Making sure your central heating system and boiler are efficient is vital as it’ll save you money in the long run and it’ll be much better for the environment. This guide explains the various methods you can employ to do this, from boiler replacements and new boiler installations to using a flue gas recovery system and replacing your chemical inhibitors.
Why is Boiler Efficiency Important?
Boiler efficiency is the ratio of the useful heat output to the total energy input, giving you an idea of how effective your central heating system performs. Boiler efficiency is usually given as a rating from A to G with A being the most efficient and G the least. It’s important to make sure this ratio is a healthy one, and that your efficiency rating is high, for a couple of reasons:
Costs: Energy UK estimates that approximately 70% of what you spend on energy bills each year is directly attributed to the efficiency of your boiler. This means that, by having an efficient boiler installed or improving the efficiency of your existing system, you can save a lot of money in the long run.
Environment: If you increase the efficiency of your boiler then you’ll reduce the amount of energy required to get the same heat output. Then means fewer greenhouse gasses are released into the atmosphere, and this makes a more efficient boiler installation a step in the right direction with regards to the current climate emergency.
8 Ways to Improve the Efficiency of Your New Boiler
When it comes to improving the efficiency of your boiler, there are a number of methods and tricks you can employ to make the most of your central heating system.
Upgrading to a New Boiler
The first thing you’ll want to consider is whether your boiler is due for an upgrade. The government has set out plans to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 so a new boiler installation will get you ahead of the curve.
A core reason why people avoid boiler installations is that they’re a costly upfront investment. Whilst this is true, it’s estimated that by installing a new, more energy-efficient boiler, you could see savings of up to £200 a year. Add to these savings the amount of money you’d be spending on repairs, replacement parts, and alternative heating methods when it needs to be repaired and you’re saving a lot of money in the long run.
Choosing a Condensing Boiler Installation
You should definitely have your central heating system upgraded with a new boiler if your current model isn’t already a condensing boiler. These are able to collect gas generated by the burning process and use it to heat any water entering the system. This reduces the amount of money you spend on energy bills, and it also reduces the overall emissions emitted by your boiler.
Regularly Replacing Chemical Inhibitors
One thing that negatively impacts the efficiency of your central heating system is corrosion and this usually occurs due to a build-up of scale and sludge. This will sit at the bottom of your pipes and radiators, making the passage of liquid more difficult, thus reducing the effectiveness of your radiators at heating the home. They’ll then need more energy to heat the liquid inside of them, and they’ll need to heat this liquid over a longer period of time.
Chemical inhibitors break down this scale and sludge whilst also providing your pipes and systems more protection against future build-ups. They’re an absolute must or a lot of boiler warranties as they maintain the health of your boiler over the long term. You’ll want to turn off your central heating system, drain the system, shut off the drain valve, unscrew the radiator bleed plug and then add the inhibitor. Then you’ll want to tighten the bleed plug, turn the radiator valves back on, check the boiler pressure, and finally bleed your radiators.
Reducing the Stack Temperature
By lowering the stack temperature, you’ll be lowering the operating pressure for steam boilers when they’re idling at night or on mild days. If your stack temperature is unusually high then this is likely because your tubes have a build up of soot or scale and perhaps the baffling inside the boiler has deteriorated or burned through. Having a boiler technician here at Gastech service your boiler will help you to find the root of the problem and save more money in the long run.
An important factor to consider is the build-up of rust in your heating water. This is where a magnetic filter will be handy as it will extract any debris that’s floating through your pipes. Not only does debris restrict the flow of water through your pipes but it also inhibits the water’s ability to heat up effectively, taking longer and requiring more heat, making the system less efficient.
Central Heating System Controls
Using central heating controls wisely is another great way to increase the efficiency of your boiler. For example, making sure you use a thermostat with a timer is a great way to regulate how much energy you use and when you use it. It can be set to turn on when heat is most needed and set to be turned off when it isn’t required, like when you’re at work.
Top Tip: Turning down the temperature by as little as 1°C can save you up to 10% on your energy bills!
Recovering Heat from Your New Boiler
Boilers require air to complete combustion but a lot of the energy required by central heating systems goes into unnecessarily heating this air up. Rather than allowing this hot air to go to waste, you can capitalise on it by using a passive flue gas recovery system. This will capture hot air and use it to heat up your water. If you’re looking for a new boiler installation then this is the perfect time to add a heat recovery system because it can be incorporated into the original design.
Tuning the Burner
When it comes to central heating efficiency, it’s important to allow your boiler the correct amount of air for adequate combustion. If there isn’t enough air, carbon monoxide will be produced as a result of the carbon in the fuel oxidising, causing more heat to be released as the fuel won’t be completely burned. On the other hand, if you have too much air then it’ll just be set out of the stack as hot air, wasting energy in the long term. Using an O2 probe is a great way to find out how much air is required, but be wary that the temperature of the air drawn into the burner will vary depending on the season. Make sure you tune the burner regularly, perhaps every month, to ensure you aren’t drawing in too little or too much, as this will increase your overall efficiency.
Hot Water Cylinders Make a Difference
Put simply, a hot water cylinder is a storage tank for the water that’s used by your central heating system. Brand new hot water cylinders are factory insulated and this helps to keep your water at a consistent temperature, reducing the amount of energy required to constantly heat it up. Making sure your hot water cylinder is properly insulated will reduce the amount of heat that escapes over the long run, so it’s important to make sure its insulation level is topped up adequately. You can also save money by making sure the cylinder itself is the right size and isn’t too big for your requirements.
Where to Go For Boiler Installation Services
It goes without saying that the most effective way to increase the efficiency of your boiler, especially if it’s an old model, is to opt for a new boiler installation. Here at Gastech, our specialist central heating engineers are able to complete a variety of services, including boiler replacements. We focus on helping our clients have more efficient central heating systems and we’ve build up a strong reputation in South Wales on the back of this aim. Our team is highly-trained and very experienced, using the latest technological developments and equipment to get the job done effectively and in a timely manner.
If you have any further questions about the efficiency of your boiler, whether it’s for a boiler replacement or for servicing, or if you’d like to hear about our plumbing services, then don’t hesitate to get in touch by calling us on 01495 222792 today!