When it comes to choosing the right boiler for your home or place of business, it’s not just important to know the types of boilers that are available and the right size to pick – you also need to have a good understanding of how boilers – especially modern boilers – work. This includes learning about a boiler’s components, how boilers are installed, and so on. Here’s what you should know about modern boilers and heating systems.
A heating system’s main components
Boilers and heating systems are comprised of some key elements, namely the boiler itself, a cylinder (required for conventional and system boilers but not required for combi boilers), the expansion vessel (mostly required for pressurised and sealed systems such as system boilers and used for accommodating excess or extra water) and the boiler controls, which are used to operate the heating system.
Installation of your boiler
Installing central heating boilers is not a DIY project – it should always be done by a registered and qualified installer. Make sure the installer you choose is Gas Safe Registered (for gas) and Oftec registered (for oil). But it pays to know a bit about boiler installation as well. The first aspect you should check is whether the installer has chosen the right size for your boiler. You can get a good idea of this by using boiler size calculators, which are readily available online. The pipework for your boiler should all be insulated as well, and the heating system should be properly flushed and cleaned prior to the boiler being installed. Inhibitor chemicals should also be added by the installer afterwards.
What you should know about modern heating controls
First of all, modern heating systems have a variety of controls which allow the system to work at maximum efficiency. A new boiler (whether oil or gas) should be equipped with a full programmer, which allows water to enter at certain set periods; a room thermostat with a boiler interlock for proper temperature regulation; and a thermostat for the cylinder (for system and conventional boilers) which is attached to the cylinder so that if the top comes up to about 60oC, the heating circuit’s electrical supply is switched off.
Along with this, there should be thermostatic radiator valves or TRVs for every radiator, except in rooms which already have a thermostat. TRVs automatically close the radiator’s water supply when the room reaches the ideal temperature. An automatic bypass valve may also be required depending on the type of boiler you have, and this pump can run for several minutes once a boiler is turned off. It stops static or stagnant water from the heat exchanger from boiling because of the residual or remaining heat.