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If you heat your home with a boiler and radiators, it is likely that roughly two-thirds of your total home energy expenditure goes on the fuel, (whether that be mains gas, oil or LPG,) used to run your central heating. The proportion of energy inherent in the fuel that is used to run the boiler, and ultimately converted into heat, establishes the efficiency of the boiler. To put it another way, the higher your boiler’s efficiency, the less amount of fuel needed to create the same amount of heat in your home.
A high efficiency condensing boiler is widely regarded as a good choice if you’re looking for an environmentally friendly and more efficient boiler, as they are able to make better use of the heat they generate from burning fuels, such as gas or oil. With a heat only boiler, some heat is wasted with hot gases released from the flue.
However, a condensing boiler captures some of the heat from these waste gases and uses it to heat water returning from your central heating system. As a result, it requires less heat from the burner and is consequently much more efficient.
Our modern condensing boiler will have an efficiency of around 97 per cent, whereas a non-condensing boiler even a new one will only offer about 75 per cent. In a typical semi-detached house, this difference could mean a saving of around 200-350 Eruo per year,
What’s a condensing boiler and how does it work?
Condensing boilers are highly efficient. They use less fuel and have lower running costs than other boilers. Higher efficiency levels are made possible by extracting heat contained in the combustion gases, which would otherwise have been lost to the atmosphere.
This is because both oil and gas contain hydrogen locked within their chemical structure. When oil or gas is burned, the hydrogen links with oxygen in the air to form H2O (water). This water (as vapour) can be seen from the exhaustsof cars on cold days. The vapour (or steam) contains about 8% of the total fuel’s energy efficiency sense. contained there, making modern boilers so much more efficient. Find out more at:
Should I install a condensing boiler?
Where possible, you should consider installing the highest efficiency boiler possible. Condensing boilers have a much higher efficiency than non-condensing boilers. See more at:
“What difference do controls make?”; “What are the best types?”
Controls have come a long way in the past ten years and they afford an excellent way to improve comfort conditions and save energy.Controls have two primary functions:
- Deciding when the heating system comes on and goes off. It is a good idea ( and a requirement for new installations) to divide the house into zones (eg living areas and bedrooms) and to have separate timeclock control over each zone. Maintaining a pleasant comfort level in the rooms. The most cost effective way of achieving this is by fitting thermostatic valves to radiators. These valves automatically regulate the radiator heat output to provide a constant temperature in the room. It’s generally much cheaper and more CO2 friendly for your boiler to provide your hot water needs instead of using an electrical immersion. Most modern boilers can supply heat to the hot water cylinder and the space heating circuit (e.g. radiators) independently. This means that when you need hot water in warmer weather your boiler does this without having to heat the radiators at the same time. Where possible it is desirable to have independent controlover space and water heating. And now, with the Better Energy Homes scheme, you could even get a grant to help cover the cost of upgrading your heating controls.
Thermostatic Radiator Valves (TRVs)
TRVs are fitted to each individual radiator and can be adjusted, independently of the overall boiler temperature control, at any time, to your requirements. These can then be used to regulate the amount of heat passed into the radiator according to the current room temperature. Set the TRV to a temperature setting to match your required comfort level and then, as the room temperature reaches that comfort level, the heat flow is reduced by the TRV. TRVs are particularly useful in rooms where there are other heat sources e.g. kitchens or where the temperature requirement varies at different times of the day e.g. bedrooms or where there are rooms that are less frequently used.
Tips On Central Heating:
- Turn off the heating overnight and when you are out during the day.
- Turn off the heating if you are going to be out of the house for more than a day.
- Proper control and regular maintenance of your heating system can reduce fuel consumption by 10-20%
- If you have gas heating, turn-off pilot lights during the warmer months.
- Heat bedroom areas to less than 18oC
- 20oC is an ideal room temperature. Turning down thermosats by 1oC can reduce annual space heating energy
- consumption by 10% with an equivalent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.