Written by Neil Marsh MCIPHE RP RHP EngTech
Most people have been conditioned to focus on gimmicks and manipulated values when it comes to central heating systems and the boilers that heat them … All new boilers, when installed onto the same heating system, will give very similar efficiencies as they all work on very similar designs and principles.
As we have mentioned in earlier blog articles, the efficiency of a central heating boiler is mostly affected by the system it is installed to. Typically this is not commonly discussed as a boilers operating efficiencies can be hugely impacted by an array of external factors that the recognised methods for scoring the efficiency of boilers (currently ErP) on the marketplace are flawed in various ways. In truth, regardless what make and model of modern boilers are fitted to a heating system, so long as the boiler type and output are the same, the efficiency of the two appliances will be very similar.
Aside from the design of your heating system, additional controls and devices can make improvements to your central heating systems efficiency, of which some are greater than others, few additional controls and equipment will make a significant impact to your central heating systems total efficiency. These controls need to have the potential to give a good cost to return ratio when used correctly to be worth installing. The only controls and equipment that does this are Thermostatic Radiator Valves (TRVs) installed in place of regular radiator valves and Programmable room stats installed onto systems where not room stats existed prior. Most of the alternative additional controls and equipment give a poor return in energy savings in comparison to their cost or the increased likelihood of your central heating needing extra repair work due to the equipment leading to additional faults over the life of the system.
It is all very well having a device that increases the boilers efficiency up to 1%, but if it costs a lot of money, or causes an additional heating engineer visit or two over the heating systems lifespan, was it really worth it? The answer in most cases will be no.
Flue heat recovery devices for combination boilers are sturdy and on paper look like a good option, as it would be very unlikely that they would cause additional faults, but given that they often cost several hundred pounds and drastically increase the boiler space required to install such a device, they are rarely seen as a practical energy saving investment and are not installed often as a result.
As the homeowner, outside of using a professional company like FORTHRIGHT, to design and install your central heating installation in Gloucester, Cheltenham, Tewkesbury and the areas around that we cover, from scratch, or make significant adjustments to the typical central heating system when installing a new boiler, the best option open to you is to focus on durability and a good installation.
The most significant cost next to fuel consumed over the boilers lifespan and installation costs are the maintenance costs of the boiler and central heating system. These costs can total thousands of pounds over a 10-15 year period, of which the amount spent by the homeowner can be drastically reduced through avoiding common pitfalls.
The common pitfalls that we encounter the customer can avoid are the following:
1. Sludge/Scale/Sediment Damage
Boilers and central heating systems requiring additional repairs and having decreased efficiencies due to sludge/scale/sediment being present within the central heating system. Ultimately this comes about from central heating systems not being flushed, or power flushed correctly, which depending on the situation present during the installation of the boiler and/or central heating system. Flushing and power flushing have been discussed in great detail here.
We provide power flushing services in Gloucester, Cheltenham, Tewkesbury and beyond. Or currents rates can be found on the “Rates & Payments” page on our website.
2. Boiler Durability
A well-built boiler, so long as it has been installed correctly, will often outlast an inferior quality boiler by many years, not only in life expectancy but in the time it takes for parts on the boiler to fail and require repair.
We have mentioned on numerous occasions the importance of using boilers, where possible, with stainless steel heat exchangers and long warranties as standard. For more information in regards to stainless steel heat exchangers, click here.
We only install the best-built boiler products available. Funnily enough, this does not mean that you need to spend the most money, as most of the boiler products we advise are cheaper than many inferior made products that have been marketed to give the impression that they are the better product. If you would like a high quality and reliable boiler or central heating installation in Gloucester, Cheltenham or the county of Gloucestershire, at a competitive price, we should be contacted.
3. The Installers Professionalism
Being straight to the point, the majority of heating ‘engineers’ are either not capable of designing and installing a heating system that performs well, is reliable and achieves the best efficiencies possible while working to a restricted budget, or they are unwilling to for one reason or another. If you have enough experience with different heating engineers, you will likely agree with us.
Highly skilled, intelligent, well-experienced and capable heating engineers are hard to come by. Luckily at Forthright, we have the range of skills it takes to maintain and install the varying types of heating systems that we work with/on. We provide the highest quality gas and heating engineers in Cheltenham, Gloucester and the areas around to our customers. Our company and engineer accreditations are shown clearly on our website for you to see, and the reviews we have across the internet speak for themselves.
The number of companies that send unskilled surveyors (often salesmen) to a customers house to advise them on what is best for them and their home within the heating industry is ludicrous. This is not like double glazing, where a few simple measurements and pictures in a catalogue can determine what equipment installed in your property, this is a complicated process that needs an experienced and skilled eye to advise on what is best the for the customer.
We advise you avoid companies that send salespeople and other unskilled people to your home to sell you a new boiler or central heating system. All of our boiler and central heating quotes in Cheltenham, Gloucester, Tewkesbury and the other areas we cover are provided by the highly skilled engineers that do the installation work. You will receive a very personal experience, and one representative will handle your investment throughout the entire process.
5. Failing To Service A Boiler Regularly
The number of boilers we have attended to that have been ruined through the lack of adequate servicing and maintenance is high. A central heating boiler may seem like a magic box, which is easily forgotten about until it goes wrong, however, you should take care of that very expensive piece of equipment and have it serviced on a regular basis.
If you would like us to service your boiler in Gloucester, Cheltenham, Tewkesbury or the areas around, contact us on the details provided at the top and bottom of this page.