Condensing boilers were designed to be more efficient than the old style conventional boilers.
They work in a totally different way.
They recover heat that would have been lost through the flue on the old style boiler and so save on the energy bills.
The old style boiler would lose somewhere around 40% of heat through the flue! but today’s modern condensing boilers lose only around 10% which is a saving of 30%.
These figures are only a guide, but as you can see you could be saving around 30% on your gas bills.
With the condensing boilers they recycle the products of combustion that exits through the flue pipe, so if you put your hand around the flue pipe you will notice it is a lot cooler than the old style boiler where you would have burnt your hand.
Because condensing boilers produce cooler flue gases, they produce what looks like smoke from the flue, but it’s not smoke it’s partly steam.
This is called pluming.
When the boiler starts to condense it produces plume, this is because it is using the heat that otherwise you would lose out of the flue.
When it comes to replacing your old boiler you have to take into account the pluming from the new condensing boiler, will it affect your neighbours, if so, can the flue be diverted elsewhere.
You can get pluming kits for the boiler which will take the pluming away, but if that cannot be avoided then the boiler will have to be fitted in a different location.
This is a local council regulation.
With the new condensing boilers they have a condense discharge pipe that has to run into a drain somewhere, the best practice is to connect it into a drain pipe within the property if possible.
If it has to go through the wall to connect into a drain outside, then the pipe has to be supported by clips and lagged up to prevent freezing in the winter.
Because the water produced is acidic It cannot be connected into metal drain pipes, it has to be plastic.
The condense can be a problem to discharge if you have no drain close by, but there is a solution, and that is you can use a condense pump to pump the condense away. It can pump vertically and horizontal, depending on the makers it can pump over a long distance.
When it comes to replacing your old boiler it was custom to replace with the same heat output as the old one, but with condensing boilers, you can downgrade because they are so much more efficient.
The building regulations state that new boilers have to be sized correctly for the property that they are to be installed in.
The cost of the condensing boilers is a lot more than the older boiler was, but there is a lot more inside these new boilers now, before it was just a heat exchanger, thermostat and burner, now you have printed circuit boards, micro switches and many different sensors.
With the condensing boilers, they need to be serviced regular, more so now than the old style boilers.
If you don’t have a regular service you are asking for trouble.
The manufactures now offer warranty up to 10 years on some models, the average is 5 years.
Part of the warranty is they must be serviced each year and the benchmark filled in to prove this, otherwise, the warranty becomes void.
In general, if you want to lower your fuel bills then condensing boilers are the way forward, and if you fit thermostat control valves to your radiators then you will reduce your bills even more.
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