Living with a Grant Vecta biomass boiler

Grant UK visited Mike and Sarah Hodgson who recently had a Vecta wood pellet boiler installed at their property, to discuss why they chose this renewable technology and to uncover a homeowner’s perspective of living with biomass.

Mike & Sarah’s idyllic cottage where the Vecta was installed

At the beginning of 2017, Mike and Sarah Hodgson had an internal Vecta biomass boiler fitted at their home near Shaftesbury in Dorset. The property is a Grade II listed cottage situated in an area of outstanding natural beauty. Mike and Sarah bought the property three years ago and they have been busy renovating the cottage, ensuring that all improvements retain the building’s character while also being sustainable.

The two bedroom semi-detached cottage has a partially thatched roof and is surrounded by the stunning Dorset countryside. The property previously had no central heating, just an oil fired Aga which was located in the kitchen and cost between £1,200-£1,600 per year to keep the kitchen warm and its hot water. The remainder of Mike and Sarah’s home was heated by two night storage heaters. Consequently, they wanted to install an alternative system which would give them greater control of their home heating.

In early June, Grant UK joined Mike and Sarah at their home to learn more about their choice to go green and their feedback on their new biomass boiler.

A close-up shot of the Vecta internal biomass boiler, side store and cylinder in the background

GUK: Why did you choose biomass?
M/S: We wanted to install a renewable technology – green energy was our preferred choice because it is environmentally friendly and delivers lots of other benefits as well. Due to the cottage being partially thatched, there was not enough roof space for solar thermal. The property did not lend itself to an air source heat pump, and there was insufficient room for ground source heat pumps. Biomass, therefore, was the obvious renewable option.

GUK: Why was the Grant Vecta your choice of biomass boiler?
M/S: A friend recommended the Grant brand to us so we got in touch with their local Sales Manager who visited the cottage and introduced us to Grant’s biomass range. At first, we looked at the Spira models but we soon realised that there was not enough space for this product. The Vecta internal model, however, is compact and suited the space that we had available. We waited until the Vecta became available and it was worth it!

The Vecta internal biomass boiler set up with its side store for additional wood pellet capacity

        The Vecta internal is a 4/16kW white cased biomass boiler with a 60kg integral pellet capacity. We decided to also have a 140kg side store installed which neatly fits in next to the boiler and provides additional pellet capacity, reducing the amount of times we need to refill the fuel. In addition, we also have a Grant DuoWave cylinder fitted which provides the hot water.

GUK: How long did it take to complete the installation?
M/S: The whole heating system, including the pipework and radiators, took approximately one month to install throughout the house. The boiler and its side store were installed in a week by Chris Wilson of Wilsons Heating and Plumbing, one of Grant UK’s G-One Accredited Installers. The system was up and running in early March and we have just had a remote sensor fitted which indicates to us when the pellets need topping up and when the ash pan requires emptying.

GUK: Your Vecta boiler has been running for a few months now – how easy has it been to use and maintain?
M/S: It has been three months since the boiler, side store and cylinder were installed and it is all running perfectly. We initially bought a ton of 10kg bagged premium wood pellets and we currently have twelve bags left over. During the cold weather, approximately 200kg of pellets lasts the boiler two weeks but recently, with the temperatures warming up, the boiler uses half the amount of fuel as it is purely doing the hot water.

      The Vecta is designed to be bag-filled and we are both more than happy to fill the boiler with the bagged pellets when needed. It usually takes eighteen bags a time as we refill the side store when it is not completely empty.

The Grant DuoWave cylinder installed alongside the Vecta boiler

GUK: Any final comments or feedback on your new Grant heating system?
M/S: The service we have received from the Grant UK team was impeccable. We visited their Devizes HQ and were made to feel so valued as a customer. We really cannot fault anything. Even the telephone support for our engineer during the installation was great. We would absolutely recommend the boiler to others and there has been a lot of interest in our Vecta from neighbours.

Grant UK would like to thank both Mike and Sarah for allowing us in their home to discover more about how they have embraced renewable technology with their home heating.

Please click here more details about Grant’s biomass product range.

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