A few months on from the announcement of Boiler Plus, and whilst the industry adjusts to the new standards, which came into effect in April 2018, the Heating and Hotwater Industry Council (HHIC) is continuing its work towards cleaner and smarter home heating with one of the focuses being on system balancing.
This was actually indicated in the Boiler Plus policy document. In fact there was a whole section on ‘Hydraulic balancing’. In addition, the Boiler Plus consultation revealed that ‘most installers do not have a common understanding of hydraulic balancing, with only 18% claiming to undertake it as a standard practice.
Stewart Clements, Director of HHIC, said: “Whilst the practice of bleeding radiators is relatively well known, many consumers are unaware of the merits of balancing heating systems. In fact, some consumers unintentionally unbalance their heating systems.
“As manufacturers continue to pursue their goal of making heating systems more efficient, in order to achieve optimum consumer comfort, we must remember that the heating system itself has to be installed and commissioned correctly to ensure that it works as per the design specification.
“Today, condensing boilers, boiler modulation, pump modulation, intelligent energy saving controls and passive flue heat recovery all enable us to achieve these goals relating to comfort and energy efficiency. Irrespective of these technologies, installation of the heating system is still a key part of the process.
“Balancing systems allows the radiators to heat up at an even rate and, in most cases; the boiler can run at a lower temperature, increasing efficiency – with this comes cost savings and emission reductions.”
Hydraulic balancing is an expected practice. Consumers should expect their installer to undertake this. However, this practice is not currently enforced.
It’s time now to consider the development of a plan to encourage hydraulic balancing with new boiler installations as expected boiler installation practice, says HHIC. This isn’t about adding burden but about raising standards and delivering cleaner, smarter home heating.
This guide not only outlines the importance of balanced heating systems to consumers, but also provides installers with a resource to distribute. There is a section at the end of the leaflet where installers can provide their contact details – we encourage them to use this with any other promotional materials they may have.
You can find a copy of the HHIC’s system balancing guide here.