Today we are in Norwood, London UK, and our customer has a lovely house, a Victorian Tardis-like property which is simply enormous when you step through the threshold.
Unfortunately it had a horrid unreliable Ideal Response 120 combi boiler in the kitchen. The previous owner unwisely sited it at a peculiar height in the corner of the kitchen, and then made maintenance difficult by building wall units in front of it. Which made the three heat exchangers the boiler needed in the last ten years rather awkward to fit.
We looked at moving the new boiler to one side, and altering the height, but at the end of the day it would significantly restrict their choice of replacement kitchen units, which was planned in the next 12 months. The Worcester CDi combi units are quite large, and need permanent ventilation if surrounded by a wall unit (due to their aluminium heat exchanger, which retains heat).
So we suggested relocating the new boiler to the utility room, which is a predominantly glass structure at the rear of the house. As there was no suitable external wall for the flue system, we routed this back into the kitchen at high level (where it would be hidden above new wall units) and then outside.
The Worcester 34CDi Classic is a new August 2012> version of their CDi boiler, it has a few upgrades to keep it ahead of the pack, including a new low energy circulation pump, and electronics which use much less energy when in standby mode. Externally it features a new magnetic door, and a slightly revised digital display.
Oh yes, and it has a 34Kw output to hot water instead of the 30kW previously! And best of all, a 7yr parts and labour warranty when fitted by us.
We had to run a new gas supply pipe from the meter, as the existing one was undersized for the Ideal boiler, and our new one would be another 5 metres away.
Finally, we fitted the new Worcester Bosch boiler with their FW100 Weather Compensation controller. This is a clever box, which is similar to the Vaillant VRC470, but, in our opinion, much easier to use. It senses the external weather temperature via an external transducer, and regulates the water temperature through the radiators in response. Our customers, who are both theatre professionals, wanted something that would creatively save gas without affecting their comfort, and the FW100 fits the bill.
When used as a room thermostat, FW100 has three settings, Eco, SetBack, and Comfort. You first select an actual temperature for each of these settings, for instance ECO might be 6°C, SetBack might be 12°C and Comfort would be 20°C. Once you’ve set these three levels, they can be applied at various times throughout the 24hr day. Each day of the week can use different timings for these three settings, easy!
Once this is set up, the radiators tend to stay on for longer periods, but at a lower, more even heat. It makes the house heating more subtle, more background, but just as effective as before whilst keeping the boiler condensing whenever feasible – and this saves gas consumption.
A further advantage is that the FW100 can time when the boiler keeps a supply of Hot Water ready for use. Most combination boilers keep some water hot 24hrs a day so that when you run a hot tap, hot water is delivered quickly. FW100 allows this function to be turned off when you are not in, or asleep. It’s a bit like Stop/Start on a modern car engine, it all helps to save energy from being used when not needed.
For security reasons we must withold the exact location and the names of our customers, like many of our installations, this one came by recommendation. I’d like to thank Rob & Mary for looking after us, and for some of the ‘after’ photos, which are noticeably better quality than mine.