In April gas bills are likely to rise 50% due to the high price of gas. Most gas boilers in Strathbungo will be condensing combi boilers which should operate at 93% efficiency but almost all of them will be incorrectly installed such that they only operate at 83% efficiency. Loco Home Retrofit have published a video from their information event which explored why this is the case and how this can be fixed to gain that 10% in efficiency and hence save 15% off April’s increased bills. Watch on Vimeo or Twitter.

In summary: Condensing boilers should be installed with a flow temperature of less than 50C to the radiators so that all the steam from the boiler condenses and releases the heat into the radiator water rather than the outside air. Almost all are installed with much higher flow temperatures of up to 70℃ as that is what the previous generation (15 years ago) of non-condensing boilers did. You can try turning down the flow temperature (and so improve efficiency) and see whether your home stays warm enough. You might need to turn it up again on colder days. Getting an OpenTherm standard compatible thermostat connected to the boiler’s communication bus (rather than a standard thermostat connected to the on/off switch, most thermostats are installed incorrectly!) can automate this (on compatible boilers), and with other tricks, save even more money.

If you are limiting your heating usage by having the boiler turn on and off at set times to save money you may find that turning down the flow temperature and leaving it on more of the time can maintain the same level of (dis)comfort at a further reduced cost.

There are a lot more important details and caveats described very accessibly in the video so it is well worth watching if the above sounds interesting.

Loco Home Retrofit will be grateful for your feedback on the presentation to help improve and to support future funding applications.

Next presentation Wednesday 12 January

Strathbungo residents may also be interested in Loco Home Retrofit’s event “Tenement flat case study: superior comfort and low bills” on Wed, 12 January 2022
19:00 – 20:00 Registration

Disclaimer: some members of the Strathbungo Eco Group are also members or directors of Loco Home Retrofit and we hope to continue working with Loco Home Retrofit to achieve transformational improvement in heating in Strathbungo.

More on the Loco Home co-operative here.