This case study begins in a terraced house in Tunbridge Wells, Kent.

Our work site this week

A kitchen renewal has a short while ago necessitated the warm air heater being relocated into the garage. Our customer had some concerns over the way this part of the work had been carried out, and it turned out they were right to be worried.

Generally speaking, moving a warm air unit is not easy… there’s ductwork deep under the floors, which are usually concrete, and most older warm air units have a vertical ‘open’ flue, akin to a fireplace. So moving the box itself isn’t difficult, it is relocating all the ducts and flue it used to be connected to.

The kitchen installers got a Gas Safe registered person to move it, but they either didn’t understand the principles, or thought they’d have a go at poisioning the occupants.

Doesn’t look good at this stage, gas installers will be horrified at the bare Copex flue behind the supply air… but the best is yet to come.

We found the heater in the garage with some rather odd hoses coming out of the top, with the ‘supply’ (output) air.

The return air supply was the dangerous bit; the heater had been simply sat on a few bricks and sucked the air out of the garage, and potentially also the chimney.

This is the ‘return air’ duct. Or someone’s idea of one. It’s in the same area as the chimney so can draw in products of combustion for onward distribution around the house

We did look at replacing the warm air unit, but the ductwork had been mutilated and covered up, so instead the customer decided to go for a combination boiler and some radiators.

Like many 1960/70s houses, the architect had designed a bin store adjacent to the front door, that was around 1150mm tall. Unbeknown to the architect, someone would later design a wheely bin, and this would be too tall to fit into any standard bin sized compartments. So much for progress, so they can all live outside the front door now.

Tight squeeze

The good news is, someone designed a Worcester Bosch 29CDi so that it would just fit within this headroom, allowing for mandatory service clearances. So we fitted it inside, it was a struggle, but this way we didn’t take up space in the garage….. which is already on the small side for the bigger cars of today.

Worcester System Filter

Our customer had been quite taken with some anthracite coloured column radiators they had seen on the internet, although we advised them that they would probably be rubbish. Unfortunately, some did have to go back, or they would have done if the company wanted them, but they just replaced them and left the old ones on site. However, once we had sifted out the duffers, the end result did look rather good.

They looked really good, a nice choice of colour

We fitted the Worcester weather compensated EasyControl, that links via a local area network cable to the boiler*

*a wireless version has recently been launched too.

Bosch EasyControl internet enabled heating and hot water controller
All part of a neat job
Here’s a bigger one
The tap was there already
Boiler flue and plume management kit