Welcome to the first blog in a new series focusing on how to make condensing boilers and heating systems as efficient as possible.

These blogs are written with the heating engineer in mind, but anyone with an interest in the heating industry will hopefully find them useful.

Throughout the series we will look at a variety of subjects including, what condensing boilers are, why they are more efficient than non-condensing boilers, how to maintain boiler efficiency, design considerations, sizing pipework, radiators, pumps, cylinders, priority hot water, commissioning boilers, and open-therm controls.

But before all that:

Why does it matter, and why now?

It goes down to the simple fact that the more efficient boilers are, then the less gas they will use. This reduces fuel costs and reduces greenhouse gases.

This truth has always been of benefit to the bill payer and the environment but knowing and understanding it is becoming more and more important to the heating engineer. 

This is because our industry is changing.

In 2019 the UK government passed laws to end our contribution to global warming by 2050. 

Our greenhouse gas emissions need to be net zero within the next 3 decades!

In 2021 The Future Homes Standard was published by the Ministry of housing, Communities & Local Government which contains proposals for changes to Part L (Conservation of fuel and power) and Part F (Ventilation) of the Building Regulations.

A few points of note from the standard are that new build properties are to be zero-carbon ready by 2025, heat pumps are anticipated to become the primary form of heating in the UK, and that necessary legislation is intended to be introduced in 2024.

Following the consultation and published standard, Parts L and F of the Building Regulations were changed. 

The main impact those changes have on the heating industry is that all new and fully replaced heating systems should be designed to a maximum flow temperature of 55°C.

This is a big shift in terms of the way heating systems need to be installed…… but there’s a problem. 

A lot of installers out there do not have the knowledge needed to design heating systems to 55°C or lower.

Fortunately, there are some in the heating industry trying to address the problem, and various training courses are out there dealing with hydronic heating system design, and how to keep a condensing boiler condensing

In 2022 a low temperature heating qualification (developed by CIPHE) became available for those in the heating industry to learn how to design low temperature heating systems.

This course is certainly not just for heat pump installers as it goes into how to design and install the system, not the heat source.

It has become essential for heating engineers to know about system design and how to install low temperature heating, and with multiple avenues available there is no need to be in the dark anymore.

Hopefully the benefits are obvious. 

If we can install low temperature heating for boilers then we have the skill set to install low temperature heating for heat pumps, hydrogen boilers and other future renewable heat sources.

So, the heating industry is changing, we need to change with it.

Next blog…… what is a condensing boiler? Do you know?

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