FACTORING CONTROL INTO THE EQUATION
By Jonathan Kidner, Product Engineer at Alpha Heating Innovation
When installing a boiler or heating system for a customer, at what point do thoughts turn to heating controls (if at all), and what influences your recommendation? There are some factors to consider for making your (and our customer’s) life easier…
Installing a domestic heating system goes beyond simply fitting a boiler. Of course, the boiler is important – vital in fact - but it is useless to the customer without the means to not only control its operation, but also ensure optimised productivity and energy efficiency (leading to the universally welcomed reduction in energy bills).
To provide some context to the significance of a well thought out heating system, I refer to a study carried out by the Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) between 2010 and 2015. It was discovered that domestic buildings account for about 30% of final UK energy consumption; of this, heating indoor spaces is responsible for about 60%.
Out of the homes included in the study that had boilers, 800,000 were absent of controls. It has since been estimated that upgrading all homes so they have the three basic heating control elements – a timer, a room thermostat and thermostatic radiator valves - could save 30% of the energy used for heating and hot water. Therefore, guiding people on how they heat their homes could play a vital part in the UK’s commitment to reducing CO2 emissions by 80%, by 2050.
The controls that make up Alpha’s range have been introduced to meet different heating requirements. The climatic controller is probably the most popular choice for customers due to its simplicity, versatility and the promise of financial savings over time (up to £50 per year); add to that the newly available wireless version for all-round convenience.
But there are plenty more to choose from too, such as the Easy-stat permitting maximum or minimum temperature control for home occupants or the weather compensation controller for a consistently comfortable indoor temperature. The latter also has energy efficiency credentials allowing an average of 10% savings on gas.
There are further aspects to consider. All Alpha boilers are compatible with all Alpha controls; therefore, to optimise efficient operation and ensure seamless warranty cover it is advisable to recommend Alpha boilers are paired with Alpha controls. This offers ultimate peace of mind to your customers, helping to avoid upheaval and unnecessary expense down the line.
Finally, the fitting of the controller itself may feel like a time consuming operation, but the process is really very simple. We’ve put together a straightforward yet comprehensive ‘how-to’ guide to installing an Alpha climatic controller (including the wiring element) - you can view it here.