From newbie to knowledgeable in one quick read
How often do you think about your gas boiler? Pretty much never? Gas boilers are so much a part of UK homes – keeping us warm and toasty when it’s cold outside – that it’s easy to take them for granted and forget just how good they now are!
How gas condensing boilers work
Gas boilers fitted in the UK since 2005 are all condensing boilers. They burn natural gas to heat water as well as recovering heat from water vapour and carbon dioxide produced by the burning. Additional heat recovery from a heat exchanger means that a good condensing boiler will be more than 90% efficient.
Types of gas boilers
There are two main types of gas boiler commonly installed today: a combi boiler and a system boiler. The combi boiler is so called because it provides hot water and is a central heating unit. They’re ideal if you have a good water pressure and don’t need to run more than one shower or bath at a time.
The other main type of gas boiler is a system boiler, which also is a central heating unit but uses a storage tank for hot water. This means you can use multiple hot taps at once without losing water pressure.
Gas boiler maintenance
Don’t skimp on your safety – make sure you get your gas boiler every year by a Gas Safe registered installer. All registered installers carry a Gas Safe ID card with a 7-digit licence number you can check at the Gas Safe Register. You can also use the Register to find an installer in your area. Annual servicing makes sure your boiler is operating safely and efficiently and keeps your warranty valid.
Gas boiler safety: a carbon monoxide alarm
You should always have a carbon monoxide alarm fitted near your gas boiler. We’ve all heard those horror stories of carbon monoxide poisoning, where people were powerless to act because this deadly gas is colourless, tasteless and odourless. It’s unlikely you could spot a leak without an alarm. Your alarm should be at least one metre away from your boiler and roughly at head height in an open area.
Watch my video about gas boilers
If you want to know any more about gas boilers, I visited Ideal Boilers in Hull to find our how they’re made and installed – grab your virtual hi-vis. jackets and hard hat and come along for the ride!