LPG & Natural Gas Boilers
How it works
A gas boiler burns gas to heat the water before it is circulated through the heating system to warm up the area. It works in a very similar way to an instantaneous gas hot water unit, in the sense that it heats "on demand".
The Important Things to Look for in a Gas Boiler
Condensing - A consing boiler has smarter technology in it, that enables it to use the heat from the flue gases to assist with heating the water. In a standard boiler, the heat from flue gases is expelled out the flue, completely waster. However, in a condensing boiler, that extra heat/energy is utilised to assist with heating the water. This technology improves the efficiency of the boiler significantly. The expected efficiency of a standard boiler is approximately 83%, whereas the efficiency of a condensing boiler is approximately 98%-99% efficient. The Hicks Hydronics values are all about creating the most energy efficient heating system possible, which is why we now only install gas boilers that have the condensing technology.
Modulation Ratio - Whilst this sounds quite technical, it's a fairly simple principle. Gas boilers generally vary between a 1:3 modulation ratio rating to a 1:10 modulation ratio rating. The ratio represents the number of levels the boiler can operate at. When speaking with clients we often liken this concept to a car with gears. For example, if you're driving on the freeway (heading towards Hicks Hydronics) and your car has 4 gears, then the engine will be revving quite hard to maintain 110km/h. Alternatively, if you have a car with 6 gears, then the RPM (revs per minute) will be significantly lower. This same principle applies to the modulation ratio of a gas boiler. Whilst a ratio of 1:3 is quite acceptable, a ratio of 1:10 is outstanding. The greater the ratio, the greater the efficiency and less hard wearing on the internal infrastructure.
KW (kilawatt) Rating - This is the number that will tell you how much heat a particular boiler is capable of creating. The "heat output" of each unit is critical to ensure it is adequately sized to heat your home.
Megajoule Rating - There will be a couple of ratings that will come with each boiler. Firstly will be the maximum rating. This is telling you what the maximum amount of gas the unit is capable of using per hour. Secondly will be the nominal "turn down" rating. This is telling you the minimum amount of gas the unit will consume when operating at it's lowest level. These numbers are impacted by the "KW Rating" (how much heat the unit can put out) and also the "Modulation Ratio" (how many gears are in your car principle).
Warranty - In today's market, it's unusual to be offered a boiler that has a manufacture's warranty of less than 2 years.
Can I Install My Own Boiler?
Recently our attention was brought to a website that was selling hydronic heating equipment that claimed "if you can join a pipe then you can install your own hydronic heating system." Many industry professionals agree that this claim is unethically misleading. To legally undertake a boiler installation you must have a plumber's licence with the relevant specialised accreditations as well a disconnect/reconnect licence. There's also a great deal of experience required to understand how these systems go together to function properly and know the necessary Australian Standards and Regulations.
Boiler mAINTENANCE & rEPAIRS
Yes, breakdowns do happen from time to time. Fortunately though you can have piece of mind that we're here to help. Hicks Hydronics are the Albury/Wodonga (and surrounds) service agent for just about every boiler brand on the market. The importers have come to learn about the quality of our service, knowledge and procedures and have entrusted Hicks Hydronics with upholding their respective brands' reputations.
Same as your car, it is recommendable to have your boiler serviced once every 12 months. A service involves cleaning out various parts, testing operation, fault finding, testing Co2 emissions, testing gas pressures and also testing the infrastructure inside the house if the technician has access. A standard health check on a regular boiler generally only takes about an hour. If problems arise or faults found, this is then discussed with the home owner to seek further instruction.
If you're thinking about getting a routine service done then act during Summer, not when it's already cold. Hydronics is a very specialised field with very few technicians knowing how to properly service and fault find. Therefore you can imagine the demand on specialists over winter is significantly increased. Getting a routine service call done over summer and early Autumn (before it gets cold) is highly beneficial because you're not competing with priority breakdowns and your system is at its best in readiness for the winter ahead.
For more detailed information contact us.