Underfloor Heating Installation – Orpington

Another underfloor heating project is underway using Wunda Group’s Wundatherm system.

So what is Wundertherm underfloor heating and what are the benefits over a traditional in screed system?

 

Wundatherm underfloor heating is a range of over floor heating boards developed to retro fit straight over the top of an existing floor surface. This means no digging up floors to bury the pipe loops into the ground! Although this raises the floor by around 20mm this is still a great alternative if you do not want the disruption and mess of digging down.

The insulation is built into the EPS panel, cutting out all the labour involved in insulating the floor to prevent heat from disappearing into the ground instead of upwards into the room.
Wundatherm also has much quicker heat up times due to the high thermal conductivity of the 200-micron aluminium layer on top of the panel, spreading the heat out evenly and across the floor without having to soak through 50mm of screed.
And lastly, what we love about it the most, its ability to lay engineered wood straight over the top with a layer of self-levelling compound…..Why not opt for Amtico or Kardean which works well with underfloor and is thinner than engineered wood.
Click here for a short video for more info.
If you would like to talk to us about your underfloor heating requirements please get in touch with us today.
We will start by asking a few key questions to ensure UFH is the right fit for you.
Then we provide a free design and consultation service which looks at your current heating system and controls to see how we can Integrate it.

We then install and commission it until everything is working to perfection.

Combi Boiler To System Boiler – Tunbridge Wells

We recently converted a combi boiler system over to a system boiler/unvented cylinder configuration. To do this we used a Worcester Bosch Life 8000.

The reason we switch some customers from a combi to a system boiler is usually that we want to put another energy source into the cylinder. In this case we are adding solar thermal in the spring to maximise the benefits of the sun and reduce the gas consumption throughout the year for the client.

We can also achieve a higher flow rate from the hot tap through a cylinder. This is another good reason for switching from a combi boiler to an System boiler/unvented cylinder. This set-up is better suited to larger properties with multiply bathrooms.
In this case, we added a Stuart Turner Mains Booster to guarantee a good flow rate to all taps.
What makes the Worcester 8000 range the right choice for you?
✅ Reputation – This boiler replaced the Greenstar CDI which was a reliable workhorse built to last!
✅ Improved efficiency – with an ERP rating of 98.7% it certainly will save you money on gas consumption.
✅ Modern design
✅ Menu driven controls have meant the Life 8000 boilers are no longer an eyesore and can easily Integrate into a modern kitchen design.
If this is what you are looking for in your property please give us a call today and we can arrange a free home consultation 👍

How Do You Stop Solar Thermal From Overheating?

A question we get quizzed on when designing solar thermal is how do you stop the panels from overheating?

This is an interesting challenge when designing solar thermal as you cannot turn off the sun. Another challenge is hot water as it is not always needed when the sun is at its strongest.

The best example of this would be a working family where the adults are out during the day and the children are at school, more than likely the showers will be out of sync to when the sun is at its most purposeful early in the morning or the evening.

The simple answer is good design and much bigger cylinder. It would be much bigger than what you would traditionally expect for a gas or electrically fuelled system.
This is because the cylinder acts like a big hydraulic battery, stock piling radiated thermal energy generated from sunny days which you can still use more than 24 hours later.
Viessmann have recognised this dilemma and massively helped the cause with the invention of their ThermProtect system which prevents the panels from overheating.

Here’s a short Video to explain how this works.

We are looking for new customers who are interested in solar thermal and potentially reducing their carbon footprint.
If this sounds like you, please call us or send us a message through our contact page.

We are passionate about helping people switch to renewable energy sources.

Blog by Dean Dawe, Cloverleaf

Solar Thermal Installation – London Case Study

Here at Cloverleaf, we are always looking for innovative ways to sneak some form of renewable energy/solar thermal onto your property 🏡

 

On this particular property, the client was insistent on having solar thermal. This was mainly driven by the clients environmental and climate-conscious mindset. Also having two teenagers and two adults in the property equates to high hot water usage. This is perfect for solar thermal to work its magic ✨

Being a relatively small Victorian house, it did not lend itself to solar thermal immediately. After surveying in a bit more detail we discovered we could fit the Viessman tm-300 kit onto an A frame on the flat roof of the rear extension, this was only a small footprint of about 5x5m.
Generally, evacuated tubes perform better in colder and/or cloudier conditions than their flat panel counterparts. This is because of the vacuum in the glass tube. This allows tube collectors to retain a high percentage of collected heat. They work well in freezing conditions where flat panels will not work as well 🥶
After ensuring the roof structure was strong enough to handle the weight and wind lift calculations, and they also met MCS criteria, the panels were installed.  They were virtually out of sight from the back garden! So win-win.
This particular set-up is combined with a 250L twin coil slim line cylinder as space was restricted on the inside. The cylinder is backed up by a high efficiency condensing boiler. This is carefully set up to only come on when the solar has not fully heated the tank. This is usually for one hour in the morning.
This ensures the client never runs out of hot water, therefore, achieving the best of both worlds 🌡️
We got round the issue of a slightly smaller capacity cylinder than what’s ideal by increasing the max temperature of the cylinder to 85 degrees 🌡️
This is then blended back down with a mixture of cold water to 55 degrees for bathing and showering by extracting more capacity from the free hot water generated from the sun ☀️
After completing this project it occurred to me there may be lots of other potential customers living in London with similar Victorian property’s wanting a hybrid set up.

If this is YOU please do not hesitate to call us for a free consultation about how you can combine energy sources and be an eco-warrior without completely ditching your natural gas boiler.

Using the sun is a no brainer as a renewable energy source ☀️

If solar thermal is designed and installed properly it can knock up to 30% off your gas bills. While the RHI grant is still live you can also receive quarterly payments from the government for reducing your fossil fuel output 💷

Call us now or use the contact form on our website for more info:

Is an Air Source Heat Pump right for me?

The government have announced they will contribute £5000 towards switching from a gas boiler to a low carbon Air Source Heat Pump.

With the onset of natural gas prices increasing over the next few years it’s the natural step to move across to low carbon Air Source Heat Pump as soon as possible to meet our carbon emissions targets.

It will also allow people to make the switch to low carbon heating sooner without it costing substantially more than a straight boiler upgrade.

As is so often the case with government schemes the devil is in the detail and so far, we don’t have that detail.

I have put together a check list to see if your house meets the criteria of an air source heat pump. Read the below points to see if you are on the right path to getting your Air Source Heat Pump.

As a company we are fully invested in green technology, we are as ready as we can be to provide greener solutions over a standard boiler upgrade.

We are looking forward to helping you and we pride ourselves on providing the correct advice so please give us a call.

 

Air Source Heat Pump – Check List

✔️ Consider The Properties Insulation Values

If your property is not well insulated it could actually cost you more in electricity to heat your home than what it did in gas! This is particularly relevant on older properties where there is no cavity wall insulation or solid wall construction. This does not mean you cannot have a heat pump in an older house however money may have to be invested in insulation first before committing to the switch.

✔️ Aesthetics

Let’s be honest, heat pumps are not particular pretty so please consider that the heat pump will need to live outside relatively close to the property to allow free air circulation around the unit to achieve maximum efficiency.  It will not work shoving it in an alley way or tight into a corner with too many surfaces around blocking the air flow.

✔️ Orientation

Because a heat pump extracts heat from the surrounding air it is more efficient facing South, South East or South West. This does not mean it will not work facing East or West but the longer it is kept facing towards the sun the higher efficiency the heat pump can achieve which is why facing North is not recommended.  Heat pumps can achieve up to 400% efficiency when optimised which means for every 1kw of electricity used you can receive up to 4kw in useful heat efficiency in return. A gas boiler can only achieve around 95% efficiency.

✔️ Correct Design

It is absolutely imperative that your heat pump is designed correctly to meet the heat load of the property. Under sized means you will run out of hot water and probably be cold in the house as the system struggles to reach adequate flow temperate. An oversized heat pump means the unit will use an excess of electricity due to cycling on and off too regularly. Use a professional company such as ourselves to calculate the heat loading for you.

✔️ Bigger Radiators

If we are retro fitting an ASHP onto an existing heating system it is highly likely that your current radiators will be under sized. This is because an ASHP cannot reach the same flow temperatures as a conventional gas boiler. This is why ASHPs are much more suited to under floor heating where the flow temperature only needs to be around 45 degrees due to the large surface area of the floor. This will be worked out when we visit your property and work out the heat loss of each room and if the current heat emitter will heat the air space in the depths of winter.

✔️ Bigger Cylinder

A serious consideration when purchasing a heat pump is that you will need a larger space inside the property to site the cylinder and possibly a buffer vessel. You cannot connect a heat pump to an existing hot water cylinder, it will simply not work as the indirect heating coil will not be sufficient to heat the water at the lower flow temperatures. The cylinder also needs to be bigger due to the fact the heat pump will be storing hot water for you when its most efficient to do so, probably in the middle of the day when you’re at work, it also cannot react quickly to hot water being drawn off so a larger capacity cylinder is vitally Important to prevent running out of hot water.

✔️ Sign Off And Commissioning

It is crucial that the heat pump is designed and signed off by an MCS accredited installer to receive either the RHI payment from Ofgem or any sort of funding from the government for that matter.

We have our own MCS accreditation, but we also work alongside other manufactures such as Vaillant, Grant UK and Nu-Heat that are heavily involved in the design process. If they are happy with the Install this means they will honour the warranty on the appliance and provide on-going support.

✔️ Maintenance

Last but certainly not least remember to get your heat pump serviced on a regular basis. It is a complicated bit of kit and does need regular checks to ensure it’s set up correctly and there are no Issues which may affect the efficiency.

I hope this has been Informative, please contact us if you would like to ask us any advice or are Interested in switching to low carbon heating or solar thermal.

Blog by Dean Dawe, Cloverleaf

5 tips for designing Underfloor Heating

We currently have another underfloor heating project in progress in Orpington.

Looks nice and simple, doesn’t it?
Just run some loops of pipe across the floor equally spaced apart and fill with water 💧
Wrong! There’s a bit more to it than that, which is why this job has prompted me to write this post and share my 5 tips for designing underfloor heating.
All of these factors need to be taken into consideration when designing in screed UFH systems.

1) Depth of screed above the underfloor heating affects the heat transfer time through the floor, therefore using the correct depth of insulation below the pipe runs is crucial 🌡️

2) The distance between the pipe loops has a bearing on the overall heat output of the floor. Closer together means more pipe and ultimately more output. Doing a heat loss calculation of the room will determine how much heat output you need…we will do this for you 👍

3) The flow temperature running through the pipe also has a considerable effect on overall heat output. If you are planning to heat the floor with an ASHP these run more efficiently at cooler temperatures. Closer together loops will be preferable to ensure the room reaches temperature in the depths of winter 🌡️

4) Underfloor heating thermal conductivity is affected by the finished floor surface. Stone and tiled floors are favourable for UFH, they soak up the heat and stay warm for very long periods of time. Carpet is a very bad conductor of heat, wood is somewhere in the middle. My advice to customers is to work backwards from the finished floor surface and discuss whether their chosen finished floor is actually suitable rather than leaving this as an afterthought.

5) We talk to customers about how they want to control their underfloor heating and how the zones are split up. VERY IMPORTANT. We use a lot of smart systems as they can also control the radiators within the same AP. You cannot just connect your UFH into your radiator circuit as we have seen lots of builders do on many occasions.

So there we go, 5 considerations to think about 💭

If you get us into design and Install your UFH we will obviously do all this for you meaning you don’t have to worry about any of the above issues.
I hope this was helpful but please do not hesitate to call us if you need any further advice.
Blog by Dean Dawe, Cloverleaf

Mega Flow Project – Hartley

Recently we completed a Mega Flow System in Hartley.

One of our existing customers moved into a new property and came to us for advice on a new Vaillant Mega Flow system.

Due to the age and condition of the existing system, there was really no salvaging any part of it.

We agreed on moving all the components to the garage. This left behind extra storage space in the kitchen and airing cupboard where the cylinder and boiler used to be.
Due to the additional mains booster on the cold water inlet, the customer now has great flow rates.
If this is what you are looking for in your property please contact us today and we can arrange a free home consultation.

Electric Boiler Installation Dartford

Recently we have found electric boilers are becoming a more viable option to a gas boiler.

We completed an electric boiler installation in Dartford where we converted from the original gas boiler which had become unreliable and uneconomical to repair.

The customer had a flue that ran through the ceiling of the entire flat. In order to replace the boiler and the flue meant that the ceilings would need to be taken down, not to mention all the flue hatches that needed cutting back in to meet the flues in voids regulations after the ceiling was replaced!
The customer agreed that this was too much disruption and opted for an electric boiler/ unvented cylinder conversion.
The customer did not need gas elsewhere in the flat as her hob was electric. By fitting an electric boiler has left her with one bill and one standing charge.
Also switching to a green utility company gave her very good rates from a totally renewable energy source.
As you can see from the photo it’s nice and compact as well as low maintenance.
Couple this with a smart thermostat and some thermostatic radiator valves makes total sense in well-insulated properties.
For more information or a free survey please contact us via the website:

3 Steps To Reducing Your Gas Bill

Reducing your gas bill does not always have to be complicated.

Many people now have smart meters which is a great step forward to monitor, in real-time, what you are actually using in terms of energy.  This in turn helps with reducing your gas bill.

Just seeing what you are using however is not always enough to reduce your bill, you need to know where all this gas is disappearing to!

I go into people homes on a daily basis and see simple mistakes being made which add up over a course of a year. These small changes in habits can really add up to a substantial gas-saving without adversely affecting your comfort levels.

We all know that replacing the boiler for a modern condensing type is a big efficiency increase. This post is more about the cheap ways to reduce your gas bill that everyone can do themselves without our help in most cases.

Happy Saving!!

1- Reducing the flow temperature of the boiler

Sounds obvious doesn’t it but so many people I’ve met are not aware you can cool the water that runs around the radiators from the boiler thermostat. You may have to inch it back up again when the weather gets colder outside but in the Spring and Autumn months, there is usually no need to run the boiler at 70 degrees unless your radiators are sized conservatively.

The cooler you run the system the less gas you’ll use!

Please see image above.

2- Check you are not heating rooms that are either empty or not used very often

Again sounds pretty obvious but I still see people heating every single room in the house when they are only living in two or three rooms.

The less radiators you are heating the less gas you’ll use

Either turn these unnecessary radiators off or ask us to price for thermostatic radiator valves which will allow you to control the air temperature of each room independently.

3- Check you have a room thermostat and that it works

A wall-mounted room thermostat provides an electrical interlock with the boiler shutting the boiler down completely when the air temperature is reached

Also Important to see where the room thermostat is located as this can also have a big affect on your comfort levels.

If you have a wireless thermostat try moving it around to an area where you spend more time like the lounge or dining room.

I often see room thermostats in hallways turned right up because the hallway rad is undersized. All the heat goes up the stairs while the family is sitting in the lounge cooking with no control of the air temperature in the most expensive room to heat.

Measure the air temperature of the area you spend the most time in!

If your thermostat is hard wired then maybe it’s time we quoted you for a wireless smart thermostat. A wireless smart thermostat can be put anywhere and is even more efficient than a standard room thermostat.

I will do a post on smart thermostats in the near future.

I hope this was helpful but please do not hesitate to call us if you need further energy efficient advice, my team is always on hand to help.

Blog by Dean Dawe, Cloverleaf

#Cloverleaf

Solar Thermal Installation in Sittingbourne

Solar Thermal Installation in Sittingbourne

We completed a solar thermal installation at The Sittingbourne School recently following a phone call from Glen Baker Roofing.

The school were under pressure to get two flat roofs replaced before the school opened back up. Their solar thermal panels were conveniently in their way!
Cloverleaf were happy to assist as we have plenty of experience in this department.
The panels were decommissioned, safely stored and re-fitted once the roofs were completed in the nick of time.
As is so often the case with solar thermal due to being out of sight, we found them in a very sad state. After a full overhaul they were salvaged and brought back to life making a substantial 40% contribution to the schools hot water demands.
Fitting solar thermal onto A Frames is a very efficient way of capturing solar energy. This is due to not having to compromise on the direction of panel or the inclination of panel to the sun, which are both factors to consider when fitting solar panels to a pitch roof.
For more information on how you can use that big red ball of energy in the sky to heat your hot water contact us now!