26 June 2013
We all need to embark on improving our heating systems at some point in our lives, some of which are small and some large scale projects. Now is the time to make sure your heating system is optimised to its maximum potential as heating prices are on the rise.
Combination boilers were invented in 1868, but were not viable till the late 1980s when they were considered more environmentally friendly. The boom for combination boilers however, didn’t occur until the past 10 years, when the efficiency of the boilers has dramatically increased.
Over 50% of homes in the UK have a combination boiler installed, and this number is on the increase. However, is there anything wrong with the traditional heating system and is this combi boiler boom over rated?
Does your home have the traditional heating system installed, a storage tank in the loft with a hot water cylinder on the second floor and a conventional boiler on the ground floor. If you have this heating system then you may be thinking of changing to a combi boiler, although before doing so you need to work out the pros and cons.
In some homes the boiler is easily accessible, either being situated in a kitchen or an unused room or cupboard. For some people, the conventional boiler can be incorporated within the kitchen, meaning that if the boiler had to be changed the kitchen would be disrupted and potentially damaged. There are ways around damaging the kitchen as the old conventional boiler can be removed from the kitchen and repositioned where the old hot water cylinder once was. The pipes leading from the boiler in the kitchen to the hot water cylinder then change use and the new combination system is complete. This method of conversion is on the other hand a pricey option costing around £4,000 and your home can be left without hot water and central heating for days.
You need to check if your current boiler is doing the job correctly and efficiently, and if it is adequate for the size of your home. A heating engineer may come into your home and say your boiler needs replacing and you are losing a hell of a lot of money with it. Now is the time to see if it is worth your while switching to a combination system. You are better to have checked the options before something goes wrong.
Why Fix It When It’s not Broken
There are a number of cases where a home has an old boiler which is still sufficient and reliable, however a heating engineer has stated it needs replacing and quoted for a new combination boiler, when it is not needed. The boiler you may already have may not be as efficient as the brand new condensing boilers, but it does the job and parts may be easily available and the boiler is fairly simple to repair. You also need to think about the cost implications, as a new boiler and instillation can cost in the 1,000s, taking around 10 years for it to of paid for itself with the saving you could potentially make with a new efficient boiler.
Get a few quotes; see if they are viable as it may be worth saving some money for when you are able to do the job properly. You may find that the average cost of combi boiler may fall and the technology may become more available over the next couple of years, working to your advantage.
Every Little Helps
If you are finding that your heating system is costing you large amounts each month then it may be time to see how you can save money in other ways. You may find that your traditional heating system can be further optimised at little cost. If you’re current system is of an old age then the electronic programmer may not be able to do what you want it to.
Installing a new electronic programmer will enable you to set what time your heating and hot water come on. Take for example if your hot water and heating comes on twice a day, once in the morning and again at night this can be reflected in your bills. You may not need your hot water on in the morning if you have an electric shower. This prevents the system from heating water unnecessarily and in turn saves money.
Changing your radiators may be another option, as old, rusty radiators do not preform as well as new environmentally friendly ones that are able to distribute heat more efficiently. Why not add a heated towel rail
to your bathroom to make your towels warm and comforting when you get out of the bath or shower.