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  1. Boiler Plus and energy efficiency.

    From the 6th April 2018 changes to part L of the Building Regulations, also called Boiler Plus, will take effect.

    This means the minimum requirements when installing a new boiler in an existing property will change.

    Key changes are:

    Space heating efficiency for gas boilers will be no less than ERP 92%

    Minimum time and temperature controls are required for all gas boilers.

    Combi boiler installs must also include one of the following:

    Weather compensation

    Load compensation

    Smart controls with automation and optimisation

    Flue gas heat recovery

    Weather compensation;
    This uses a small temperature sensor located outside. When the temperature changes outside the boiler responds and increases or decreases the radiator temperature to compensate. This has many effects including reducing the cycling of the boiler, ie. instead of the boiler keep switching on and off it turns up and down, increasing efficiency and giving a more comfortable stable room temperature. This also increases boiler life.

    Load compensation;
    This is achieved with the use of a thermostat that lowers the temperature of the water going to the radiators as the room temperature gets near to the temperature set on the thermostat. This reduces energy usage and also keeps a more stable room temperature than conventional thermostats.

    Smart controls;
    There are various smart controls available. They can be controlled remotely with a phone or tablet. To comply with  the new regulations they must include automation and optimisation.
    Automation can detect occupancy and turn the heating off or on when someone leaves or returns.
    Optimisation can calculate the time required for the heating to reach the set temperature on adjust the time it comes on so the house is warm by the required time.

    Flue Gas Heat Recovery
    Flue gas heat recovery uses heat from the waste flue gases to preheat the cold water entering the boiler, this reduces the energy needed to warm the water to the temperature required.

    These are the minimum requirements but more than one option can be used together for increased comfort and  efficiency.

    Although the 4 options above will be compulsory for combi boiler for now, some of the above can also be used with conventional and system boilers.

    I have heard that home owners can be fined  up to £5000 for knowingly not complying with the regulations.

  2. Why a gas fire is good for you!



    • Cheap to run when compared to electricity
    • Not affected by power cuts or boiler breakdowns
    • Half the CO2 emissions of an electric fire so better for the environment
    • Aesthetically pleasing


    The flame effect and authenticity provided by gas fires means they are still the number one choice for homes, despite the advances in electric fires over recent years. Combined with high heat efficiencies and low running costs, today’s gas fires offer affordable warmth, visual comfort and are a powerful weapon in the fight against fuel poverty.

    The gas-guzzling decorative gas fires from the 1980’s are now a thing of the past. Thanks to developments in technology, gas fires today are capable of delivering heat efficiencies of over 80% and heat outputs of 4.0kW. For some living rooms, this is more than enough to act as a primary source of heat.

    Many new houses are built without any thought of a fire in the living room. There is an assumption that better insulation of modern homes will eliminate the need for a fire.  So on a cold summers day to get any source of heat the central heating has to be used.  Even with having the heating in two zones, which is the practice in new homes, it still means it costs a lot more than switching a gas fire on.

    Whilst there are still 11 million homes in the UK with a chimney and a gas point, the absence of a chimney no longer restricts the installation of a gas fire. This is due to the wealth of balanced flue models now available that simply require an outside wall for installation. There are also flueless models.

    Gas is by far the cheapest fuel to run. Typically, 1kW of gas supplied by British Gas costs just 4.662p (incl VAT) compared to nearly 14.259p (incl VAT) for 1kW of electricity. Not only that, running a gas fire is actually more beneficial to the environment too, as it delivers half the CO2 emissions of an electric fire.

    There are many people in the UK trapped in fuel poverty so the low running costs provided by a gas fire is a welcome relief. They can benefit from all the warmth and comfort of a gas fire without having to worry about excessive bills.

    The elderly also benefit from the heat of a gas fire. During freezing winters, it is reassuring to know that they can rely on a gas fire. Even if their boiler breaks down they can stay safe and comfortable until everything is back up and running.

    From insets, outsets and balanced flue living flame and radiant gas fires, and from traditional to contemporary, the choice of gas fires is endless. Combined with high heat efficiencies and low running costs, today’s gas fires offer affordable warmth and visual comfort.  Every home should have one!