How to Improve Boiler Efficiency
Gas central heating is one of the safest, cheapest, most efficient ways to heat a home. However, with energy prices rising all the time, it’s important that householders know how to improve their boiler efficiency; not just for the sake of saving money, but to reduce our impact on the environment.
How efficient is my boiler?
Boiler efficiency is far increased in new boilers over their older counterparts. Older boilers cost more to run, need more repairs and don’t heat a home as efficiently as a new boiler. Old gas boilers (both the lightweight, wall-attached kind and the floor standing, heavy models) generally run at around 55%-65% efficiency, whereas new boilers reach between 78% and 89%, with condensing boilers being the most efficient.
Improving boiler efficiency – replace your old boiler
If you have an old boiler in your home – a boiler that is 15 years old at least – you might consider investing in a newer model. It is a large expense but it’s an expense that will save you money in the long run. Older boilers need to be repaired more often, and those callout fees can really add up. There’s also something to be said for replacing an old boiler before it breaks down entirely. The last thing anybody wants is to be left without heating and hot water in the middle of winter.
Improving boiler efficiency – learn how to use your heating controls
Different boilers will have different controls, but the three basic ones you will need to learn to use are the timer, the thermostat and the TRV’s (thermostatic radiator valves).
Timer – the timer can be used to tell the boiler to switch itself on at certain times of the day. If you are out at work all day, you won’t need your heating on. So, rather than switching it off in the morning and having to come home to a cold house, you can set the timer to switch the boiler off when you leave – and on again a little while before you return. Similarly, you may wish to set the timer so the boiler comes on in the early hours of the morning before you get up.
Thermostat – the room thermostat is a device that senses the temperature in the room and switches the boiler off or on accordingly. You can set the thermostat to a temperature that suits you, and it will take care of the rest. Most people have their thermostats set too high – taking it down by just a degree can make a big difference to your energy bill without anybody noticing much of a change in the temperature.
TRV’s – TRV’s control the temperature of each individual radiator. To help make your central heating more efficient, you can adjust the TRV’s depending on the rooms you use the most. Rooms that are rarely used can be heated much less – although keep your eyes open for signs of mould and condensation.