A condensing boiler is critical to any efficient heating system. When it is used in conjunction with additional thermostatic control valves (TSV) fitted on the radiator and a thermostat on the hot water tank, you can create a super high energy efficient heating system.
Transforming average heating system into an energy efficient one may be easier than what the vendors like you to believe. It could be a straightforward job when equipped with necessary fittings / components while making sure that all components are appropriately insulated to prevent heat loss. This document will explore the types of materials and components that make good candidates for energy efficient central heating system.
Necessary Components for High Efficiency Heating System
Followings are the necessary components that will help create a high performance heating system (requires yearly maintenance).
• Adequate insulation on piping and components,
• Thermostatic Control Valve (TCV), and
• Thermostatic Control (TC) on hot water tank.
Thermostatic Control Valves (TCV) on Radiator
The TCV sits next to the radiator's inlet, and it serves to automatically regulate hot water flow according to the preset temperature of the room and / or household. Within the TCV, there is a little rod that connects the setting mechanism to the radiator's inlet valve. With the changing temperatures inside the room, the rod would either expand or contract (correspondingly open or close the TCV's hot water inlet valve), thus directly control the flow of hot water into the radiator.
Typically, these TCVs come with five controls, and they are easy to operate. As a rule of thumb, set the reading between two and four during winter, depending on the room (s) which requires heating. A practical frost setting is also available in case of heavy frost while you are away on a winter break. The boiler or the central heating should never be switched off.
Piping and Insulation
A great insulator is the new micro-bore copper piping, and some are even sold pre-insulated, this makes for easy installation as well as long-lasting effect while doing away with joints (caution: There have been mixed reviews on the smaller 10mm copper pipe, so take your time to decide).
Do take note that micro-bore piping alone does not make an energy efficient system, but they simplify installation and save you money. At the same time, these can be effective in minimizing leaks. However, a common observation is that these small pipes are good breeding grounds for lime scale. Invariably, plumbers suggest 22mm copper from boiler to rooms, and continue with 15mm pipe to the radiators. The type of insulation used on both supply and return lines, alongside the piping area could influence how energy efficient your heating system is.
Insulation for Hot Water Tank and Thermostat
In the strictest sense, the tank is merely an extension of your central heating. However this is where hot water from the boiler is stored. Recently made tanks are designed with adequate insulation in mind, but if you are stuck with tanks that are being wrapped around by an insulating blanket, then yours in most likely fairly old. These blankets tend to slip down and expose the water tanks, thus causing heat loss to the surrounding (inside basement or closet, depending on where you installed the heating system). A thermostat is necessary for the system to either bypass the water tank when the water is sufficiently hot, or refill the tank when the temperature drops. Most households set the temperatures in the range of 56 to 60 ° C. You might want to consider set the thermostat lower if you have kids running around, in order to prevent accidental scalding.
Types of Radiators
The older radiators were made of cast-iron with large bores (great for defrosting the milk during winter – those innocent days!). The bulky design and the material choice meant that such radiators demanded a great volume of water and easily got corroded inside. Some households still use these types of radiators but be aware that it can get really costly for proper running and maintenance.
Modern-days radiators are not as imposing in size and have cores inside with heat conducting fins and distribution louvers at the top, circulating the water. The louvers are designed to eliminate or reduce the accumulation of dust on the convection fins. All these, coupled with smaller water capacity, make the new heating systems more energy efficient
A condensing boiler is still essential to high energy efficiency home heating system. However, other factors are able to contribute in parts to boost the overall energy efficiency of the heating system. For best effect or efficiency, thermostatic control valves should be installed on the modern panel or compact radiators. With lower water capacity and equipped with internal matrix cores, systems can complement higher energy efficient heating. Similarly, appropriately set thermostat on a hot water tank with proper insulation, alongside insulated piping will complement your energy efficient home heating system.