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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

Lowest Cost for Traditional / Regular / Heat only boilers:
  • Worcester Greenstar Regular Ri
  • Ri 15 £1,286
  • Ri 18 £1,299

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.

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

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?

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:

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.