Central Heating Efficiency: Why Simply Fitting a New Boiler Is Not Enough

With the Green Deal coming into effect later this year, boiler replacement is currently a hot topic. Homeowners across the country are excited with the prospect of perhaps not being cold this winter. They’re having a new boiler installed. Finally, they will have central heating which heats the house, instead of making a lot of noise in exchange for not a lot of warmth.

Whilst having an efficient  Geen warm water boiler is important, it is just one piece of the puzzle. If you fit a new boiler without cleaning the system, it’s likely that even your new boiler will operate its rated efficiency and you will see no improvement in overall system effectiveness. The other elements of the system – the pumps, valves, radiators, pipes – need to be well maintained to ensure efficient heating of the home.

How did my system get dirty in the first place?

You may be wondering why it’s at all necessary to clean a system. Corrosion occurs in central heating systems as it does anywhere that metals come into contact with water and since central heating systems often use a variety of metals, the perfect environment is created for several types of low level corrosion to occur over the years. When the metals corrode, metal oxide corrosion deposits are formed and accumulate in your system, carried off to areas of low flow: usually radiators, pumps, and valves. Over time, these can amass into large enough deposits to affect circulation, blocking pumps and valves or causing cold spots on radiators due to restricted flow.

For this reason, when replacing any element of your central heating system, consideration should be given to water quality and potential benefits of water treatment. A responsible heating engineer should check the system water for corrosion debris and the presence of a corrosion inhibitor anyway, but feel free to ask them about cleaning and inhibiting the system.

What can cleaning and inhibiting do?

Cleaning a system to a high standard removes the debris – potential blockages or pump failures waiting to happen – so that heating efficiency can be restored. In a properly cleaned system, hydraulic balance is improved, bringing about improvements in effectiveness.

So if you are having a new boiler fitted this winter, be sure to request a check of system water and if required, a full system clean. Ask for quality chemicals in order to achieve optimum results, because some of the available water treatment products are as little as 3% active ingredient, simply topped up with water. By using a quality powerflushing unit and appropriate liquids such as X800 Jetflo and X100 Inhibitor to clean and protect a standard system of 8 to 10 radiators (100L system volume), you can improve boiler efficiency by about 3 per cent, overall system effectiveness by up to 15 per cent and give a better consistency of temperature across radiators. These figures are taken from independent research and are specific to the use of the aforementioned products, so ask your installer for Sentinel.


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