What is A Combi Boiler

cobi boiler layoutCombi boilers, in short, blend the capability to supply hot water and central heating in one compact box. But before you rush out and begin googling your nearest Gas Safe registered installer such as this gas engineer in Cambridge, it could be wise to learn a bit more about the advantages and disadvantages of a combi boiler, so please read on .

How do combi boilers work?

The hot water is supplied via the cold water mains which goes through the boiler and is heated on-demand, when I say “on demand” I mean if you need hot water you open a tap, the boiler then heats up the water before it reaches the tap outlet, once you’ve finished cleaning the dishes or having a shower, you switch the tap off, which delivers a signal to the boiler (by way of a flow switch) and the boiler ceases heating the water.

The Central Heating works in much the same manner, the water is pumped around the central heating circuit when you “call for heat” via a room stat/programmer, once the demanded temperature is achieved the boiler turns off. All combi boilers have become condensing which means they cool-down the flue gases to generate energy, which consequently improves efficiency and lowers operating costs , this process leads to a build up of condensation which is acidic, the condensate leaves the boiler via a plastic pipe and ends in a drain or waste pipe (so keep in mind that you will have to site your new boiler near a drain).

New condensing combi boilers are fan flued, which means there is a fan that’s used to suck the fumes in to the outside air via the flue, this process improves the safety of your appliance, as the boiler will not “fire up” unless the fan is running.

system boiler layoutStrengths over a system boiler

A system boiler is a central heating boiler which uses a hot water storage tank to store hot water up until the user needs it, this can be clearly costly, as in contrast to a combi you’re heating the storage tank up regardless of whether your using the hot water or not, whilst with a combi its “on demand”, so the first advantage is its less expensive to operate.

The next advantage is space, with a combi boiler you only have the boiler, and everything your system needs is contained in the one box, so the tank, 3 way valve, tank piping, header tanks, and everything else associated with a system boiler can be taken out freeing up lots of storage space in your home.

With a combi boiler frequently you will find an increase in pressure in comparison with your old gravity or fully pumped system (especially gravity fed) this will rely however on your cold water pressure.

Disadvantages of a combi boiler

I can only see a single problem with a combi boiler installation, and that is the hot water flow rate. In a nutshell a combi is only able to produce between 10 and 16 litres of water every minute (depending on boiler size), so if you had 2 showers which were often used simultaneously, then I would advise against a combi, as one of the showers would run cold, as the boiler couldn’t maintain the demand. If however you have just one shower or one bathroom then I would certainly suggest a combi, even if you did have 2 showers/bathrooms providing you were happy to have only one in use at any time, then a combi would still be the system I would suggest. A system boiler provides you with as much hot water as you need because of the capacity of the hot water tank.

NOTE: Some combi boilers do include smaller storage tanks, that may combat this problem to some degree.

I hope this article has enhanced your combi boiler installation know-how, and will help you make the correct decision.


Damp Proofing Guide

evident rising dampUnfortunately there are not any quick remedies when it comes to the question of how to repair rising damp. If you suspect you have rising damp in your property it’s worth getting a second, third, and fourth judgment as you don’t want to pay for unnecessary treatment. Rising damp can often be wrongly diagnosed, so it’s worth making sure that it’s definitely the problem before embarking on a course of treatment. Consider whether the problem might be caused by condensation, leaking pipes, defective plumbing, broken guttering, blocked air bricks, or poor surface drainage.

Measures that enable your property to ‘breathe’ are key to controlling rising damp. The Building Research Establishment advises that any method used to retrofit a damp-proof course should have an Agrément or another third-party certificate.

While you’re waiting for treatment to kick in, ventilate your property properly. Even though this won’t fix your rising damp trouble, it will prevent it from getting worse. Ventilation is particularly important in older properties that have suffered with a rising damp issue in the past. Ensure air can circulate freely between the cellar, if you have one, and the ground floor. Take out vinyl flooring or rubber-backed carpets, and replace with a breathable material instead. This will allow fresh air to circulate and dry out the damp internal wall. Take advantage of extractor fans and dehumidifiers to keep the humidity levels in your property low is advice given by this contractor of damp proofing in Barnsley.

Is there a long-term solution to rising damp?

The best solution to your long-term damp problems is to routinely check your damp-proof course.

A damp-proof course is a barrier between your home and the ground, typically made from a tough material. This should be visible on your exterior walls, around six inches above ground level. It might be compromised if the ground level close by has been raised above it, which means the ground water is then above the damp-proof course, letting water penetrate the brick work. You can fix the issue by digging a ditch alongside the blockage so that the ground level is no longer above the damp-proof course. Be sure that the ditch is well drained – if it fills with water you could end up with worse problems.

If the ground level is still well below your damp-proof course, look at the internal wall cavity. Frequently debris can become trapped in here and can serve as a conduit, carrying water above the damp-proof course and into your internal wall. Treatment for this will involve talking to a professional to have bricks removed in order to take away any debris which might be within the cavity.

If your damp-proof course has been damaged, you may have to contact a tradesman to setup a new one. The damp-proof course has to run underneath the entire property with no breaks. Replacing damp and damaged timbers and brickwork may also be necessary to ensure that your internal wall is completely dry. Repair costs would depend on the extent of the damage and the most appropriate treatment.


Options For Your Flat Roof

flat roofWhich Roofing Material is Right for your Home?

With natural products for example slate to synthetic materials including asphalt, sheet metal, and plastic polymers; there are many more types and styles of roofs to select from nowadays than ever before. While every one has its pros and cons, they all can also add an exclusive design feature for your property. So what type meets your needs? I brosed the web and finally found a local roofing company with some useful information, credit to Aston Roofing in Rotherham in part for the information outlined below…….

What to consider in a Roof

There are lots of points to consider when choosing a roofing material such as durability, will the present roof structure have the ability to support it, will the roof have sufficient incline, will the look accentuate the style of the property, will the materials be environmentally friendly and recyclable, is the style of roofing permitted by local building codes, and finally, how much will it set you back?

Positives and negatives

Particular sorts of roofs might be more appropriate for the home than others. Elements such as the incline of your roof and strength of your framework might restrict your options. In places susceptible to adverse weather conditions, search for a material with good resistance to the wind. Moreover, steps might be taken during the installation of many types of roof covering to improve their effectiveness against wind. Here is a rundown about the several types of roof coverings attainable.

ashphalt roll on roofingAsphalt Composition Shingles

Asphalt roofing shingles are known as the most desired type of roofing for homes, making up over 80% of household roofing industry. They’re made from either a natural paper fibre mat (better for cold weather plus wind resistance) or fiberglass (more fire and moisture proof) infused with asphalt and coated with mineral granules. They’re typically found in standard 3-tab shingles or larger laminated “architectural” shingles. Not a particularly environmentally friendly material, though it could be recycled rather than just taken to a dump. Asphalt shingles are not an especially durable material base don nformation garnished from this roofer in manchester. Algae repellent shingles may be found in humid climates in order to avoid staining. Modest in weight and can be utilized on relatively low to steeper sloped roofs. Provides excellent fire resistance and reasonable resistance to the wind. Low-priced to average with regard to price.

Clay Tile

Though brittle and heavy, clay tiles will last a considerably long time and so are very fire resistant. Clay tiles are created from natural clay that is fired inside a kiln. Frequently obtainable in a classic Italian or Spanish style, they can even be created to resemble wood shakes or slate. They’re made from natural materials but demands substantial energy to create. In relation to durability, they’re long lasting and low maintenance but brittle and might break in combination with needing a reinforced roof framework to support them owing to their considerable weight. Clay tiles are really practical on moderate to higher sloped roof together with exceptional resistance to fire and fair to low wind resistance. Additionally, it signifies an expensive option, however it frequently looks fantastic and its incorporated easily into existing design features.


Slate is among the earliest roofing materials. Although brittle and expensive, it’s very durable and resists both wind and fire. Slate tiles are made out of natural slate rock. In relation to appearance, they’re usually dark gray with irregular appearance. Slate tiles represent an environmentally friendly method as they are crafted from natural materials. Slate offers a long-lasting, durable material (depending on where quarried), despite the fact that it’s also heavy, meaning it demands reinforced roofing structure to support. Slate is really only suited for a steep sloped roof, possesses excellent fire and wind resistance and yet is also especially costly due to the knowledge required to install and maintain it.


Common Problems in Older Homes

If you recently purchased an older property or you’ve lived in one already for some time, you’re certain to face prevalent problems that appear in houses because of age. Luckily, there are lots of easy ways to sort out these issues without needing to become too distressed through the process. Look at ideas below, whether you’re the kind of DIY home owner who would rather attempt fixing problems yourself or you would rather call qualified repair companies.

Poor Quality Insulation

Insulation in older homes is normally not of the highest quality, and many homes don’t include any insulation at all, depending upon the year that they were built. This means that you must cope with changing severe temperatures as the seasons change because your house will be ill-equipped to trap heat inside throughout the winter and keep heat outside in the summer. And this can all contribute to you feeling extremely miserable, along with spending far more money than you should have to on your energy bills.

Blow-in insulation is a fantastic solution to this problem because it takes away the requirement of costly removing of your drywall to have a layer of insulation added. This type of insulation requires that you merely cut small holes in your walls and pump insulation through these holes. Though blow-in insulation won’t be as effective as fibreglass insulation, it’s a less expensive, and less invasive, possibility.

Old, Dated Looking Radiators

Once better insulation is in place, you may as well go a step further and improve your heating system with upright radiators that won’t only pump heat effectively into all the rooms in your home, but also look nice and modernise your space concurrently so your home won’t look so old, even though it is.

Not Enough Storage Space

Older houses are usually lacking in large closets and space for storage. But there are several great ways to tackle this difficulty without bursting the bank. Simply begin by looking for storage spaces in unexpected places throughout your house. These may include areas like those beneath and between windows, where you could install cabinets for storing items or clothing. You can also create your own closet in a room if it’s large enough to do so. Build-it-yourself or hire a contractor to install additional walls and a door that can work as your new wardrobe.

NICEIC electriciansOld Electrical Systems

An old electrical system can increase your risk of electrocution and fire, whether you have frayed or chipped insulation on your electrical wiring, your home has outdated aluminium wires, or you have a circuit breaker that’s dated. Signals that you need to call an electrician include flickering lights, a tripping circuit breaker, and frayed wires.

With so many ways to effortlessly deal with typical problems that homeowners face in older homes, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to take in the charm and character that comes with these properties. A few simple upgrades can make a massive difference and bring your house into the modern day era.