Nicol Heating Services - Some Frequently Asked Questions
General Heating Questions
- How much can I save by reducing my heating and water temperatures?Reducing your room temperature by 1oC could cut your heating bills by 10%. Setting your water cylinder temperature to less than 60oC and fitting approved thermostatic mixing valves will also help save money.
- Are there now more sophisticated ways of programming heating than a thermostat and timer?Yes, more intelligent heating controls are now available that can increase your comfort and save energy.
For example, wireless heat controls in every room can be re-set remotely from your laptop - very useful if the time you thought you'd arrive home changes.
Weather compensation controls do just what they say by monitoring the outside temperature and the room temperature using Vaillant's VRC 400 or VRC 430 controls and then adjusting the boiler to achieve the required heat output. On a sunny day, for example, the heat output from the boiler will be reduced, as a result radiators may feel cool to touch.
- I'm extending my home - will I need a new boiler for the new section of the house?The capacity of your existing boiler will have been matched quite closely to the size of your home - the floor space and the number of bathrooms - in order to achieve maximum efficiency. If you are just adding one radiator for a new conservatory you will not need to replace your boiler, but if more radiators and hot water are required you should contact a heating adviser to find out if a new boiler is needed.
- What are the advantages of installing unvented hot water cylinders?As well as being more efficient, unvented cylinders use mains water pressure supply. This means there is no need for a cold water storage tank, which will give you more room in your loft.
- Are there restrictions as to where boilers can be sited?Generally boilers can be sited wherever you like. All they require is flueing to the outside and to meet all building regulations.
- How are high-efficiency condensing boilers more efficient than standard efficiency boilers?High-efficiency condensing boilers are able to capture and use much of the heat that old non-condensing boilers waste and release into the atmosphere.
Condensing boilers convert around 90% of fuel into useful heating, whereas old conventional boilers only convert around 60% and waste the rest. All new gas boilers in England and Wales must be condensing boilers.
SEDBUK (the Seasonal Efficiency of Domestic Boilers in the UK) rates boilers A to G according to their efficiency - band A is the most efficient and band G the least. All Vaillant boilers are rated SEDBUK A.
- What happens to my old boiler if I have a new one fitted?Most components from old boilers are recyclable at local recycling centres that have provision to dispose of metals
- Is my new boiler environmentally friendly?The boilers in Vaillant's current range are amongst the most environmentally friendly you will find. Due to low NOx (nitrogen oxide) emission and high efficiency they pump out less C02 than older models. Plus, none of the materials used to make them contributes to the Ozone Depletion Potential and the Global Warming Potential (see below).
The Ozone Depletion Potential (ODP) is a number that refers to the amount of ozone depletion caused by a particular substance. All Vaillant boilers have an ODP rating of 0.
The Global Warming Potential (GWP) is a measure of how much a given mass of greenhouse gas is estimated to contribute to global warming. Vaillant's boilers have an official rating of 0 in this category.
- Where can I find out about grants for home heating?Grants are available for a number of energy saving heating systems. To find what is available and if you are eligible visit The Energy Saving Trust
- If I change my old boiler for a new one, how much can I expect to save?Depending on what boiler you currently have and how big your system is, you could save as much as £175 a year.
- What are they?Programmable controls provide a comfortable living environment within your home and help to minimize domestic heating bills. Temperature data from thermostats and sensors is fed back to the boiler maximizing operating economy. These controls also give you a wide choice of control options to further optimize heating efficiency and fuel economy. Many of these functions can be set up by the installer and left alone. Those requiring homeowner inputs are very easy to operate.
- How do they work?Programmable controls are either fitted into the fascia of the boiler or wall mounted in a convenient location within the home. The thermostats in the heating zones and outside sensors are then linked to the boiler.
There are three areas of control that greatly improve the economy of your boiler:
- Load compensation
This reduces the temperature of hot water going to radiators as the target room temperature is approached, cutting back energy consumption.
- Advanced timing control
Offers different settings for groups of days of the week and three switching periods per day. Summer and winter settings, holiday mode, hot water advance and temporary over-ride options all further help to optimize boiler use, maximize your home comfort and reduce energy consumption.
- Weather compensation
With this option, outside sensors measure temperature changes and adjust the boiler performance to maintain the desired inside temperature, allowing your boiler to operate with maximum efficiency.
- How energy efficient are they?Correctly setting up controls of any type will help you to reduce your energy consumption. With daily switching period settings, seasonal settings, load compensation and weather compensation all maximizing efficiency, Vaillant estimates that a further 5%-10% saving on energy bills can be achieved with the use of programmable controls.
- Are they suitable for my home?All of these control options are available for use with all Vaillant high efficiency boilers in houses with one heating zone. Some controls are suitable for houses with two heating zones - for example independently controlled upstairs and downstairs areas. With an additional accessory, programmable controls can also be used with sealed system boilers and open vented boilers with hot water cylinders.