You can improve the way in which your home is heated, just by making some subtle adjustments…
If your home has an older, non-condensing boiler, you will need to be proactive when it comes to ventilation. However, if you have had a new gas boiler since April 2005, then you will more than likely have a condensing boiler, meaning it does not need to be ventilated.
Why do some boilers need ventilation?
Standard gas boilers require oxygen to burn the gas correctly. How gas boilers get access to oxygen depends on the age of the model. For example, older, non-condensing boilers are not room sealed and have an open flue. The open flue pipe allows for waste gases to be taken away, however, it cannot bring any oxygen in, which means these boilers need to be well ventilated.
On the other hand, most modern boilers seal off the combustion chamber, where the gas is burned. With these condensing boilers, you do not need to worry about ventilation as waste gases are removed through a balanced flue pipe, while oxygen is also taken on board.
If you are uncertain whether your boiler needs ventilation, or if it is condensing or not, then do not hesitate to contact your installer or a Gas Safe registered heating engineer.
What is a balanced flue pipe?
As a balanced flue pipe is the difference between your boiler needing ventilation or not, it is important to understand exactly what its purpose is.
A balanced flue pipe has two tubes, which allow for your boiler to be well ventilated. One of these tubes, discharges waste gases into the atmosphere, while the other, brings oxygen into the boiler.
Older boilers have a conventional flue pipe, that removes waste gases. However, these do not allow oxygen back in, meaning that these units need to be ventilated.
Does my boiler cupboard need ventilation?
There is no need to worry about your cupboard having ventilation if your boiler is room sealed. However, it is worth ensuring that a heating engineer will be able to gain adequate access when your boiler needs servicing, repairing or any general maintenance.
When fitting your boiler into a cupboard, you need to make sure you consider several standard regulations, although before doing this, you should always check the manufacturer’s instructions and recommendations.
There should be a 30cm gap between the top of the cupboard and the top of the boiler, as well as a 10cm gap between the boiler and the bottom of the cupboard.
There should usually be at least 60cm between the front of the boiler cupboard and another wall, while the door of the cupboard must be able to open.
These regulations are in place to make sure that your boiler is easily accessible, although to meet them, some cupboards may need their top or bottom taken off.
Do I need a condensing boiler?
There are several reasons why you can benefit from having a condensing boiler. A balanced flue can only be fitted to a condensing, room-sealed boiler, meaning additional ventilation is not necessary. This also leads to a more efficient heating system, as it is harder for the heat around your radiators to escape, keeping your home warmer for longer.
Condensing boilers are not only more reliable, but they are also safer, as the part of the boiler that burns the fuel is sealed off from your home. This also gives you added flexibility in where you decide to put them, something you could not do with older, open flue boilers.
Homeowners are still able to get a FREE boiler grant or insulation grant via the ECO scheme, which is still available to households that qualify. Warma UK are currently working throughout the UK helping privately owned and rented homes to improve home energy efficiency and save money on rising energy bills.
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