Call Tara Heating Ramsgate 01843 607192 Or Read More About Gas Heating, Boilers and Radiators here:

Monday, 28 November 2011

Who To Call For Boiler Breakdown?

When the weather turns much colder, as it just has, we always get loads of calls for boiler breakdowns.

  This is what we recommend.
  • First call the person who installed it or last serviced it.
  • Second look at the website of your boiler manufacturer - they may have good tips.
  • Third call the boiler manufacturer.
The main manufacturers such as Worcester-Bosch, Vaillant and Baxi all employ their own engineers with fully stocked van nationwide.  They will oftten be the fastest and cheapest way to get your boiler up and running again - if it is fixable.
For example Worcester Bosch ( tel: 0844 892 3000 or email via their website) currently charge a flat rate of £230 for a call out which includes ALL parts & labour.  The others do something similar and this is a good deal.

BUT

There comes a point when it is better to save the money and get it replaced.  A boiler should usually last more than 10-12- may be 14 years.

They can be replaced with a budget model in a typical small family home for little over £1,000 or the replacement cost could easily be over £2,000.  There are so many factors to consider, not least what type of boiler and temperature controls.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Safety Concerns for Gas Boilers, Fires, Heaters and in Kitchens

Where gas (propane, natural gas or, indeed, oil) are used in our homes there are risks involved.  A new ebook is available which explains the dangers of gas leaks, explosions, and carbon monoxide poisoning.
The book, Gas Safety in the Home - A Guide to Carbon Monoxide and Gas Leaks for Students, Tenants, and Home Owners, recommends safety devices and explains how they work.
It also advices on how to choose a good carbon monoxide alarm.  The ebook is FREE to down load to just about any ereader or your computer.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

How Big Should The Radiators Be?

Radiator sizing is complicated. You have to take into account
  • the size of the room,
  • ceiling height,
  • heat loss through walls, floor, ceiling, doors and windows.

To do this calculation you need to know the "U values" of the various construction materials.
There are online calculaters which will give a rough guide to rad sizes but to be sure it is best to use professional tools. You can do the heat loss calculations room by room yourself manually or down load the free Stelrad Stars programme which is used by professionals.

Want to know more? I found this video on youtube but let me warm you it is a bit long - takes 7 minutes to deliver 3 minutes of info:

Saturday, 6 August 2011

What Size Boiler do I Need?

Your heating engineer will work out the best size of boiler for your house by taking account of:
  • the size of your house and number of radiators
  • the construction of your house - such as insullation
  • the location of your house (how cold does it usually get in winter)
  • what are the demands for hot water
If you are replacing an old boiler the new one may be a different size because of changes in your home and changes in boiler technology.  A bigger boiler is not better, getting the right size is important for the heating system to work well and efficiently.  

You can calculate the size of your boiler using the tool on the Institute of Domestic Heating & Environmental Engineers website here.
Or you can try the Whole House Boiler Sizing Tool at the Energy Saving trust website

Thursday, 26 May 2011

What is the lowest possible cost for a new boiler installation?

In these highly competitive times people want to know they are getting the best price as well as quality workmanship and expertise. So Tara are currently offering to match the lowest bona fide written quotation for a new boiler. Theere are terms & conditions to this offer, of course.

Each boiler installation is individually assessed and priced. Differences in installations will result in different prices for us to fit the same boiler in various homes so the prices listed at the bottom of this page are for guidance purposes only.And we do fit a wider range of boilers than those listed here.
In addition, when we fit your boiler:
  • we will fit a Magnaclean Professional for an additional £95, this is cost price.
  • we can supply a Corgi recommended Honeywell Carbon Monoxide Detector/Alarm at cost price (approx £24).
The prices are our lowest possible new boiler installation prices correct as of todays date. This is an estimate of what you will pay fully inclusive of VAT, includes chemical inhibitor, the boiler, flue and controls. Does not include Magnaclean.

Lowest Cost for new Combi boiler Fitted:
  • Worcester Greenstar Junior i Combi
  • 24 Ji £1,485
  • 28 Ji £1,554
  • POTTERTON HEATMAX COMBI BOILER 24HE £1,299

Lowest Cost for Traditional / Regular / Heat only boilers:
  • Worcester Greenstar Regular Ri
  • Ri 15 £1,286
  • Ri 18 £1,299
  • BAXI SOLO 15HE (HEAT ONLY) BOILER £1,359

Lowest Cost for System Boilers:

  • Worcester Greenstar 18i System boiler fitted £1,500

Air to Air Heat Pumps for Air Conditioning & Heating

If I was starting from scratch I would seriously consider ONLY installing electric powered heating in my home nowadays.  Even though gas central heating was the ultimate in luxury, convenience and low cost only 10 or 20 years ago.

It may seem strange for someone with a vested interested in promoting GAS heating, as we are Gas Safe Registered installers.  We do install electric heating systems too and if you are not connected to mains gas or building a new house two things worth considering are electric underfloor heating which is cheaper to install, maintenance free and not as expensive to run as you might think UNDER the right conditions.

Then there are HEAT PUMPS.  People most often think of ground source heat pumps which require digging up a large garden or a very deep bore hole.  Air to air and air to water heat pumps are worth investigating.

Air to air heat pump is what we are talking about when we refer to modern installed split air conditioning.  When it is cold the cycle is reversed and the same appliance will warm you room.  In this video customers talk about their experience of the Worcester Bosch heat pump:

Why Can’t I Have the Cheapest Worcester-Bosch Boiler in My Home?

Two reasons why a certain boiler might not be right for your home:
  • It is the wrong size
  • It is the wrong type, perhaps it is heat only but your systems is set up for a Combi.
Some rogue traders might be happy to fit a small or unsuitable boiler onto your old heating system but you might as well burn the cash! We will not do that.

You can read more about Worcester-Bosch current range of high efficiency Greenstar boilers on their website but for those who want a quick over view here is a simplified guide.

Combination boilers are the most common new boilers fitted today so we willl start with those, then the traditional boilers for a conventional system. Finally system boilers have been installed for about 3 decades and are ideal for larger homes with 2 or more bathrooms.

The smallest (and cheapest) Worcester combi’s:

Greenstar i Juniors and Greenstar Si are suitable for smaller homes and flats with one bathroom. They are have maximum heating output of 24kw.
The main difference you will find between the models are a small difference in hot water flow rates.
The Si series are compatible with more fancy heating controls: the DT10RF optimizer.
Greenstar CDi are the top of the range combi boilers. They offer more features and can be suitable for large homes with more than one bathroom.
Models in the CDi range have heating outputs of 26kw to 30kw and up to 17.2 lpm hot water.
They condense in hot water as well as heating mode and have modulating pumps, features which reduce running costs.
Greenstar Highflow are big floor standing Combi boilers
You can connect a bigger range of intelligent controls to the Cdi and Highflow range.


The smallest (and Cheapest) Worcester boilers:

Greenstar Ri regular boilers are the smallest of our condensing boilers, with heat output from 12 to 24kw.
Regular Cdi boilers are for larger homes, with heat output of 30kw+.


Worcester-Bosch System Boilers

Greenstar i System boilers are a good option for small to medium sized properties with heat outputs from 12 to 24kw.



Notes:
The heating output you need is based on the size of your home.
Hot water is measured based on a 35 degree temperature rise.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Filter to Protect the Boiler from Sludge & Remove Harmful Magnetic Iron Particles

We would usually fit a Magnaclean on every new gas central heating system and with every new boiler installation.  Is Magnaclean the Best Way To Protect a New Boiler?  Like many heating installers we are convinced that it is the best product of its type on the market.



It removes damaging particles from the system and it surprising how quickly these can build up.  Research has shown that the build up will reduce boiler efficiency so the installation of Magnaclean Professional can save up to 6% a year  on the heating costs of a standard 3 bed house.



For more information see the manufacturer's website

http://www.adeysolutions.co.uk/

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

What is the Difference Between a Plumber and a Heating Engineer?

Sorry, I've no great funny answer but please leave a comment if you have a good plumber or heating engineer joke!

From friends in the US I hear that the two trades are not related there but here in the UK they are very closely related. The most important part of the answer is:
  • Anyone can call themselves a plumber without any training or formal qualification.
  • A heating engineer who works with gas, LPG or oil must be trained, qualified and registered with the approprate body. it is a highly regulated industry.
Gas central heating is the most common form of heating in the UK and any engineer who works on natural gas and/or your gas boiler must be on the Gas Safe Register.

So why do we talk about calling the plumber to fix our boiler? It is a slip of the tongue and a bit inaccuarte but it is because most heating engineers are also trained plumbers. That is MOST but not all.

Similarly many plumbers are highly trained and qualified as plumbers and are also registered gas engineers. Note: that is many but not most plumbers.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Can a Baxi Gas Central Heating Boiler Produce Electricity?

Yes.
At the time of writing the Baxi Ecogan can produce up to 1KW per hour. There is a Baxi video explaining exactly how this works which is at the bottomof this blog, for those who like looking into those sort of things. This first video is also by Baxi and explains the idea in lay-person's language.


Installers and tecnical minded may want to watch the following clip and here is some vital info on the Baxi Ecogen:
Technical data for micro-CHP
•Electricity output 1.1kW
•Thermal output 24kW
•Overal unit efficiency 92%
•Inlet supply pressure 20mbar
•Elecricity supply 230V / 50Hz
Here is a very different Baxi film:

Who Installs Vaillant Inverter Air Conditioning Units?

Answer? Tara Do in Kent, especially in conservatories. We work with a qualified refridgeration engineer to make sure we comply with the law.

Installed air conditioning units have many benefits but as they are not common in British houses it can see very confusing, simpler to buy one of those mobile air con units. But Mobile units are big, heavy and cost upwards from £350. They appear in the shops every Easter and are usually sold out be July if it is hot enough! For most of the year you will be looking for somewhere to store it.

I think the ideal is a permenant unit which is either high wall mounted or ceiling mounted so it is not taking up valuable floor space and so you do not need to plan furniture around it.

To build air con it just one room is simple and we might fit something like the wall mounted ClimaVAIR from Vaillant.

These units are very competitively priced but we can all be reassured that they are coming from one of the biggest European companies in the world of heating, with a 10+ years history and 10 years experience in Air Conditioning. you can click on the link to the Vaillant brochure to read more but some of the best features are:
* Heating as well as cooling;
* Inverter technology means it modulates, being more efficient than just on/off;
* Highly efficient A rated;
* Quiet;
* Programmable;
* ionizer;
* anti-germ & dust filter.

Of course, we fit other makes too.
The short film below introduces the full range of Vaillant products in the UK and you can see the split system air conditioning unit at about 2.30.

Friday, 20 May 2011

Looking After a Stainless Steel Kitchen Sink!

Stainless steel looks good when it is new and unused but how do you keep it looking clean and shiny?
It can't be that difficult because stainless steel countertops and kitchen sinks are standard in commercial kitchens.

Who better to ask for advice than the manufacturer? We have fitted plenty of Franke products in mid-range to luxury kitchens and you can read what they have to say about caring for your Franke Stainless Steel sink here.

In summary they say:
Stainless steel always scratches.
A proprietary cleaner such as Shiny Sinks is recommended.
Over time scratches will be less evident after contued care with Shiny Sinks.
Rust should be treated with repeated use of Bar Keepers Friend and Shiny Sinks.
Regular cleaning with Shiny Sinks or similar will prevent discolouration and water marks.

They say shiny sinks is widely available in Supermarkets and Hardware stores and here: http://www.homecaretechnology.co.uk/

There are comprehensive Q&A about stainless steel in the kitchen at the Cavendish Equipment website. They suggest Cif for cleaning.
They also point out what to avoid, which includes bleach and main other household cleaning products.

Monday, 16 May 2011

Heating & Air Conditioning in Conservatories

A conservatory is an additional space which is separate to the main house. As such the central heating within the house should not simply be extended with a little extra pipe work and a radiator. The heating system in the conservatory should be completely separate.

A modern air conditioning unit could provide a perfect heating and cooling solution for the conservatory. Wall hung units which are fully installed are also known as Air Source Heat Pumps. They work like a fridge and the cycle can be reversed so that the same unit can provide heating or cooling as required.

Tara Heating can install Air Conditioning / Air Source Heat Pumps in Kent Conservatories from as little as £999.

You will probably want Air Con with inverter technology which reduces the running costs and means the machine modulates as distinct from being either on at full power or off.  You can read more about the Vaillant air conditioning units here.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Choice between a Baxi, Potterton or Wocester Bosch Boiler

We fit a lot of Worcester-Bosch boilers I believe I read somewhere that they dominate the market for new Combi boilers in Britain and it is well known that the majority of new boilers installed each year in this country are Combination boilers.

So Worcester play a big part in the new boiler market and, of course, Bosch white good are associated with efficiency and affordable good quality.

Think outside of our nation and, infact, Baxi and Potterton are two brands which are part of a much bigger company, a name you will not be familiar with: BDR Thermea. This merger took place in 2009, so the Wikipedia entry for the Baxi Group is very out of date.

In fact, in Europe and the world this group is massive, the market leader. The group includes some other big brands such as Remeha which is another boiler company. We have a Remeha in our house and are very happy with it.

Another part of the group are Heateam, the service part of the group. These are the engineers who come out to fix Baxi boilers when they go wrong, they repair Remeha and Potterton boilers too.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

The New Touch Screen Thermostat for Floor Heating from Warmup

We fit Warmup electric under floor heating in many, if not most, bathroom renovations but if I am perfectly honest I have never been happy with their thermostats.  They are too complicated, they are not intuitive and even after following the instruction booklet I have still found the set-up is all wrong.

They say a bad workman blames his tools, so I am quite happy to admit it is quite possibly nothing wrong with the thermostat and everything wrong with me.  I am a busy person in my 40's with too many other things going on to give my full attention to setting the programme for my underfloor heating.  Yes we have it in our house.  And we had it in our previous home. And perhaps i do need new glasses, it is not just that the screen is too small.

On the other hand lets suppose the fault is with the design.  For me the problem is not just the Warmup thermostats but most modern technology.  It does too many things, there are too many permutations for us to thing through.  At the same time the product has to look sleek and streamlined, which is another way of saying having very few buttons with no labels. 

A teenager may well have no problem working through an on screen menu to programme the heating to go on and off at different times every day of the week but I find I just dom't know which buttons to press.

The New 3iE Thermostat from Warmup

The new thermostat must be for gadget guys who already have iPads, iPhones and Blueberrys.  It has a 6cm colour screen with touch technology.  If my reading of the brochure is correct I can set up 10 different times for it to click on and off with different temperatures from a range of 0 to 50. 

I'm really not sure why anyone would need to programme so much variety into their underfloor heating.  Nevertheless, a big full colour display might be easier for me to see before my next set of new glasses.  All I want to know now is whether I can sync it with my online calendar and my iP... no only joking.

My husband loves these flash gadgets and is excited about upgrading to this thermostat so i will let you know how I get on.

Finally, because I do study the manuals i can answer one commonly asked question about floor thermostats.

Does the Underfloor Heating Thermostat measure the Temperature of the Room or the Floor?

If you have installed it yourself you will know that temperature probe is buried in the floor.  it is the floor temperature which is being recorded and reported.

To find out a little more about Under Floor Heating see the links on this page.

Monday, 21 March 2011

Which is better? Underfloor Heating or Gas Central Heating Installation?

A simple question is often far from simple! So, when you say are radiators or underfloor heating better do you mean:
easier to install?
cheaper to buy or run day to day?
or what will give the most comfortable room temperature and be easy to control?

My article, Underfloor Heating, Is It Worth It, is an introduction to the subject with a video clip of an independent expert who definitely votes for UFH.

As you may guess, the answer also is not simple.
Both systems are very easy to install in a new emply house.  They can be easy to retro-fit but it depends on how much of the house can be disturbed and house much must be preserved.  These are big messy jobs ideally done before you redecorate.

Contrary to common myth underfloor heating can be put in to existing homes, throughout, just on one floor or in selected rooms is more common.  The UFH can be electric or hot water pipes plumbed in working with your radiators and boiler.

An alternative form of radiant heating worth considering in existing homes with less distruption than UFH is skirting board heating.  It is hidden and can be electric or part of the gas central heating.

If you want a quote for skirt heating, underfloor heating (including electric), or a complicated gas central heating installation in Kent give us a call on 01843 607192, or read more on our webste: http://www.taraheating.co.uk/

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Big storage combi boilers for bigger homes

Only hours after posting my blog about boilers for bigger homes in which I listed a few of the combi's which are available for homes with higher water demand, someone handed me a brochure with a boiler that I should have put in the list.

The Viessmann Vitodens 222-F combi is a storage appliance which delivers 20 litre of hot water per minute, pretty impressive for a combi.  These boilers are just a little more expensive than a Worcester Bosch Greenstar Highflow. 

It is also just a little too late at night for me to make any further comment about why you might choose one instead of another.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Looking for Combi for Large House with Two Bathrooms?

We can certainly fit combi boilers which are designed for larger houses with greater water demand. The boilers to choose from are:
  • Worcester-Bosch Greenstar combi CDi wall mounted with 30 kw heat output and delivers 15.2 lpm or 17.2 lpm of hot water depending on model.
  • For greater hot water flow rates you need the floor standing Greenstar Highflow heat output of 29 or 30 kw and 20 or 25 lpm.
 There are three alternatives to the Worcester range they are:
  • Vaillant EcoTEC Plus, heat output 28 kw, 20 lpm.
  • Alpha CD50 Storage Combi holds 52 litres of stored hot water and delivers 18 lmp. Alpha boilers come with a five year manufacturers' warranty.
  • The Viessmann Vitodens 222-F combi is a storage appliance which delivers 20 litre of hot water per minute.

 If you are hoping for a combi in your very big house with lots of ensuites, do not be disappointed if we recommend against it. Combi’s are not always suitable and they do come with some disadvantages and at the very least you must have good mains water pressure. 

A pressurised system boiler and cylinder is more often the best choice for busy family homes with multiple bathrooms.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

How Much is the Cost of the Most Expensive Boiler Repair?

The most excpensive bill we have ever given a customer was over £900! This was to replace a fan and a Printed Circuit Board (PCB). 
If we were to do this on a typical Baxi I expect the cost may be around £600 or £700 (I'd have to check on the latest prices of parts) but on the boiler which we were attending to the parts alone came to over £700 inc VAT.
I don't know if anyone has paid over £1,000 for repairs on one boiler?

I don't want to mention the brand of boiler, it isn't one of the cheapest, but I will say that it would have cost about £2,500 for us to supply and fit a replacement identical boiler.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

A New Website for to Find a Heating Engineer in Thanet or Kent

We are really pleased with our new website for Tara Heating: http://www.taraheating.co.uk/
There is just one small point to change on it... might have that done by the time you click on the link, here!
The website has lots of useful information to help the public, customers and clients with some of their FAQ about gas central heating, underfloor heating, new boilers, skirting board heating and so on.... and most importantly help them find a heating engineer in Thanet, Whitstable or Sittingbourne...

Obviously Tara Heating work across Kent, A2, M2 area and into London but other might find some useful information or helpful links in this website, I hope.
And if you are seeking quotes from at least 3 heating engineers in the southeast you might also want to take a look at the list of installers on this blog: http://mrstaraplumbing.wordpress.com/find-a-local-plumber-or-heating-installer/