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All you need to know if you’re planning to improve your boiler and heating before the winter sets in, plus local news, winners and expert views.

TRVs, combis and ErPs trips off a heating engineer’s tongue but make little sense to most of us planning to improve our boiler and heating system before winter sets in to up efficiency and cut costs. Kent-based Swale Heating (www.swaleheating.com), one of the largest independent heating services firms in the county, has compiled this ‘jargon buster’ to help you make sense of it all.

Combi Boiler

A combination boiler with two main functions – it provides hot water by heating the water as it flows through the boiler, as well as providing the hot water needed for your home’s central heating system.

Regular Boiler

Often found in older or more traditional properties, a regular boiler heats the water for both the central heating and for the hot water cylinder. It is usually fed by a feed and expansion cistern and relies on heating controls to control the central heating performance.

System Boiler

This operates in a similar way to a regular boiler, working alongside a hot water cylinder to store hot water.

ErP

The Energy Related Products directive (known as ErP) refers to legislation that came into force in 2015 concerning the way products are labelled. It states minimum performance specifications that relate to efficiency and emissions limits for appliances.

Fully Pumped

Think of this as a gym workout for your system. If your system is currently gravity fed, conversion to ‘fully pumped’ will help the system work far more efficiently. This means your boiler will be on for a shorter period, reducing your gas consumption.

Flue

The flue is the part of the boiler which allows exhaust gases to exit the boiler. It’s usually fitted behind the boiler so that waste gases are taken straight out of your home.

Fused Spurs

Regulations require your new boiler to have an electricity supply from an electric point with its own removable fuse and an isolation switch – a fused spur. It ensures there’s no danger of electrocution when an engineer carries out boiler maintenance. This means one will have to be fitted if your existing boiler doesn’t already have a fused spur.

Gas Safe Register

The Gas Safe Register is the successor to CORGI and is a list of qualified engineers who fully comply with the latest regulations concerning gas installation and repair. It is vital you check that any heating engineer working in your home is on the register.

Programmer

Programmers allow you to stipulate when your central heating comes on. They differ from the more basic timers as they offer more timing options and can work in conjunction with a thermostat to allow you to control the operational temperature of your heating as well.

Thermostats

These allow you to set the temperature that your central heating system works to and is normally installed in one of the most frequently used rooms in a property. This allows you to make efficient use of your central heating, helping save money and improve your carbon footprint all in one go. Programmable room thermostats are the most popular as they allow you to stipulate different temperature settings for different times. In addition to digital and mechanical thermostats, there’s now a range of internet controlled thermostats which offer even more flexibility and control, including
Smart controls – Nest (3rd Generation) and Honeywell Lyric.

TRVs

Thermostatic Radiator Valves can be fitted in place of your existing radiator valves as an energy-saving product. They allow you to set individual heating levels in each of the rooms in your home they are fitted to reduce your gas bill.

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