While sometimes overlooked, the right boiler, connected to a well-designed, properly maintained hot water system can help prevent water wastage by ensuring quick delivery of hot water to taps and showers.
In the UK, water supplies are under increasing pressure due to the risk of droughts and more unpredictable rainfall caused by climate change. This has been compounded in certain areas of the country by the growing number of homes and a growing population. Also, with many homes on metered water, waste is having a financial impact on customers; as such, saving water has never been more important.
A common way that water is wasted in many homes is down to the time it takes for hot water to reach running taps and showers. This is of course an issue of both system and combi boilers and cannot be completely avoided. However, there are measures that can be taken to help ensure that hot water is delivered quickly and that cold water waste is kept to a minimum.
One of the simplest steps to take is to ensure hot water pipes are properly insulated to prevent heat being lost from water travelling through and being held in pipework. If this water can be kept warm, the time it takes for warm water to reach the faucet will be reduced.
Also, while it may sound obvious, careful design of the pipework can help. Minimising the distance from the boiler to the outlet means less cold water in the pipes and less time waiting for hot water. While this is not always possible on existing systems, it is something that could be considered during larger renovation projects.
In addition to this, an important factor is keeping the boiler operating at full efficiency. Older boilers, or systems that have not been maintained will be slower to reach the required temperature and therefore cause more water to be wasted. Replacing an older boiler with a new, more energy efficient version, such as the E-Tec Plus combi boiler, will not only lower energy usage but save water by boosting the performance of the hot water system.
A further option for improving the efficiency of the boiler is to install a Passive Flue Gas Heat Recovery Device (PFGHRD) such as our GasSaver unit. Installed neatly above the boiler, the compact unit extracts heat from the flue gases exiting the system and uses it to heat the cold mains water before it enters the boiler. This enables hot water to be delivered to the taps or shower quickly and efficiently and reduces the strain on the boiler. Furthermore, it can achieve an average gas saving of 35% and also save up to half a tonne of carbon emissions a year. The GasSaver unit is simple to install, operates silently and requires no maintenance or homeowner interaction.
Although the focus of water saving is often on other areas, optimising the efficiency of the boiler and hot water system can help reduce the volume of water that is wasted. It will also help save customers money though lower water and energy bills.