Shaw Renewables the bioenergy specialists

5 Ways To Reduce Your Maintenance Costs


As well all of the benefits that come with investing in a Biomass or Biogas boiler, you get increased maintenance needs that your run of the mill combi boiler doesn’t require.

We’ve compiled a list of cost reducing practises that are simple to follow but effective.

Regular Servicing

While spending more money on servicing may seem counterintuitive to reducing costs, a visit from a competent and thorough servicing engineer could save you hundreds of pounds in call out fees and replacement parts.

When undertaking a comprehensive service of your biomass or biogas boiler, a servicing engineer should provide a thorough cleaning service to remove ash and debris that could affect the efficiency or combustion as well as the movement of parts.

When inspecting seals, moving parts and connections they should be able to advise on replacing parts before they become faulty or cause further issues within the boiler.

This regular intervention can reduce breakdowns and improve efficiency, so it’s well worth following the manufacturers guidance on servicing – some boilers may require more than 1 service per year.

Quality Fuel

In an effort to maximise savings, many biomass boiler users choose to use a cheaper fuel, but end up paying for call outs and suffering down time.

Cheap fuel often has a higher moisture content than more premium stock, so not only are you paying for water rather than calorific timber, but the ash production is increased, causing a reduction in heat transfer and can reduce the lifespan of your boiler.

Cheap fuels can also cause mechanical failures:

  • Cheap pellets can create heavy amounts of dust that clog your suction feed
  • Unevenly chipped timber can cause jams in augers and burn out motors
  • Nails, screws and other materials may not be filtered out of fuels and can cause serious damage to your fuel feeds as well as the internal workings of your boiler.

Maintenance Contracts

This may feel like another counterintuitive tip, but entering into a servicing and maintenance contract with a competent and experienced biomass or biogas team could save you money in the long run.

As well as spreading the cost of your servicing over 12 or more months, a Shaw Renewables Heat Plan includes:

  • 15% discount on Labour costs
  • Up to 10 hours of Labour included
  • No Fee for call outs
  • 10% discount on replacement parts

Choosing longer term maintenance contracts offers further savings, securing a fixed servicing price for 3 or more years protects you from possible price raises.

Operate Your Boiler Correctly

Whilst this one may seem obvious, it’s all too easy to miss the mark when it comes to day to day boiler operation.

Some simple checks may uncover more complex issues that aren’t being addressed:

  • Set up – did your installation engineer set up the boiler correctly? Your boiler may be short cycling and shortening the life of your boiler parts.
  • Error messages – are you ignoring error messages? Your boiler may be firing again and the issue may appear to be resolved, but if your boiler is giving the same error message regularly there may be an underlying fault that needs to be addressed.
  • Run hours – most biomass and biogas boilers require servicing after a certain number of run hours – you may be reaching this figure before 12 months. Check your boiler manual for servicing requirements.
  • Owner maintenance – It’s all too easy to put off regular maintenance such as clearing ash, because your boiler is running without fault, but issues arising from lack of maintenance will often not stop your boiler from running until the damage is more serious.

Remote Monitoring

Remote monitoring allows you, or your maintenance provider to access your boiler’s settings via the internet. Many issues can be resolved using remote monitoring and technical phone support, saving you the cost of an engineer attending site.

Most quality biomass boiler models will have a free remote monitoring option that only requires an internet connection and simple setup, (you can view our video on setting up Froling Connect here). There is also third party remote monitoring software available or for in depth whole-system monitoring, you can invest in a system such as Minibems.

Whilst connecting to a boiler yourself is useful, entering into a remote monitoring contract with a reliable and competent maintenance team would unlock the most benefit as certified manufacturer partners have further technical codes to control your boiler settings and will monitor your system for you, resolving errors as soon as they are alerted by the system.