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Types of Central Heating Systems

Types of Central Heating Systems

There are lots of important things to think about when working out how to heat your home. When thinking about the right boiler size, you need to consider hot water usage as well as the number of radiators in your home. If you live in a small flat, a smaller boiler system is going to be preferable, but if you live in a large family home, you’re going to need a much bigger model.

If you live somewhere in the middle, there are a number of options that are worth considering. It’s also important to remember that there can be a difference in price when comparing different methods of heating your home. Let’s take a look at what options are out there.

Electric

While gas has been the number one choice for a long time now, electric is slowly taking over as people realise that it’s slightly more efficient. While you may prefer gas if you live in a smaller home, if you live in a bigger house electric could be your preferred choice. This is because when it comes to heating larger homes, electric is more efficient and runs at 100% efficiency, compared to 90% efficiency of gas.

Electric boilers, however, are still relatively new to the central heating market, which means you would typically only find them in rural areas that don’t have access to gas connections. It’s worth noting here that it can cost a bit to switch over to electric from gas.

Advantages

We recommend electric if you don’t have easy access to the gas connection in your location. Plus, electric can be an affordable alternative as well. This is because electric heating systems have on-demand heat, which means that if you’re looking for convenience this is the option to go for.

You’ll also find that you’ll have to service your electric heating system and service your boiler a lot less. Not to mention that electrical heating systems are 100% efficient.

Disadvantages

If you’re not already on an electric heating system, it can end up costing quite a bit to switch over.

Gas

It’s not often that you’re going to be caught thinking about the central heating system that you have in your house. This is because in this day and age it’s easy to take our central heating for granted, especially when it’s a cold winter morning and you’re reluctant to go outside. If you are thinking about the central heating, you may be wondering whether electric or gas is better, and which one is going to cost your less in the long run?

A gas boiler can help to save you a lot of money. In fact, some people think that you can save up to $250 per year when you use gas compared to other methods of running a central heating system. Some gas systems are so efficient that they can convert 90% of the fuel they consume into heat. They also produce a lot less carbon dioxide, which means not as much heat is going to be lost as a result.

Advantages

Gas can be a great way to heat your home, because it’s incredibly efficient and easy on the wallet. What’s more, you don’t have to find anywhere to store the fuel for the gas, which means that it’s a great option if you’re limited on space. It’s also nice and easy to replace a boiler that uses gas when you compare it with other options out there.

Disadvantages

The price of gas is pretty high right now and is showing no signs of slowing down. Because gas produces carbon dioxide when used, it’s also not seen as the cleanest way to heat your house regarding energy use. They also need to be serviced every year by a gas safe engineer who has a safety certificate to make sure they are running efficiently and safely. It may also cost a bit to connect your home to a gas network if it’s not already connected.

Popular Central Heating Systems

We’ve covered the two main ways to heat your home – now, let’s take a look at the four most popular central heating systems.

Combi Boiler

This is easily the most popular central heating system in use today. A combi boiler doesn’t require a feed tank or a hot water cylinder because they only heat the water when it’s needed. This also means that they need a lot less space in your home, making them incredibly economical.

A combi boiler is also known for convenience as well because it allows you to control the system from a distance – you don’t need to access the boiler to adjust the settings, a modern convenience that many people are partial to. When it comes to a couple of factors like shower heating and space saving, a combi boiler is a great choice.

Wall Mounted Boiler

A wall mounted boiler is intended to be more compact and lighter. The heat exchangers are used with stainless steel, aluminum, copper or cast iron.

Free Standing Boiler

A free standing water boiler is intended to fit nicely within a kitchen unit just like other kitchen appliances can. Freestanding boilers can be installed in many other locations around the home as well, making them adaptable. This was a popular choice roughly 40 or 50 years ago and are still a great option if you don’t have the wall space to mount your boiler.

Free Standing Boiler

This type of boiler comes with a heat exchanger that allows heat to be re-used and re-circulated, making it incredibly energy efficient. This is the type of boiler you want if you’re on a budget and don’t want your heating bills to be too high. Pluming can be a problem with this type of boiler, however, which is when water droplets form as a result of the flue terminal. While it’s not dangerous, it can be frustrating for some.

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Radiator Valves: A Guide

RADIATOR VALVES: A GUIDE

A new radiator can work wonders for the comfort and energy efficiency of your home and your heating system, but it all depends on the type of radiator you get.

Because every home life is unique, it requires a unique radiator valve – they’re not a one size fits all kind of part. Let’s take a look at what a radiator valve is and figure out which one is best for your home.

Different Types of Radiator Valves

Let’s take a look at different types of radiator valves:

Thermostatic Valves

These type of valves can give you more control over the temperature in your house because they are slightly more sophisticated and advanced than their manual counterparts. They can be set to the temperature that you prefer.

The liquid inside the valve can sense how warm or cold the room is, and when it has reached the temperature you set, it will shut off the water flow. This means that for the most part the radiator can control itself and you also won’t be spending money on extra, unnecessary heating.

Manual Valves

One of the most popular valves out there is the manual valve. This obviously means that you are in control of turning the valves up or down, which means you get to decide what the temperature of the room is. When you turn the radiator valves, this changes the volume of water coming into the radiator, which is going to determine how much heat your radiator can give off.

This type of valve is easy to operate and also are usually a bit smaller than thermostatic valves. The downside, however, is that you have to monitor them regularly and even remember to turn them off unless you want to waste money and energy.

What do Radiator Valves Do?

All of the radiators in your house are going to have two valves attached that act like the taps in your sink. In this way they help to keep track of how much heat the radiator is releasing. One valve is in charge of the amount of warm water coming into the radiator, while the other is in charge of how much heat leaves it.

This latter valve is called the lockshield valve, and it’s usually protected by a plastic covering. It is responsible for controlling how much water goes in and out of the radiator. Typically, it’s set so that you can’t turn it easily, and the professional who installed it would have set it for an even flow of water.

What do Radiator Numbers Mean?

Radiators valves come with symbols or numbers that represent how much heat the radiator emits. This is scored on levels from 1-6. Typically, if you have the radiator set on 3, the temperature of your room should be approximately 20 degrees.

This number system is used in lieu of precise temperatures as the radiator cannot guarantee the temperature of the room as there are external factors that also contribute to this, including how insulated your home is.

It’s essential that you keep track of what temperature your radiators are set to because you may want to have different temperatures around the house, depending on what room you’re in. If you’re happy to keep the temperature a little cooler, this could end up saving you a lot of money when it comes to heating and energy bills.

Once you’re sure that you’ve turned off the main water supply completely, you can now work on removing the cold water pipe. This is going to take a bit of unscrewing, but it should come away pretty easily. There may be some residual water sitting in the pipe, which is why it’s good to have a bucket handy.

There will be another hose coming out of the back of your old washing machine. This is the hose that gets rid of the water after your washing machine has used it to wash your clothes. You won’t need to unscrew this to take it off – simply give it a tug.

When you’ve done all of this, you’ll be able to move your old washing machine away, allowing room for the new one.

How to Change a Radiator Valve

If you feel confident enough to change the radiator valves on your own, here’s a step by step process on how to do so:

Shut off Water: before you change any valves on your radiator, you’ll need to make sure no water is flowing through. It’s important to shut off your heating system and the water, and it’s also recommended that you turn all electronics off just to be safe.

Find the Drain Off: you’ll need to find the drain off in your home – this is usually located at the lowest point in your home. You’ll also need a hose that you can connect to the drain off which is going to run the water from the radiator into an external drain or soil.

Remove the Old Valve: to take off the old valves, release the top and bottom nut which will let you take the valves off altogether. This may be the kind of job for a wrench depending on how tightly screwed the nuts are. You’ll also want to remove the chrome tail that connects the radiator and the valve.

Put Your New Valves in Place: place your new chrome tail where the old one sat and place the olive and nut onto this. Find the water pipe and attach the other olive and nut. Take the body of your radiator and connect this to the water pipe as well. Once you’ve got everything in place, you can tighten the nuts. Once they’re snug, take the protective cap away from the valve and connect the valve to the valve body. Tighten the nut up again, but not too tight.

Once everything is in place and tight so that there aren’t any leaks, you can turn your water mains back on. While you’re refilling the system, keep an eye out for any leaks around your new joints. You can even open up the radiator valve at this point to allow water to come through.

Once you’re confident that your radiator isn’t leaking anywhere, drain the valve so that any air inside the radiator can be released. Any air inside is going to stop the radiator from filling up with water. Open your lockshield valve and remember how many turns it took to get the water flowing. Connect the power back to your boiler and run the heat for an hour or so before checking everything one more time.

Which Radiator Valve Should I Buy?

There are a number of things to think about when considering which radiator valves to purchase. From the type of radiator you already have to the piping that goes into your home, there are a few things that are going to decide the type and size of the valves you buy. The last thing you want is to get radiator valves that don’t fit with the radiator model you already have.

We recommend consulting with a professional, either a plumber or a gas safe registered engineer with a gas safe certificate who can help you choose the right radiator valves for your radiator size and home heating system.

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Please complete the enquiry form below, and send your details to our customer service team. Once you have completed this form, one of our advisors will contact you to discuss your requirements further and to arrange a suitable appointment.

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What is a Gas Safety Record?

WHAT IS A GAS SAFETY RECORD?

What exactly is a gas safety record? A gas safety record is a piece of paper that a professional engineer is going to leave with you once they’ve either performed a safety check, serviced or even fitted an appliance in your home. Of course, the information that is on your gas safety record is going to depend on the kind of work that was done and what the purpose of the work was.

When it comes to the law, if you own a property and have people rent it out, then you will be required to supply them with a gas safety record that implies you have had the home checked at least once a year to make sure that it’s safe to live in. This is incredibly important if any appliances in the home are run by gas, to help prevent leaks and other issues that can arise. A professional is required to execute this type of safety check so that the details written on the safety form can be officially recorded and verified as correct.

What Should Your Gas Safety Record Contain?

What does your gas safety record need to contain, then?

  • A verification that a professional has carried out the appropriate safety checks and the results of the checks are true and correct
  • If any issue was found or detected, it needs to be recorded on the record, as well as any protocol regarding how the professional has decided to deal with it
  • Details of the landlord, including the address and full name. Their agent may write down their details if they manage the property directly
  • The full address of the property that has been checked for issues and safety
  • The date that the safety check was executed
  • Name, company, signature and registration number of the professional who executed the safety check
  • A detailed description of all the appliances that were checked, as well as a description of where they’re located in the home

As well as making sure that gas appliances are running correctly, landlords also need to make sure that all pipework is doing well. This may include requesting an integrity test from the professional engineer checking the safety of the gas appliances.

Gas Safety Records If You’re Not a Landlord

What do you need to check for on the gas safety record if you’re not a landlord, then? Before a professional does any work in your home or checks any of your appliances, it’s important that you can confirm with them what they’ll be doing and what type of documentation you’ll be receiving. This is mostly because if you’re not a landlord, then a professional engineer doesn’t legally have to provide you with any type of record, so if you want to receive one for your own peace of mind, you need to let them know before the job gets done.

Of course, the level of detail that goes into the form once the work has been done is going to vary based on the work and what was checked, so if you’re hoping to have a record of something specific it’s important to communicate this before any work has begun.

Online Booking

Please complete the enquiry form below, and send your details to our customer service team. Once you have completed this form, one of our advisors will contact you to discuss your requirements further and to arrange a suitable appointment.

Want to talk to someone?

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Head Office: Plumbingforce, Bourne House, 475 Godstone RD, Whyteleafe, Surrey, CR3 0BL

Plumbingforce engineers in your area

London   East Anglia   North West   Midlands   South East   South West   Wales