CLPM provide heating system replacement advice for homeowners, property developers, small businesses, charities and community groups.
Our heating system expert, Rob Bohm, has over 25 years’ experience in the heating and plumbing industry, and can help resolve all of your heating and hot water issues, however complicated. We pride ourselves on our expertise and independence. We don’t sell heating systems, and we don’t install them either (although we often help oversee the works), meaning that the advice we give you will always be impartial and in your best interests.
We have recently been asked to provide heating system replacement advice for a couple in Golders Green, North West London. They were looking for heating system replacement advice to resolve a number of difficulties they were having with their home’s central heating system.
Our clients had carried out a refurbishment of their large family home a few years ago. This major building project had included installing a new heating system. Unfortunately, as is often the case, the couple had delegated the specification and installation of the new boiler and heating system to their builder. This had not been done properly, and as a result the bills were high, the house was cold and they often struggled to get enough hot water when they needed it.
After talking to our clients over the phone to establish the situation, our heating expert Rob visited the house to look at and assess the plumbing and heating arrangements. He found that there were 2 major problems – the choice of boiler configuration and the installation of the underfloor heating.
The boiler was installed in such a way to make it unsuitable for the property. While combi boilers are a good choice for small households, they can be a problem for homes with larger families. In this case there was no hot water storage linked to the combi boiler which meant that when more than one person was showering there was no water left to allow another person to use the shower at the same time. This water storage issue could be resolved by connecting the boiler to a new mains-fed hot water tank, which would enable them to store enough hot water for their needs at peak times.
Rob then measured the static pressure of the mains water. It was more than adequate for their needs, however he found that the flow was a little low. This can often be resolved by upgrading by replacing the old pipework with a more modern version. Alternatively, we have previously used a pressurised accumulator store which is another solution to improve this situation.
We then inspected the ground floor underfloor heating and found to be very poorly fitted. The pipes had been installed in a patchy way. This meant that the temperature of the ground floor area was uneven with warm and cold spots throughout. As a result, our clients had increased the temperature of the water running through the pipes to try and compensate for this and had unwittingly heat-damaged the flooring. They had also experienced very high energy bills.
Unfortunately, the only way to resolve this problem was to replace it with a completely new, properly fitted underfloor heating system. This meant that all the damaged flooring on the ground floor would need to be taken up and replaced. In addition, it also meant that the entire kitchen would need to be removed, and then refitted again once the new heating system and flooring had been laid again.
Fortunately, the existing radiators on the first and second floor were in a good condition and could be re-used. However we did suggest that the radiators could be re-plumbed to a manifold. This would give individual control via a home automation system and help improve the energy efficiency of their heating system. It should also help to lower our client’s heating bills.
Unfortunately, as you can see, heating system issues of this nature can be painful to resolve. The building works required to fix heating systems can often cost a lot of money and are often very disruptive! Our advice to clients planning a major building project is to get independent expert heating advice well before you start work onsite. Many architects and designers are not heating system experts, and so tend to leave these decisions to you. What this often means is that no-one really gives the heating and hot water systems much thought. So instead it is left to the builder or plumber to decide. They then install the cheapest system that they think will be suitable, often with no meaningful discussion with the you the homeowner!
The best way to ensure that you don’t make this costly error is to get good specialist heating system advice from a company like CLPM while you are still planning your project. We can work with you and your architect to help you decide on the best way to heat your home. We will assess the fabric of the building and calculate the heating requirements of your property in a scientific way. We have the experience, skills and scientific knowledge to do this. We will then talk with you to make sure we understand your lifestyle and the associated demands there will be on your hot water and heating systems. This professional, systematic approach will then enable us to suggest the best system to fit around your home and your family’s needs.
Are you looking for heating system replacement advice? If so then do get in touch. We’re happy to chat and can help you wherever you live across the UK.