, and there is no chance of smoke fumes leaking inside the home.

Once You Have The Heated Water Under Pressure You Can Use It In Several Ways

The heated water can be pumped through standard radiators in each room, radiant floor heating systems, individual small heat exchangers with fans, or through a heat exchanger built into an existing fossil fuel furnace. The heat exchanger looks and functions very similar to a radiator on a car, although the fins are larger and it’s not built to take an accident.

The heat exchanger can be installed in the plenum of an existing furnace and be used part time or full time to heat the home, using the fossil fuels only during an emergency if need be. The thermostat from the furnace can automatically turn on the blower fan and water pump at the same time, bringing hot water into the exchanger while blowing air through it and into the regular heating ducts of the home just as if the fossil fuel furnace was operating.

There are hundreds of different options available when it comes to heating your home with biomass. The types of fuel available is nearly unlimited and many of the boilers can use several, depending on what’s cheapest and handy at the time. Setting up your system isn’t as complicated as it sounds, and there is plenty of information available online to research before you make your decisions.

Roof during construction

Roofing Warranties – What You Should Know

The Basic Roofing Warranty

No matter which roof shingles you go with, they need to be compliant with standards that the government has set and there needs to be a clause in the warranty that the shingle will perform as promised.  Typical warranties range from 15 to 30 years, depending on the manufacturer of course.  But there are several different roof shingle manufacturers that are giving lifetime warranties.

While roofing shingle warranties are considered standard practice, there can and will be significant differences in coverage between similar types of shingles.  The most important that you need to be aware of is that some warranties will only cover the cost of the shingles, but not the labor necessary to tear off the original roof and install the new one.

It is very important to note that most shingle manufacturers have a specific installation process and if the roofer improperly installs your roof, then the warranty will become void. Click here for more information on roofing installation.

Wind Warranty

Strong wind, especially hurricane like conditions, can be damage shingles; even tear them completely off. The more powerful wind gusts are capable of ripping the shingles off of the roof.  Weak wind can also potentially cause damage.

What winds up happening during a strong wind storm is that the shingles will lift, even if only for a second.  This can be the beginning of two issues.  First, when the shingle lifts, debris and moisture can wind up going underneath the shingle.  Once the shingle returns to its original position, it traps the debris and moisture that blew in.  If there is too much moisture, it could start to leak through the roof, which in turn will cause more damage to your home.  When debris is trapped, it keeps the tile from lying perfectly flat like it is supposed to, which winds up letting in even more moisture and debris.

Algae Resistant Warranty

Algae growth is a typical roofing issue that causes disgusting, dark streaks on the shingles.  The algae can be cleaned, but it is common for it to come back, especially if you live in an area where humid weather is commonplace.  If you have had algae problems before, you should look to get algae-resistant coverage on your shingle warranty.

Solar Panels Image

Advantages Of Safe, Quality Professional Solar Panel Installer

Having solar panels for homes installed is a must in this day and age considering the number of energy saving benefits on offer. Yet, making up your mind to have solar panels installed is only a part of the process as so many property owners end up finding out rather quickly. This is why you have to pinpoint the key advantages of going with the best and safe solar panel installers in town. If you go with the best, you are going to be able to have a job well done the first time around as needed. Here are four of the biggest advantages of going with the finest.


It is as simple as this on most occassions. You are going to be assured of a person that is going to be effective from start to finish. They are going to go the extra mile to ensure you are happy with the results and will continue to ask questions in order to know they are on the right path.
This is what solar panels are all about and the best installers are going to make sure they work tirelessly to meet your needs and wants. If they don’t do this, they are not doing a safe and good job and you shouldn’t expect any less.

Ensure Longevity By Providing Maintenance Tips

do you want to end up paying a lot in maintenance down the road? This can be a problem for many people when they start treading down a path where they are going ahead and using amateurs.
If you want longevity for your home solar panels, you are going to need to make sure you are going with a person that realizes the value of long-term sustainability. The solar panels have to be maintained a certain way and if you have the tips and tricks in hand, you are going to be able to delay any sort of maintenance significantly.


Who doesn’t like dealing with a person who is courteous and willing to sit down and be friendly? This is what you want at all times and this is what you are going to get from a professional installer.
They are not going to be rude and they are not going to assume you know everything. This is the worst mistake they can make and it comes under quality control. You will be assured of a friendly person who is going to do the job properly and ensure you are satisfied with what has been done.


They are not going to waste your time by being difficult deal with. You will want to find an affordable deal that is going to work in accordance with your needs and wants. This is how it always will be, so why not go with a professional solar panel installer that understands the importance of being as flexible as possible from beginning to end. This is going to ensure you are more than happy with the end result.
The days of going with an installer that does not know what they are doing and ends up wasting your time are long gone. Go with the best of the best and watch as your job is done properly. When you have the solar panels installed as needed, you are going to notice a positive change in your life and all of those benefits you would have read will come out into the open. Yet, if you get the job done by an amateur, you are risking yourself to high maintenance costs and other related issues that are going to be troubling to deal with at the best of times.


Fire Risk Assessment for Flats

Along with the many other responsibilities of a landlord, there exist some very specific legal obligations in regard to the safety of property and human life residing within their premises. This is not as simple as making sure there is a fire extinguisher on hand in the vicinity or putting up a few emergency exit signs, although both of these actions are very important.

The responsibility of conducting a thorough fire risk assessment involves much more than just this. Different style buildings as well as the presence of a single tenant, a small population of tenants or any commercial venues create different potential threats that must be addressed appropriately.

Fire risk assessments should be carried out by qualified and competent fire risk assessors, please watch the video below the UK’s number 1 network of fire risk assessors, the Fire Risk Assessment Network.

The law requires that a risk assessment be conducted to identify fire risks, decide who or what is at most risk and take any required actions to reduce or eliminate the risk.

Fire Risk Assessment: Objectives and Aims

It is imperative that all landlords conduct a fire risk assessment for each property they own. There is not one particular system or method that is mandatory, the objectives of your fire risk assessment must be met however. It is more important to achieve a satisfactory outcome than follow a procedure.

The objectives of your fire risk assessment are to

identify and evaluate all fire risks hazardous to “relevant people”
create a fire risk assessment that is both suitable and sufficient.
Although “sufficient” and “suitable” are terms subject to definition, “relevant persons” refers to people who can be expected to be in or around the premises; eg. tenants, visitors, staff, etc.

Because this can be a very different situation depending on the building type, location and many other factors it is vital that landlords consider their specific situation and develop a customized assessment that adheres to the general aim and objectives of the fire risk assessment.

The general aim of your fire risk assessment is to effectively reduce the risk of fires, eliminate the possibility of fires spreading and make sure all occupant of the premises have a means of escaping any fire hazard. There are many templates available online to give you some helpful guidelines.

Contents of the Fire Risk Assessment

The person responsible for conducting the fire risk assessment, this can be the landlord or another appointed person, must carry out the fire risk assessment. Although these must be tailored to each situation; following are 5 standard steps each risk assessment must cover:

1. Identify Fire Hazards

This means performing a thorough investigation of the premises locating all sources of ignition, combustible materials or oxygen.

2. Identify People at Risk

Identify which people are at risk from any of the fire hazards as well as those who could possibly be in greater danger than others.

3. Evaluate the Risks and Protect the People

Armed with the information acquired in steps one and two, evaluate the risks in relation to the people they jeopardize. Using this evaluation, begin removing and reducing the risks in order to protect those in danger from fire.

4. Plan, Record, Inform and Train

Make a record of the most important points your assessment has revealed so far then formulate a contingency plan that would be most effective in containing the fire, if possible, and evacuating people in danger.

Inform all relevant people of this plan and instruct them in emergency procedures. Provide training in special procedures, eg. using fire extinguisher, emergency chutes etc.

5. Review

Regularly review your assessment, contingency plans and premises for any new additions to enhance safety procedures or perhaps any new risks that were not present during the original assessment. Make adjustments, notifications and changes as propriety demands.

In Conclusion

As a landlord it is your business to protect your tenants as well as your property from damage by fire. This is a subjective job due to the many different building types, varying amounts of relevant people to be protected and many other particulars to numerous to list here.

In order to ensure the safety of your properties and any relevant people it is necessary, and also a legal obligation, to conduct a proper fire safety assessment based on standard objectives and aims. Proper evaluation of all fire risks and relevant people at risk and executing an appropriate response is the best way to prevent loss of life, limb and property.

COSHH Poster

Some of the C.O.S.H.H. And Ventilation Safety Requirements

The Control of Substances and Hazardous to Health Regulation 2002 (C.O.S.H.H) are meant to help employers control the exposure to chemicals. They are meant to generally protect the workers from the effects of such chemicals by ensuring that proper ventilation safety mechanisms are put in place to minimize the dangers of such exposures. C.O.S.H.H essentials are easy to follow procedures used to control ventilation. They provide good practice and advice on the general ventilation to enhance safety. The guidelines can be applied to small, large and medium use of liquid and solids. The guidelines describe the important points that employers must follow to reduce dangerous exposure to a manageable level.

Dust extraction companies such as Dust Extraction Online work to standards of the C.O.S.H.H. regulations. They are very experienced in installing dust extraction systems and you can find them on Facebook if you are looking for an installation.

The reason why C.O.S.H.H guidelines, must be followed is that there are plenty of chemicals in work places which are not just dangerous but are corrosive and flammable. Such chemicals must be controlled and their release to the atmosphere regulated depending on the scale of work. As an employer, it is prudent that you consult your local authority so that the release of such substances in the atmosphere is regulated to reduce and prevent pollution. There are always special agencies that will advise you on the legislation concerning cleaning and discharging emissions.

However the general C.O.S.H.H. and ventilation safety guidelines revolve around the following:

Access- working areas should only be accessed by individuals who work in that area.

Design and equipment- as an employer, it is necessary that you provide a good standard of ventilation. It could be natural ventilation that normally provided by the windows, doors or openings as well as other controlled ventilation such as supply and removal of air using a powered fan.

If it is an office, the openings that supply general ventilation must be sufficient to control the dust and the vapor coming from any activity that may be taking place in the office.

If it is a factory, additional ventilation must be provided to help remove the contaminated air or replace it with clean air. This can be done using a mounted fan that extract and supply air in the factory. It includes venting air through airbricks, louvers, and ducts. It involves use of simple and complex air supply and removal systems. It is mandatory to ensure that the air supplied comes from areas that are not contaminated.

In addition one must ensure that the air supplied is enough and is sufficient to dilute and remove dust and the vapor produced. It is recommended you ensure that there are 5 and 15 air changes per hour. Also, it is necessary to ensure that air is discharged away from the windows, doors, and any other inlets you may be having on your building.

If there is dust in the room, one needs to re-circulate filtered air into the workroom. However, if the workroom has vapor, don’t re-circulate air in the room. Thus, it is mandatory that you ensure the air being re-circulated in the work room is coming from a fresh source. One must ensure that sufficient air flows past the work activity to the extraction point.


As an employer, it is imperative that you maintain the system as recommended by the supplier or the expert who installed it. This ensures that the equipment is in an effective and an efficient order.

Examination and Testing

Ensure that you get the correct information from the manufacturer on the design, and the performance of the ventilation equipment. If it is not possible to get the specs from the manufacturer, getting an opinion from a competent ventilation engineer could be ideal. The information obtained from the ventilation expert should be kept to allow for comparison with future test results.

It is advisable that you visually check the ventilation equipment at least once per week to ensure that is working.

You need to get the ventilation tested and examined against its performance and ensure that you keep all the records of the tests for not less than 5 years.

Cleaning and House Keeping

The working area and the equipment must be cleaned on a daily basis. The entire workroom can be cleaned once per week. If there are any spills they should be dealt with immediately. Avoid cleaning with dry brushes and compressed air. Using a vacuum cleaner and a wet clean is recommended.