As most people know, biomass is a powerful alternative to fossil fuels when heating the home. Biomass boilers can lead to significant savings in both costs and the emissions of green house gases. Despite the benefits, concerns have been raised after a recent CIBSE warning over the potential hazards when operating biomass boilers in slumber mode.
CIBSE suggests incomplete combustion may occur in biomass boilers when gases and fuels not being ventilated properly. When there isn’t enough air for complete combustion, toxic gases like carbon-monoxide are formed which can pose a high threat to inhabitants in homes and businesses.
There is no direct solution to this issue at the moment, but it is being looked into by the institution. CIBSE has offered the following advice, which we feel would be prudent to follow in the meantime:
- Make sure the carbon-monoxide concentration can’t rise above the lower explosive limit.
- Only use the fuel has been specified in the boiler requirements
- Never open the boiler’s fire door whilst in slumber mode – exposure to an inrush of air can cause a flash-over explosion.
- Make sure there is a back-up for the safe removal of flue gases if the flue is fan assisted in case there should be a fan or a power supply failure.
- Always ensure that all equipment meets the legislative requirements by the Fire Safety Order (FSO) and the Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations (DSEAR).