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PLAYING THE LONG GAME A lifetime approach to heating efficiency

Heang refurbishments can transform the comfort and energy eciency of older buildings as well as their operaonal costs. Chris Meir, Sales Director at Remeha, looks at the role of energy saving condensing boilers in heang refurbishments and why it pays to consider lifeme eciencies for maximum results.

seem a distant memory. But the freezing temperatures and subsequent strain on energy supplies inevitably threw the spotlight on energy efficiency, this time for its critical role in protecting the country’s energy security. The building services industry has long recognised the importance of energy efficiency in achieving well performing buildings – not just relating to new build development, which should be designed to use less energy, but also to the UK’s high proportion of existing building stock.


Given that 80% of a building’s lifetime costs are operational, implementing low-cost energy-saving measures that will reduce both its running costs and its carbon footprint makes economic and environmental sense.

Cost-effective plant replacement is widely considered as the low-hanging fruit of energy efficiency measures. Which is where condensing boilers come in.

Gas savings

uGas consumpon at Aberystwyth University's William Davies research centre has reduced by 46% since installing Remeha's high e ciency Gas 310/610 Eco Pro boilers,

Heating is one of the largest users of energy in a building and, as such, offers huge scope for energy efficiency improvements. The many UK non- domestic buildings that still rely on inefficient or dated commercial boiler plant for their heating are a case in point. Old non-condensing models typically waste at least 30% of the energy input, creating needlessly high heating bills – and that’s if they’re well maintained. Maintenance in itself can bring increased costs due to the higher failure rate of older equipment and the need for frequent repair. In contrast, well-installed, well- controlled condensing boilers can achieve near maximum efficiencies, using fuel effectively for lower operational costs and reduced environmental impact.

Take Ferndown First School. After Dorset County Council replaced the old non-condensing boilers with two Gas 220 Ace boilers, gas usage plummeted by 48%. Retrofitting four of

ith summer just around the corner and a mini heatwave in spring, the Beast from the East might

the same energy-efficient Remeha boiler models at Zurich Insurance Group’s Swindon offices resulted in a 40% drop in gas consumption. At Aberystwyth University’s William Davies research centre, installing Gas 310/610 Eco Pro boilers resulted in a similarly dramatic reduction in gas use – this time by 46%

Rapid financial payback

With results like these, why aren’t more organisations replacing dated boiler plant? Cost is frequently listed as one of the major deterrents. But as the above examples illustrate, boiler replacements deliver rapid payback with the prospect of lower running costs continuing into the future.

Here, though, is the caveat – no two boilers are alike in terms of quality, reliability and performance. What’s more, energy efficiency doesn’t just affect heating bills but also maintenance and replacement costs. For this reason, it pays to take a whole life costing approach to boiler selection. In other words, rather than focusing solely on the initial capital expenditure, it’s advisable to factor in the installation, maintenance and servicing costs from the outset to arrive at a more accurate assessment of the long-term savings.

Quality pays

To coin a phrase, quality will out. A well-engineered condensing boiler is

designed to meet both high heating efficiencies and ultra-low NOx criteria, making it more cost-effective and environmentally friendly to run. At the same time, high-quality models are designed to be easier to install, less likely to break down, and easier to service. Taking a lifetime approach to costing not only benefits the end-user in terms of long-term reduced operational costs, but it helps the specifier and contractor to do their job more easily. Bearing that in mind when planning boiler replacements will make everyone a winner. Optimise efficiency at every stage

Design – the more compact and lightweight the design, the easier the boiler will be to handle, saving time and labour costs at the installation stage. Large output boiler models with integral wheels will be easier to manoeuvre and position within the plantroom, helping overcome potential access restrictions. Reliability – a building without heat risks closure, so opt for boilers with a reputation for reliability. Sharing the heat load across multiple boilers will also increase reliability by providing inbuilt back up. The modular arrangement will also enable non-disruptive servicing, while the reduced wear and tear will extend the boilers’ lifecycle. And as this design improves the turndown ratio of the boilers, specifiers can match fluctuating heat demand more accurately, maximising efficiency. Boilers with compact dimensions are best suited to this configuration. Flexibility – easily-assembled cascade packages make it quicker and simpler to install wall-hung or floor-standing boilers and provide greater design flexibility in tight spaces. Some manufacturers also offer bespoke designed rig systems that can accommodate the unique requirements of the project and site including space restrictions and hydraulic separation. In addition to time and cost savings, this helps improve boiler operation and longevity. Future-proofing – consider any future changes in size or use of the building, or requirements to add low carbon equipment like Combined Heat and Power. Boilers that are expandable and adaptable will help future-proof the system, making it more cost-effective overall. Maintenance – regular maintenance and servicing is essential to maintain high boiler performance. Additional features like internal lights or the availability of spare parts kits make for faster, simpler maintenance. Advanced boilers designed to enable easy part removal and replacement will again reduce operational costs. Control - ensuring good control is vital to optimise high boiler efficiencies and keep heating bills low. Boilers supplied with in-built 0-10V and volt-free contacts can connect to any Building Management System without the need for additional parts and added expenditure. Support – manufacturer support brings immeasurable added value to a product, benefiting all the stakeholders. Informed advice at the early stages on the most appropriate solution, together with suggested schematics, hydraulic and electrical drawings, and free downloads of BIM files and 2D and 3D drawings will help achieve the best results from the boiler. Once the boilers are delivered to site, expert technical backup, including an out-of-hours technical assistance help line, will demonstrate continued commitment to quality support.


models at Zurich Insurance Group’s Swindon o ces resulted in a 40% drop in gas consumpon.

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