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A Word on Energy Efficiency

It doesn't seem too long ago that the words "Energy Efficiency" and "Green" were just buzz words we heard on the news from journalists and obscure environmental groups, factories and power stations were free to spew chemicals and toxic fumes into the atmosphere, we burned coal and wood on our fires to heat our homes and our water, if it would burn, it was thrown on the fire, I bet we all have a tinge of nostalgia when we think back to this time, the crackle of the fire and the smell of the air as we walked through a housing estate at tea time.

Then things slowly started to change and become more modern, we replaced our coal fired boilers with the convenience of gas fired boilers, no more lighting fires and cleaning out grates, no more unsightly coal bunkers and soot all over the hearth. These types of appliances gave us more control, no more getting up at the crack of dawn, to light a fire so you could do the washing or have a bath, we had timers and thermostats, we could heat the hot water without heating the whole house, in short it was a revelation to many families, and the way forward.

Unfortunately, times have changed yet again, natural gas (and LPG) is very expensive, it is imported from Norway or Russia and as such is subjected to constant price hikes as the economies of the world change, we are more aware now of the damage we have done to the earth in the last 200 years or so, we are aware of our own "carbon footprint" and many of us feel obliged to do what we can to keep our own personal "footprint" to an acceptable level.

This is where the latest generation of Band (A) energy efficient gas appliances become important.

Your old band (G) rated gas appliance could be less than 65% efficient compared to a modern appliance which could be as high as 91% !

But this percentage of gas saving is just the beginning! Lifestyles have changed also, in many homes, the wife now goes out to work, but we are still heating a cylinder of water in the morning, Just in case we need it, many people leave the hot water on for three or four hours, when in reality it should only take an hour to heat your cylinder! thats 3 hours of gas you have just wasted, then that water just sits there going cold if you don't use it.

The old band G, back and floor standing boilers have a huge cast iron heat exchanger which has to heat up before any useful heat is produced, this could be anything up to 15 mins before water begins to heat, another waste of gas.

Your average modern combi boiler will start producing heat within 10 seconds of the burner being ignited! Your average modern combi will give you around 10-14 litres of hot water per minute, more than enough for a powerful shower with no need for pumps or additional water tanks, and the best bit is you only pay for what you use, no tanks of water sitting in the attic going cold!

Modern thermostats and valves give us a great deal of control over temperature in our homes, there are devices which monitor outside temperatures and anticipate the temperature in the home is about to fall, so they can fire up your heating without you having to lift a finger, radiator valves which close when the room reaches a pre set temperature, then open again as the room cools.

When you take all this into account, replacing your old gas guzzling boiler with a more fuel efficient, enviromentaly friendly appliance, makes perfect sense.

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