Buying, selling or running a home – everything you need to know about your home and garden!

Central Heating

Gas

As a rule all central heating installations should be checked and serviced regularly to ensure that they operate efficiently and that they are not full of carbon. If you are buying a property the surveyor will make a visual inspection only of the services and heating systems. It is always useful to have a system checked, as the surveyor would not be able to establish the efficiency of the burn of any boiler by just making a visual inspection.

We would always recommend a test before you buy.

A CORGI registered gas fitter would be qualified to test gas installations and advise what repairs are required and what the likely cost of repair is likely to be.

If faced with choosing a new central heating boiler based upon all the facts and possible options, the sensible choice must always be for the most energy-efficient option, the condensing boiler. Condensing boilers are also more environmentally friendly and reduce greenhouse emissions.

  • Condensing boilers are the most efficient type available, and are therefore the cheapest to run
  • Up to 95% efficient
  • Boilers over 10 or 15 years old will be around 65% efficient
  • New standard boilers are around 75% efficient
  • Save 30-35% on fuel bills when replacing an old boiler
  • Typically cost £100-£500 more than standard boilers
  • Extra cost paid for by savings on fuel bills in 2-4 years

Electric

All wiring should be PVC, the actual heaters should be modern. Dated systems will not be as efficient and could present a potential fire hazard.(See electrics)

Modern storage heaters are more efficient, less bulky and less intrusive.

Slim-line storage heaters contain thermal bricks which absorb the heat during the night and release it during the day. They use electricity charged at the off-peak rate, which can be a significant saving (up to 50% off). For example if you have an Economy 7 electricity meter you can store up to seven hours of electricity at the cheaper rate. This will give you enough heat for up to 24 hours.

You can also use other electric appliances such as washing machines, dryers and dishwashers during off-peak periods to save even more money during the cheap rate periods.

Your local electricity supplier will tell you the best tariff for your lifestyle, some can offer a “green tariff” to encourage the use of electricity generated from renewable energy sources.

Solid fuel

These will require regular cleaning; flues should be swept and kept clear. Back boilers can rust and would be best tested. Care should be taken to ensure that the system is adequate to heat the whole house.

There are a number of solid fuel systems on the market now that are more efficient, the older style systems are not very efficient. We would advise that the cost of upgrading the boiler is investigated if your system is dated or very inefficient.

Oil

Oil heating systems require annual servicing to ensure safety and efficiency. As a rule the older the system the less efficient they will be and if they have been poorly maintained their efficiency could be even worse.

There are now oil systems that use condensing technology and can be very fuel-efficient.

If faced with choosing a new oil-fired central heating boiler, based upon all the facts and possible options, the sensible choice must always be for the most energy-efficient option, the condensing boiler. Condensing boilers are also more environmentally friendly and reduce greenhouse emissions.

General

The advice of The House Wizard is to:

  1. Test and service systems at least annually
  2. Investigate the cost of installing the most efficient system
  3. Install thermostatic radiator valves
  4. Draught proof and insulate wherever possible

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