There have been many advances in gas boiler technology in the quest for improved energy efficiency, but this can only truly be achieved if used in conjunction with the latest heating controls.
Heating installers have always been able to add value to their businesses by offering a full portfolio of energy efficient technologies – from boilers and renewables, to heat emitters. But now, there is an additional option available: controls. Indeed, identifying situations where new controls are needed and explaining their long-term benefits to customers can result in significant energy savings.
To get the best results from the latest condensing boilers, as well as optimise system efficiency, the use of modulating room thermostats is essential. The majority of older properties will already have the basic on/off switching technology that came with their original boiler. However, the problem with this technology is that it can cause fluctuations in room temperatures, as well as have an impact on boiler efficiency. By upgrading these inefficient systems with modulating controls, boiler temperatures can be adjusted to within 0.1°C of the set level, ironing out any peaks and troughs and improving energy efficiency.
Additionally, the latest wireless controls can be an excellent alternative when upgrading a central heating system, as they can be fitted almost anywhere in a property, eliminating the need for long wiring runs.
Another control device among an installer’s armoury that can improve a boiler’s efficiency is the outdoor sensor. Whereas internal modulating sensors adjust the boiler output depending on the conditions inside, an outdoor sensor supplies an extra line of data, enabling more accurate system adjustments. So, if the temperature outside suddenly drops – during a cold snap in winter, for instance – the boiler can respond and adjust the system’s flow temperature accordingly.
Furthermore, some of the more sophisticated boilers on the market (such as Ariston’s own CLAS HE evo) are able to be electronically controlled to favour either outdoor or room sensors, depending upon a building’s fabric and thermal efficiencies. Additionally, the latest controls are also effective in helping installers comply with the Building Regulations covering any new or replacement heating system regarding zoning.
Installers are fortunate to have the choice of an array of appliances with which to improve their customers’ heating systems. Recommending more than simply a standard boiler replacement, and reviewing the existing control strategy, should be par for the course – especially as it will result in improved system efficiency and reduced utility bills for end users. Installers wise enough to provide products offering their customers these long term benefits will not only see their businesses and reputations improve, but also ensure the heating systems they fit benefit from higher levels of energy efficiency.