'Healthier Heating' Options


Undoubtedly, the highest levels of fuel saving will be achieved by replacing an old, gas-guzzling boiler with a High Efficiency condensing version. This is the only type of boiler we are now allowed to install under Part 'L' of current Building Regulations. (As of 1st April, 2005.)
However, there are many other important factors which can adversely affect running costs and these should also be taken into consideration when health-checking a heating system.


Controls - Many systems we inspect either have broken, inoperable timers or thermostats whilst others have
never had such controls fitted at all. Operating your system in this way is uneconomical, as the boiler is often
cycling unnecessarily which in turn wastes resources. Intelligent, fuel saving solutions are now widely available
with some of the more advanced options claiming additional savings of around 5% if used in conjunction with a condensing boiler. If you have a conventional system incorporating a cylinder for stored hot water, you can make reasonable savings just by turning down the temperature on the strap-around cylinder thermostat where fitted.
A setting of 50 to 55 degrees is considered adequate for most households and helps to reduce the risk of
possible scalding.


TRV's - Short for Thermostatic Radiator Valves, these individual devices give flexible temperature control at each radiator, allowing you to adjust comfort levels to suit your lifestyle. They also provide a further means of reducing running costs.


System Cleanliness - One of the main causes of poor circulation is the build-up of sludge and corrosion within a system. Water treatment chemicals play an ongoing part in prolonging the life expectancy of all major components as well as maintaining the cleanliness needed to provide maximum efficiency. Consequently, it is a requirement
of both Boiler Manufacturers and Building Regulations that any system is flushed when a new boiler is installed. Flushing can be carried out by adding a cleaning chemical such as Sentinel or Fernox and running this through
the system as per the manufacturer's instructions. An inhibitor is then added to help control future deterioration.
In situations where a system is badly 'clogged' it would be advisable to carry out a powerflush, which introduces
the chemical cleaner under pressure, potentially achieving a more thorough clean in these circumstances.
Another relatively new product designed to improve performance in this area is the magnetic filter. Available in a
variety of types under different brand names, this simple but effective invention provides maximum protection for
a longer working life with an affordable price-tag.