Why is this summer a good time to replace your gas boiler?
Why do so many of GASLEC’s Landlord customers replace their gas boiler in the summer months and September?
For some landlords, it’s about prevention rather than cure: their boiler has needed a few visits from a GASLEC engineer and worn out parts replaced: all in addition to the routine annual service. This is often a sure sign the boiler is nearing the end of its useful life.
For other landlords, replacing the gas boiler is often about efficiency, keeping fuel costs low and keeping the property ‘up to date’.
With autumn and winter 2016/17 almost upon us, landlord’s thoughts will turn to keeping their properties warm.
If your property is heated with a gas boiler and radiators, then according to The Energy Trust, ‘Heating accounts for about 60 per cent of what you spend in a year on energy bills’. With energy prices remaining high, it seems prudent to prepare the central heating system for winter.
Is it time to replace the gas boiler?
We know the higher the boiler’s efficiency, the less gas will have to be purchased and burned to create the same amount of heat in the home.
Generally, a new condensing gas boiler will be chosen to the replace the old boiler. Condensing boilers came into widespread use in the 1990s: they have large heat exchangers (the part that transfers the heat from the flame to the water flowing through the boiler) so that much of the ‘latent heat’ of the vapour created by the burning fuel gets used as well which, results in this vapour ‘condensing’. A modern condensing boiler will have an efficiency of around 90% whereas a non-condensing boiler, even a new one, might only offer around 75%. In a typical semi-detached house, this difference could mean quite a saving on gas. Energy Saving Advice say ‘Using a high efficiency condensing boiler with heating controls could save you between £190 and £240 a year or around one third of your heating bills straight away. If you install the right heating controls, you could save up to 40% off your bills.’
It’s a fact that as a gas boiler ages it becomes less efficient, particularly if it has not been properly maintained. The combination of wear and tear plus the older technology means that an older gas boiler will generally cost significantly more to run than a modern condensing boiler – and can be expected to break down more.
And it’s the worry about central heating boiler breakdowns that leaves many landlords feeling cold (in more ways than one!). We’ve noticed how our Landlord customers go out of their way to ensure that tenant’s complaints about the property are dealt with promptly and that high-quality work is carried out. Ensuring the gas central heating is working efficiently and ready for the autumn / winter period ahead, gets a high priority at this time of year. (This article was written in July 2016).
Gas boiler costs and returns
We are often asked ‘How long will it take to recover the cost of a new gas boiler installation?’
Assuming the existing boiler is running inefficiently due to its age, a new condensing gas boiler installation should pay-back its costs in around five years, as it is far more efficient than the old boiler and will use less gas to heat the property.
Now we’ve installed a new gas boiler, what next?
So, GASLEC has installed a new gas boiler and already the gas bills have reduced.
But for those wanting to squeeze every bit of benefit out of the new gas boiler and the gas they buy, there are three additional ways the efficiency of the central heating system and it’s radiators can be improved, because even if the boiler is producing hot water efficiently, how this hot water (heat) is distributed around the property can make a big difference to how warm it feels.
Here are four additional ways that GASLEC can help improve the overall efficiency of the heating system – and keep the property warm.
When a room feels cool and the central heating is on, its likely due to a radiator not generating sufficient heat. Over time, air can enter the system and find its way into the radiators, reducing their efficiency.
To solve this problem, a GASLEC engineer will vents all radiators in the property and have them operating at maximum efficiency.
Thermostatic Radiator Valves (TRVs)
Older central heating systems will often be controlled by just one or two room thermostats – often placed in central area’s such as a hallway or landing. This will drive the central heating system to heat this room to the correct temperature but no account will be taken of the temperature in any other room which, may, as a result, be too hot (a waste of energy) or too cold.
Cold rooms encourage us to increase the single thermostat setting so as to increase the temperature. However, this may mean other rooms will become too hot which, is a waste of energy. A low-cost solution is to fit a Thermostatic Radiator Valve to each radiator and then set the desired room temperature on the radiator valve which, will regulate the amount of hot water flowing through the room’s radiator. In little-used rooms, the Thermostatic Radiator Valve can be set to a very low temperature to keep the room aired and ensure that condensation does not become a problem.
In some older central heating systems, radiators furthest away from the boiler can over time, feel cool because they are being supplied with less hot water than those radiators closer to the boiler.
The solution is for a GASLEC engineer to make adjustments to some of the central heating radiators and perhaps boiler settings to ‘balance’ the system. This will ensure an even radiator temperature throughout the property.
Install new heating controls
GASLEC offers more advanced control systems for domestic central heating, generally known as smart heating controls. They allow the heating to be controlled remotely from a smartphone, computer or tablet and some claim to learn from your previous choices and make adjustments for you.
The main advantage of a smart heating control system is that you can make changes remotely if your plans change – for example, you can change the time that your heating comes on if it turns out you will be home sooner or later than you thought.
If you need a new gas central heating boiler fitted or alternatively, if you would like an engineer to visit your property and give you a no-cost and no-obligation assessment of the condition of a gas boiler or central heating system, please call 01392 278614 or contact us here.