Condensing / combi boilers are the preferred choice these days due to their efficiency and versatility. Consequently, they use less fuel and have lower running costs than conventional boilers. The main difference between a condensing and non-condensing boiler is the efficient heat exchanger.
When launched initially to the UK market, their popularity suffered because of early teething problems but now these problems have been resolved, condensing boilers are the default choice for both engineers and clients alike.
Condensing boilers turn energy contained within the unit into heat, they then recycle heat without wasting it.
Combi boiler design
The basic mechanism of the condensing boiler is somewhat similar to the traditional boiler, but they make better use of the heat they generate. The heat from flue gases being burned is recycled and can then heat your home for less. Whilst traditional boilers release flue gases in excess of 300 degrees, the condensing boiler uses a secondary heat exchanger to utilise these flue gases again.
How are they different?
A Non-condensing boiler takes air from the room, whereas a condensing boiler will take the air directly from outside the flue. Condensing boilers are up to 99% efficient while non-condensing boilers are only up to 78% efficient, that’s why a condensing boiler may require a higher initial cost, but make more sense in the long-run.
Benefits of condensing boilers
- Space savings: Combi boilers don’t need a hot water tank and are much sleeker when compared to conventional boilers.
- Supply reliability: New boilers are fitted with a heat exchanger made from stainless steel, so that they don’t corrode over time.
- Simple controls: They are really easy to operate. They don’t need a hot water timer, as they automatically produce hot water whenever a tap is turned on.
- Eco-friendly: Combi boilers can significantly reduce your carbon emission foot print.
Having problems with your boiler?
Call our qualified / expereinced heating engineers for a free quotation and advice. We are here to help.
We all know that a boiler needs a constant pressure level in order to provide efficient heating for home or business. If there is leak of any type you may not get the benefits of your heating system because of loss or increase in pressure. Gauges on the boiler are usually set at 1-bar and if you notice it has dropped / increased try resetting the pressure, if there is still problem that’s where you need to call your heating engineer.
The process includes:
There are clear instructions for a particular boiler in its handbook, but this gives standard procedures for trouble shooting on boilers. We advise homeowners don’t try DIY as it requires the proper knowledge and experience. It is always safest to call your heating engineer if in doubt.
Switch off the entire system and once it cools down, ensure that both ends of the filling loop are attached to the valves. Secondly, open the valves with screwdriver and allow the cold mains water to enter the system. There will be the sound of water filling and once the pressure gauge hits 1-bar, turn off each valve.
A higher reading means you need to check the valves on the filling loop that they are not loose. Once you’re done with this you need to bleed the radiators to reduce the boiler pressure.
Still a problem?
If there is still a problem with your heating system, there may be the problem with your valves. In which case your heating engineer may advise that you need a replacement.
If you are a resident of the UK there is a strong chance that your home is heated, and hot water in provided by a boiler. Probably a gas boiler. And you will probably have experienced unprecedented increases in your fuel bills over the past few years.
The good news for householders is that there has been a real step change in the technology of boilers, and now a modern condensing boiler will out compete any older boiler in terms of efficiency and effectiveness.
A new boiler is the clean, green, and cost effective option.
It’s a pretty shocking statistic, but if your boiler is over 15 years old, it may be only be performing at 60% efficiency. That’s a lot of money going up in smoke. And the longer you leave it before replacing, the worse it is likely to get, with increasing wastage each year.
There are a range of incentives to get UK householders using less fuel, and in addition to offers of free loft or cavity wall insulation, there are free boiler replacement schemes out there too, such as the Green Deal – available to people who meet certain criteria.
As more people like to track the energy use in their home, so boiler manufacturers have kept up with the trend, using advances in digital technology to offer vastly increased control of their heating and hot water use. This is another way modern appliances achieve such high efficiency, when used correctly.
Even new boilers need maintenance once installed, but knowing that this will keep your appliance in peak performance for longer and help make your investment pay, should make the annual outlay seem worthwhile.
Put in the time researching your boiler replacement plans, and your investment should pay off with significant efficiency savings. Getting a quote and the opinion of a plumber or central heating professional is sure to make a clear financial case for ditching that old boiler ASAP.