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    How thermal imaging can ensure a job is done better

    Tue 25th Nov 2014 - 8:05am Energy and Heating How thermal imaging can ensure a job is done better


    Benjamin Clarke

    Thermal imaging is an excellent way to cut down on the time it takes to investigate a problem. It helps to provide an overview of the whole situation so the job can be done more efficiently and accurately. This, in turn, enhances the reputation of the industry and helps to drive business.

    Thermal imaging is the most effective method of detection, whether a heating or plumbing problem is evidenced by unusual hot or cold areas. The single or composite images help the engineer to locate and diagnose the problem quickly by showing the heat profile of an area, system or building and puts the problem into context, seeking out the thermal fingerprint of every contributing element.

    Increasingly present in an engineer’s toolbox is an infrared camera, and there are some important reasons for the addition of this piece of equipment. Massive global demand has arisen due to the huge potential that this technology offers the industry and this has meant that infrared cameras are being manufactured to a very high standard, but at a low cost.

    What you can get for your money is improving with every new release and the features on thermal imaging cameras are now incredibly easy to use. An entry level camera now costs around 800 GBP and all an engineer needs to do is point, shoot and diagnose the problem.

    The combination of visual and thermal imaging on the same unit is a typical example of a feature, once exclusive to high end models, now available on cheaper models. Improvements to image format have also been made with cameras now able to take fully radiometric JPGs. This allows all temperature data to be included in the image, making it easy to export into a report for the customer.

    Wireless capabilities are now commonplace, meaning the thermal images can immediately be shared with others via email or visually onsite. Couple this with the increasing use of wireless meters and you have a situation where measurement data can easily be collected, increasing efficiency and diagnosis time.

    Thermal imaging cameras have also become so popular because of the multitude of tasks they can perform. Among the issues it can diagnose are:

    - Spotting faults in electrical control systems
    - Visualising the flow and return on boilers
    - Establishing if the pump is overheating
    - Quickly tracing the source of underfloor leaks
    - Spotting air leakage and moisture which can cause condensation on walls, floors and ceilings
    - Locating ineffective or missing insulation
    - Locating ‘thermal bridges’ (areas of less insulation due to the nature of construction)

    Because thermal imaging cameras have so many different abilities, the potential for cost and time saving is absolutely massive. As engineers discover more and more issues that can be diagnosed through their use, the return on investment for purchasing a thermal imaging camera will keep growing and growing!

    Article by Benjamin Clarke

    How installing water and heating controls can save money on heating bills

    Thu 20th Nov 2014 - 12:20pm Energy and Heating How installing water and heating controls can save money on heating bills


    Benjamin Clarke

    The Energy Savings Trust has said that getting rid of an old, inefficient boiler and replacing it with an A-Rated, high efficiency condensing boiler (as well as installing modern heating controls) could save house holders up to £305 per year, as well as significantly reducing carbon emissions.

    According to figures released by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), It’s estimated that 21 million homes in Britain are heated by gas, with space and water heating making up 83% of total household energy bills. Furthermore, the figures state that more than 25% of total energy use and carbon dioxide emissions in the UK comes from energy used in the home. Amazingly, this is a greater percentage than road transport or industry use. A survey done by the DECC shows that 35% of adults in the UK are concerned by high energy bills and 32% are worried about bills rising in the future.

    In a separate study, the University of Salford undertook research that showed the installation of a room thermostat and installing thermostatic radiator valves can reduce energy consumption in the home by as much as 40% over a year.

    One of the main benefits of installing water and heating controls is that the customer has complete control over when their heating and hot water comes on. This allows for only the rooms in use being heated and each room can have it’s own individual temperature. The days of having one centrally located thermostat are fast disappearing as we realise this is not the most efficient way of heating a house.

    Using a programmable room thermostat correctly gives householders the ability to set different temperatures throughout the day. Likewise, the installation of thermostatic radiator valves also allows for different temperatures to be set in different rooms and the lower the setting on the TRV, the less energy is consumed. More figures from the Energy Savings Trust suggest that implementing these two measure can save bill payers between £70 - £150 as well as greatly cutting down on carbon dioxide emissions.

    There have been recent changes to Part L of the Building Regulations which seeks to ensure that new build homes are much more energy efficient. The changes aim to enforce efficiency measures such as using heat and hot water zones and a boiler interlock.

    Although many older buildings were not originally subjected to these regulations, it is still possible to create and control separate zones within older properties. Unoccupied rooms, or rooms that don’t need high temperatures (e.g bedrooms or rooms with lots of glazing), can be in a separate zone to more commonly used rooms like living rooms or childrens playrooms. By making sure the different zones have their own programmable controls, it means that rooms not in use do not have to be heated unnecessarily.

    Advances in technology have also made this situation cheaper and easier to implement. for example, most modern thermostats have a holiday mode which allows people to ensure their heating and water systems are running at reduced capacity while they are away. Additionally, wireless control systems are becoming more common, which negates the need for expensive electrical or redecoration work. Throw in the fact that the water and heating industry are now taking advantage of smartphone technology, and we are increasingly finding that we are more in control of our energy use in our homes than ever before.

    Article by Benjamin Clarke

    How to join two cast iron radiator sections together

    Tue 18th Nov 2014 - 5:15am DIY Troubleshooting How to join two cast iron radiator sections together


    Benjamin Clarke

    So you've taken your time, browsed our site and decided which cast iron radiator you want. You've also decided on what size it should be and what your ideal finish is, but is there anything further to consider?

    It should be noted that if a cast iron radiator is ordered in a size longer than 1200mm, it will overhang a pallet and will need sending in two blocks. These two blocks will then need to be joined together on site.

    Cast iron radiators are also very heavy, meaning in order to be able to carry them, they need to be in manageable sized sections. So if you are ordering radiators with a length over 1200mm, it is highly likely that the radiator will be sent in two sections. You should ask your plumber if they have a joining tool, which most will have, although if they don't, you can buy one on a sale or return basis in the accessory section of our website:

    For details on how to join the radiator please follow the below instructions:

    1. In one end of the radiator screw a pair of nipples in 1 turn and place a gasket over (do not use any jointing paste or tape). The nipples are the chunky cylindrical steel components shown on the floor in the first picture below.

    2. Line up the other section of the radiator with the nipples making sure the thread orientations are correct.

    3. Hold the joining tool over the section of the radiator, you are looking to attach and mark the key at the point where it will engage with the internal lugs inside of the nipples.

    4. Insert the joining tool into the radiator to the mark (so it is engaged with the internal lugs of the nipple) and rotate the nipple 1 turn so it pulls the two radiator sections together.

    5. Repeat this operation with the other nipple again only using 1 turn, then switch back to the other nipple. Continue this process ensuring the two sections are kept parallel and are pulling together without too much force.

    6. Once the two sections are tight together, it is recommended a tightening torque of 200 Nm (20 kgf-m, 150 lbf-ft) to compress the gaskets and create a water tight seal.

    Join two radiators together

    How to join two radiators together

    Article by Benjamin Clarke

    SALE - Horizon Vertical Radiator only £125

    Sat 15th Nov 2014 - 5:29am Latest Products SALE - Horizon Vertical Radiator only £125


    Benjamin Clarke

    We've got a great sale on at the moment!

    We've slashed the prices off the sleek Horizon Vertical Radiator down to £125 (rrp £400). This rad is actually perfect for kitchens as it makes the most of vertical space, whilst also being finished in a super stylish silver. The sophisticated silver finish means it blends in perfectly with kitchen appliances.

    It's vital statistics are:

    Height: 1800mm
    Width: 320mm
    Projection from wall: 102mm
    Pipe Centres: 400mm
    BTUs: 4824
    Watts: 1414

    The Horizon Vertical Radiator is suitable for for all conventional hot water central heating systems. It comes with wall fixing brackets included and with free delivery to all mainland UK addresses.
    *Screws not included 

    To order, call us now on 0141 225 0430 or order the Horizon Rad on our Website. Hurry while stocks last!

    Why the importance of radiators should not be ignored

    Tue 11th Nov 2014 - 12:05am Radiators Why the importance of radiators should not be ignored


    Benjamin Clarke

    Whilst being the traditional go-to product for designers and heating system installers, some myths have permeated the industry regarding radiators and have often been incorrectly considered as ‘fact’.

    At one point in recent history, it was thought that radiators were impractical for use with some modern heating technologies, like heat pumps. It was thought that heat pumps would be better suited (and more efficient) to be used with underfloor heating, rather than radiators. This is not necessarily the case, as will be highlighted shortly.

    Another blow to the credibility of the radiator was when the government launched it’s ‘Green Deal’ back in early 2013. The purpose was to help people financially with installing heat efficient systems in their home that would be kinder on the environment and would help reduce heating bills. These included help with loft insulation and contributions to upgrading boilers, but crucially, it did not include financial help for installing (or upgrading) radiators. This issue has since been rectified, but the fact radiators were not initially included in the Green Deal, highlights how they are under-appreciated when it comes to heating efficiency.

    The technology that goes into radiators has improved greatly in recent years and they are no longer the bulky necessity of years gone by. We are now at a point with radiators where they are energy-efficient heat emitters, versatile and adaptable to the needs of a modern family, but also meet the aesthetic needs of a stylish modern home. In short, they now heat well and look good!

    Most modern radiators now have convector fins on the back (or in the middle if the radiator is double-panelled). This greatly increases the surface area of a radiator, meaning they are able to give off more heat. This is especially useful in small areas where a small radiator with fins is now able to efficiently generate enough heat to heat the room, where an older radiator with no fins may have struggled. In addition, advances in presswork and welding means the industry is producing ‘low temperature ready’ radiators with high speed recovery, whilst giving out maximum heat output.

    Under Floor Heating provides a low heat temperature output over a large area with a large thermal mass. On the other hand, radiators provide a high heat output from a smaller area and a lower thermal mass. In practical terms, Under Floor Heating can cause the boiler to react slower to your heating needs, whereas a radiator is much more responsive and quicker to react. This means that heat is only used when it is needed and can be switched off outside of those times. The use of radiators gives you more control over your heating system and should result in greater efficiency and lower heating costs. Under Floor Heating is not a practical option for many as it can be expensive and disruptive and, as eluded to earlier, radiators are actually ideal partners for heat pumps, as long as you choose the right specification and correct size for your room.

    As we have demonstrated, radiators can provide an effective, responsive and energy efficient heating option for your home and should not be underrated or underappreciated.

    Article by Benjamin Clarke