A combination boiler delivers both hot water and heat on demand. A combination boiler is most often, a single wall hung unit. In most cases there are no water tanks involved, thus meaning they are generally considered the most efficient option and more compact, which makes them the most popular choice in new build properties and with existing homeowners making the switch when replacing a boiler. Also usually referred to as a “combi” boiler.
Any boiler that is installed in the UK, whether a “combi” boiler or not must now be condensing (water heaters fuelled by gas or oil) they contain a Flue Gas Heat Recovery system which captures heat from waste gases to preheat cold water from the mains as it enters the boiler, in turn, they make better use of the heat they generate from burning fuels. UK building regulations introduced in 2005 make condensing boilers now compulsory, in fact, only units with a high-efficiency rating of 92% can be installed. So combi boilers are crazy efficient, however, using it efficiently too will enhance its efficiency even more and help you to combat climate change by reducing CO2 emissions.
See below some tips to help you use your combi boiler as efficiently as possible:
Step one – it may sound like an obvious one but don’t have your heating on all the time. Set the heating with a timer or manually or even via a mobile phone app or smartwatch to only come on and as and when it is required. The great thing about combi boilers is that hot water is available on demand anyway!
Step two – Following on from the above, don’t leave your heating on while you are out. If you do not have a routine schedule, perhaps consider investing in an app or a smart thermostat that will greatly benefit you and cater to your requirements using your location or general habits. Leaving the heating on won’t do much except waste energy and, money.
Step three – As above, install a smart thermostat. Clever, state of the art devices that allow you to control your heating on the go from your phone, tablet or other devices. They essentially connect your heating system to the internet, allowing you to control your heating remotely. They commonly include; turning your heating on or off, multi-room temperature controls, “geo-fencing” which tracks when you leave home and head back home, draught detection and safety and holiday mode to prevent any mishaps while you are away – ensuring to protect your pipework while you are away. Most of them are even simple enough to install yourself. These are generally considered most effective for those without a set routine or pattern to their average day.
Step four – Ensure your thermostat is on exactly what it needs to be on. Even just 1 degree could save you a fair amount across a year so don’t turn it all the way up to maximum because you’ve just come in from out of the cold and leave it there, find a comfortable temperature to set it to. The typical temperature found to be the most comfortable is on average between 18 and 21 degrees.
Step five – check your boiler controls. Combi boilers usually have some element of control from the units themselves allowing you to adjust the temperature of the water that also flows through, which will be circulating around the central heating system and out of the taps. The typical temperature found to suit homes the best is on average 75 degrees for central heating and 60 degrees for domestic hot water.
Step six – arrange an annual service/check-up for your boiler. The benefits of annual service can be found in our article Why do we get our boilers serviced? This will help make sure the boiler is running as it should be and as efficiently as possible.
Step seven – ensure your property is insulated adequately. Of course, you can heat your property as much as you like but if there are draughts, gaps or insufficient insulation – this heat will mostly be wasted. Using anything from tape to block updrafts or a draft excluder to full-blown insulation – cavity insulation, loft insulation, double glazing or even floor insulation will help your home stay warmer for longer.
If you do need any help or would like to arrange a boiler service, Aura Gas can help you today as the leading boiler expert in the South of England. You can get in touch with us instantly using our “live chat” service (bottom right of the screen) or by telephone on 02392 252171 or, please send us your queries via our contact page.