22 June 2016
It‘s estimated that the average household could save as much as £340 per year as a result of replacing an old G rated boiler with a modern A rated condensing one. It would also cut carbon emission of 1,500kg annually, meaning it not only saves money, but is also better for the environment.
However, research suggests that there are approximately 12 million old G rated ‘zombie’ boilers in use in the UK today. This is a massive number of inefficient boilers that are costing their owners more money in heating bills and are pumping large amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
This large figure also shows that there is still a lot of work for the heating industry to do to convince the public that it’s financially worthwhile to upgrade their boilers to something more efficient. It also means there is plenty of scope for business for the UK’s plumbers and heating installers.
When installers go out to homes to fix particularly heating-related issues, it provides an excellent opportunity for them to explain the benefits of a new and efficient boiler. Many people will be unaware that a new boiler could have a big impact on their annual heating bills as well as less of a cost in maintaining and propping up an old boiler that is on it’s last legs.
Of course, there have been some initiatives such as the London Boiler Cashback Scheme that have incentivised boiler replacement, but publicity has been limited and, with it only restricted to London, lots more needs to be done in the rest of the country.
Of course, while installing a new condensing boiler is absolutely recommended if a G rated one is in situ, that is not much use if there are other issues with the heating system, such as severe dirt and corrosion.
Recent research has shown that as little as 5kgs of sludge in a central heating system can reduce the amount of heat a radiator gives out by as much as 36%. A new boiler will not last particularly long if it’s having to work against the effects of radiator sludge. Additionally, people tend to turn up their thermostats if radiators aren’t getting hot enough, increasing the amount they spend on heating bills.
As well as a new boiler being installed, it would be beneficial to give the heating system a thorough flushing to get out the sludge and then to pour in some chemical inhibitor to minimise any further erosion from occurring. Not only will this maximise the benefits of a new boiler, it will also help to increase the longevity of the whole system’s components.
The option of magnetic and non-magnetic filters can be discussed and considered and the importance of annual system maintenance should also be made clear to homeowners. A good analogy is to compare an annual boiler check to that of a car’s annual MOT, just to ensure that everything is running smoothly and any small problems are identified before they turn into an expensive breakdown.
It should also be made clear that many boiler warranties are dependent on the homeowner having annual maintenance performed on them - an important matter that is often forgotten.
The importance of getting these 12 million inefficient and carbon-heavy boilers is clear, but it’s up to the heating industry to get this message across successfully, whilst being responsible enough to perform the additional tasks that go with it.
Article by Benjamin Clarke
• VIDEO - Why adding inhibitor is beneficial to your heating system 19th Feb 2015
• London Boiler Cashback Scheme launched 8th Apr 2016
• Why it's time to upgrade your rads if they're over 15 years old 13th Aug 2015