What is a condensing boiler?

A condensing boiler makes more of the energy it runs on by using heat normally expelled through the flue. By converting over 90% of the fuel used (rather than just 50% in the case of some old boilers), a condensing boiler makes your fuel go further. Therefore, a condensing boiler can help to save you money and reduce your carbon footprint.

 

What is a combi boiler?

Combi is short for ‘combination’. It refers to the way this type of system serves as both a central heating boiler and a hot water heater. That means there’s no need for a water tank as hot water is provided on demand. As well as saving the space normally taken up by a water tank (in the loft or airing cupboard), a combi boiler saves on hot water costs as well as giving you hot water at mains pressure.

 

What is a regular boiler?

This typically forms part of a conventional heating system, and is linked to a series of water tanks that feed the boiler and radiators. Storing hot water is key to this system, so unlike a combi, a plentiful supply of hot water is always available. Space in the loft and airing cupboard is required for tanks.

 

What is a system boiler?

Like a regular system, this uses stored hot water. But because the water is pumped from the boiler straight to the radiators and hot water tank, it’s a faster, more economical system. What’s more, many of the components of the system are built-in, making it easier, quicker and more affordable to install.

Are combi boilers economical to run?

Yes because they only produce hot water when it is needed. Modulating boilers insure a smooth operation, fewer ignitions, greater reliability and lower fuel bills.

 

How often should i get my combi boiler serviced?

Your boiler should be serviced annually by a Gas Safe registered installer in order to check that it is operating safely and at peak efficiency.

 

How long will a boiler service take and when can you visit?

A boiler will take approximately 30-45 minutes and we can visit at a time that suits you during our normal office hours.

 

Should I leave my hot water and heating on all the time or use my timer/programmer?

It's a common misconception that it is cheaper to leave your hot water and heating on all the time. Although the boiler will use more power initially to heat the home and water from cold, the cost of this is greatly exceeded by the cost of keeping the boiler running 24 hours a day.  The principle of an appliance using more power when it starts is quite normal - cars, ovens and kettles are the same - but we don't run these appliances 24 hours a day. Ideally the heating and hot water should not be on for more than 9 hours a day, unless it is extremely cold.

 

Is it cheaper to have my hot water on all the time?

No, it's almost always cheaper to have your hot water on when you need it, as a full tank of hot water will always lose heat and need topping up by the boiler.  Normally it takes around 30-45 minutes to heat a tank of hot water.  Set your programmer to heat it up for a short time before you are likely to want to shower or bath in the morning and to come on again before you next want heat.  There is often a button on your central heating programmer that lets you get a boost of hot water in between times.

 

Should I leave my electric immersion heater on all the time?

No, if you have a gas central heating boiler use that to heat your hot water, ideally using your timer/programmer to time your space heating and your hot water heating at the same time. Only use your immersion heater as a top up. You may decide to use your electric immersion heater to heat your hot water in the summer when you no longer need the boiler to heat the radiators. This could work out cheaper if you only use a moderate amount of hot water.

Even when I turn them right up, my radiators don't stay hot all the time - What's wrong?

The temperature of radiators will naturally fluctuate when controlled by TRVs. This is normal.

 

Why does the boiler keep firing on and off?

The boiler will only fire up when your heating and/or hot water is on.  If you have a room thermostat, the 'firing up' will stop when your home is warm enough.  The boiler will then 'die down' to the pilot light.  When the temperature drops, the room thermostat will tell the boiler to 'fire up' again, re-heating the water to pump round to the radiators.

 

If I turn the room thermostat to a high setting will it heat up the room quicker?

No, turning it up will not heat the room up quicker; it will heat it to a higher temperature.

 

I spend most of my time in the living room so have turned off the other radiators - is that right?

No, as condensation may occur in unused rooms.  Also, if you just use one radiator it is not good for the heating system and it could break down.  Therefore, we recommend that you set the TRVs in all the rooms to a 1 or a 2 setting and the one in the living room to a higher setting.

 

My living room never gets warm enough.  I have the TRV set on maximum all the time.  My room thermostat in the hall is set at 16°C.  I don't like my bedroom to be too hot.  What should I do?

Turn up the room thermostat in the hall to 18°-21°C (66°-70°F).  The living room should get warmer now.  Turn the TRV in your bedroom to a low setting so that the bedroom does not get too hot.

 

I don't use two of my bedrooms, should I turn the radiators off?

Not really, as condensation may occur in these bedrooms.  Instead, turn the TRVs on these radiators down to a low setting. The radiator will now only come on if the heating is on and these rooms are very cold. Close the doors of these bedrooms to prevent them from draining heat from the rest of the house, too.

 

My heating is on but the radiator in the living room has gone cool, why?

When the TRV senses that the radiator is warm enough, it closes the pipe and stops hot water flowing into the radiator.  When the room cools, the TRV opens the pipe and hot water flows back into the radiator and heats it up.