Confused about Smart Heating?

Are you confused about all the choices that are out there now in the world of Smart Heating?  You are not alone.  A lot of our customers tell us that they are bewildered by all the different devices which are now on offer to homeowners looking to upgrade from basic analogue or digital controls.  Each manufacturer will push THEIR device as being the perfect one for you; but no device, no matter how smart, can be the right device for everyone.  We are going to try and outline some of the important features, along with advantages and possible disadvantages, of the wide range of Smart Heating devices we supply and install.

 

Simple but Smart Entry Level Controls

The first thing to decide is the level of control you wish to have.  Are you happy to simply be able to turn your heating & hot water on and off, no matter where you are?  This is the most popular option for most people and is also the most affordable.    Using your smartphone, tablet or the smart thermostat, you can turn the heating up and down as you wish.  With most systems you can also set up a schedule which could be the default setting and still have the ability to adjust the temperature at any time and from anywhere.

With this type of system, you could have Thermostatic Radiator Valves (TRVs) fitted on some or all of your radiators and using these, you can choose the desired temperature for each room.  For example, most people would prefer their bedrooms to be cooler than their living areas, and you can do this by simply choosing a setting of between 1 and 5 on the TRV for each radiator.

In this entry level category of Smart Heating Controls we recommend Salus, Ember, Netatmo, Hive & Nest.

Take it to the Next Level!

The next level in Smart Heating would be to have separate control of your heating and hot water.  Not every heating system can have this as it depends on things like pipework.  Usually a quick visit from Niall is all it takes to work out if your house is suitable or not.  We recommend Ember 2 zone or Hive if you want to have 2 zone heating controls.  You will probably need to have further devices installed, such as motorised valves and a hot water temperature sensor.

Ultimate Control of Multiple Zones

The ultimate in Smart Heating is a system called Istabai.  Even in a house which doesn’t have the necessary pipework for standard zoning, you can still have zoning with Istabai without the need to dig up all the floors and repipe the whole house.  That is because it is a completely wireless system which can control individual radiators and hot water separately.  With this system you can literally have as many zones as you wish!  You can have every single room on a separate zone.  You can program a specific schedule for each zone, independent of all the other zones.  As well as being able to run schedules, you can boost the heating for any zone manually, from your phone, tablet or pc.  So, just to sum up, Istabai is perfect for homes where the pipework does not allow for any other type of smart heating.  It is completely wireless and can be installed even in very large homes.

We are so impressed with Istabai, we have installed it in our own home.  We have 12 room zones plus separate hot water.  The only catch with Istabai is that it is much more expensive than the entry level systems.   That is because there are so many smart devices involved, with each zone having its own smart temperature sensor and wireless radiator valve.  All of these sensors and wireless valves communicate with the Base Station, which is the central brain of the system.  The room sensors also measure humidity, and both humidity and temperature can be seen on a graph on your phone or pc.

If you like your high-tech toys and want the ultimate in Smart Heating, this might be the system for you.  But, having said that, we have installed Istabai for lots of customers who would not consider themselves at all techy, they just simply wanted precise control of the temperatures in their home.  And if you don’t love the idea of creating and setting up schedules for various zones, Mary in our office will be able to do all that for you (she loves that kind of stuff).

Main features of the Smart Heating Controls which we install

Smart Heating key features

How do I decide?

Because every home is different and every customer’s heating requirements are unique, we would recommend getting in touch with us for a chat.  We can arrange for Niall Ryan to call out to you so he can have a quick look at the pipe layout in your house etc.  He will then go through all the options with you and give you an idea of price for your particular system.

If I get a new boiler can I have zoned heating?

The ability to have zoned heating is down to the existing pipework in your house.  Zoning is achieved by fitting devices on your pipework and linking them back to the boiler.  Simply putting in a new boiler will not change anything to do with the pipework in your house.  We can do a quick survey for you and then let you know straight away which options you have regarding smart heating controls.

What if my gas or oil boiler is old?

You can still get Smart Heating controls even if your gas or oil boiler is old.  It is the pipework layout in your house that determines what kind of smart heating controls you can have.  Even if you put in a brand new boiler, you will still have same pipework, so nothing will have changed from a heating control point of view.  But don’t worry, no matter what kind of pipework you have in your house, there will be a smart device out there for you.

Are there any grants available?

The answer, in most cases, is yes!  There is an SEAI grant available for Heating Control Upgrade.  This is not a means-tested grant and is available for every house in Ireland built before 2006, (some T&Cs apply).  We are delighted to work in partnership with Enprova Energy Consultants.  This means we are authorised to look after the entire grant application process for you.  Instead of having to wait weeks for the grant to be paid after completion of work, we can now offer you the discount upfront.

SEAI Home Energy Consultants

 

We are delighted to announce that we are now SEAI Home Energy Consultants.  

An SEAI Home Energy Consultant is a contractor who is both registered to carry out works under the Home Energy Grants programme and authorised by SEAI to submit grant applications on behalf of homeowners.

Why apply for your Heating Controls Upgrade grant through us?

The benefit of applying for a Heating Controls Upgrade grant through us is that we will manage the entire grant application process and submission of all grant related paperwork on your behalf.  As well as that, we will discount you the grant amount upfront, so you don’t have to wait several weeks for the grant money to be paid.

In the vast majority of cases, the Heating Controls grant covers the cost of installing thermostatic valves (TRVs) on your radiators and installing Smart Heating Controls.  These smart controls will allow you to control your heating using your smart phone, no matter where you are.  So if you are considering putting in a new boiler, we can check to see if your house is eligible for a Heating Controls grant.  All houses built before 2006 qualify.  If your house is eligible, you only pay us for the boiler installation, while the TRVs and Smart Controls are covered by the grant.

In a nutshell:

  • Find out instantly if your house qualifies for the Heating Controls Grant
  • We will look after the ENTIRE grant application process, nothing for you to do
  • You will be allowed the grant amount upfront, so no waiting for your money
  • We even organise the BER cert once the work is done

 

Contact us today for a chat about your options.  You could be grant approved within minutes!  

Phone Mary in our office on 061 650003 or email us here

 

 

 

Viessmann Boilers

 

Special Offer:

Get a free upgrade to a Ten Year Warranty when you have a Viessmann boiler installed by 31st December 2018!

 

About Viessmann

One of the biggest international manufacturers of commercial heating systems, German made Viessmann boilers have rapidly become the domestic boiler of choice around the world as well.  Viessmann, founded in 1917, has over 12,000 employees across the world.  They are truly international with presence in 12 countries with 23 production divisions, subsidiaries and representations in 74 countries, and 120 sales offices around the world.

These are premium, German engineered boilers boasting long term reliability and high efficiency.  What’s more, they are consistently regarded as one of the quietest boilers in their class, at noise emission levels of only 35dB, so you don’t hear the boiler humming when you’re trying to catch a warm, quiet night’s sleep.

What really makes Viessmann boilers stand out is the high performance, patented Stainless Steel Inox-Radial Heat Exchanger.  This is unique and exclusive to the Viessmann boiler range.  Stainless steel is highly resistant to corrosion in a wide range of pH levels, as well as ensuring a long service life and high heating output on a very small footprint.  This technology brings with it extremely high efficiency, as well as exceptional reliability during its long service life.  You simply cannot go wrong with choosing a Viessmann boiler.

 

Some features of Viessmann Boilers:

  • High quality Stainless Steel Inox-Radial Heat Exchanger
  • Long Term Reliability, Durability and High Energy Efficiency
  • High Efficiency – 94% and 98% and above on Vitodens 200-W
  • Combined PRV (Pressure Release Valve) and Condensate Pipe 
  • Compact design 
  • One of the quietest boilers on the market
  • Available in outputs from 4.7 to 35 kW
  • Class A rated for Energy Efficiency
  • Backlit LCD Touch Screen for Easy operation

 

Introducing the latest Intergas Eco RF boiler

What makes the Intergas Eco RF so special?

The Eco RF is a new generation of smart boiler.  It comes with a radio frequency module fitted as standard, which enables us to monitor your boiler’s performance remotely and take appropriate action.  This boiler works with a range of Honeywell’s wireless room thermostats for rapid response to changing demands.  This means it uses less energy to reach the required temperature, further increasing its efficiency.

With the Eco RF and its unique Intouch system you can also turn your smartphone into a smart thermostat.

 

I am delighted to be able to offer the Intergas Eco RF boiler to my customers.  One of the best performing and most versatile boilers on the market today. No plate heat exchanger, no diverter valve, no auto air vent… a virtually indestructible heat exchanger;  not one has failed in over 20 years. With only 4 moving parts it is the ultimate boiler for all domestic requirements. Robust construction, low maintenance operation, ideal for any & all demanding situations.  10 year warranty out of the box. All for a fantastic price! I can’t recommend this boiler highly enough. – Niall Ryan

 

10 Year Warranty

In recent years most gas boilers on the Irish market have come with a 5 year parts and labour warranty.  This was a great improvement on previous 2 or 3 year warranties.  Now we have taken a major step forward and can now offer Intergas boilers with 5, 7 and 10 year warranties (depending on model selected).  As with all boiler warranties, you will need to have your boiler serviced annually by an RGI in order to keep the warranty valid.

 

 

 

 

Free Smart Heating

We know, we know….the last thing you want to think about in the summer is your gas heating!  Once you have enough gas for the BBQ you’re sorted 🙂 But imagine how great it would feel to know you have your heating all sorted for the colder weather?

We have decided to launch a great special offer for the month of August.  If you get us to install a new gas boiler before the end of August, we will give you a fabulous Salus Smart Heating control FREE!  That is a saving of €249 which is sure to put a smile on your face.  So while you are enjoying the wonderful summer weather we are having, you can be looking forward to being able to control your heating from your smartphone or pc, anywhere!  All you need is broadband at home and you are sorted.  To avail of this great offer, all you have to do is mention it when you contact us about your new boiler.

 

All about the Salus RT310i

The latest smart heating system we offer is the Salus RT310i.  While its name may not trip off your tongue, it has fast become the most popular option with our customers.  The RT310i is an affordable Smartphone controlled thermostat. Connecting to your existing router it allows you to control your heating from anywhere via your Smartphone, Tablet or PC.

 

 

 

Such a cool app!

What people love about it is its ease of use and the very attractive phone app.  This is the type of smart heating app you will want to show your friends!  It is very intuitive to use.  The temperature dial changes to warmer or cooler colours as you dial the temperature up or down.  It really wins hands down in the looks department,  while also ticking all the boxes for ease of use and control features.

So, don’t forget, this offer runs until the end of August 2018.  You can contact us here to have a chat about your heating, or phone us on 061 650003 (and don’t forget to mention about this great offer when booking your new boiler!).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Intergas Rapid boilers

The Intergas Rapid System & Combi boiler, smart in every sense.

At City & County Heating we have noticed that more and more of our customers are opting for an Intergas high efficiency condensing gas boiler.  They have been designed & built specifically for the Irish market and have been proven to be an incredibly reliable boiler!

Intergas has been at the forefront of domestic boiler manufacture for over 40 years. The Intergas range is renowned for its A rated high efficiency, dual circuit and very importantly – its virtually indestructible heat exchanger;  not one has failed in over 20 years. With only 4 moving parts it is the ultimate boiler for all domestic requirements. Robust construction, low maintenance operation, so ideal for any & all demanding situations.

Combining high efficiency in both hot water and central heating modes, the Rapid retains all the benefits of Intergas’s revolutionary condensing boiler technology. It’s available in multiple power outputs to satisfy most domestic applications for both combination and system boilers.

 

The main benefits of the Intergas heat exchanger are:

  • Separate heating and hot water circuits – eliminates both diverter valve and separate plate heat exchanger
  • 22mm waterways for Central Heating
  • 12mm waterways for Domestic hot water in combi models
  • Cast aluminium gives thermal performance like cast iron and acts as a heat store
  • Solid aluminium block is virtually unbreakable
  • Copper water channels minimises corrosion
  • Single continuous waterways minimise risk of blockage or scaling
  • Totally safe – not damaged by lack of water and no pressure switch
  • Totally reliable – not one heat exchanger failure in over 20 years

 

Some of the benefits of the Intergas boiler are as follows:

  • Burner modulates from 30% to 100% to match the heat demand, resulting in maximum efficiency
  • Self learning “Eco” mode for hot water
  • The Intergas boiler is durable with a life expectancy of well over twenty years
  • Easy access to all parts for servicing
  • Frost protection is built in
  • Quiet operation due to soft start burner programme
  • Pump runs briefly every 24 hrs to prevent sticking
  • Low operating pressure 0.2bar
  • Direct hot water is served by a separate circuit in the boiler so, should the pump fail, the system will always deliver hot water

Boiler trouble

A cautionary tale….

We received a call today from a lovely woman (lets call her Anne), who was having trouble with her boiler.  Mary had a long chat with her on the phone and soon found out that this unfortunate woman was in a right pickle, and it was not of her own making.  In 2014 she got an RGI to install a new boiler for her.  It was a make of boiler that we do not install.  Now, three years later this boiler is cutting out a few seconds after she tries to start it.  She got on to the supplier here in Limerick where the boiler was purchased, and they said they would get the service engineer for that make of boiler to call to her.  He is not based in Limerick so she had to wait days for him to call. 

Eventually he did come out and said the boiler needed a small part, which he didn’t have with him, but he would get it and come back as soon as possible.  That, was THREE WEEKS ago.  Anne has tried phoning him and texting him, but to no avail.  She phoned us in the hope that we could help, but we don’t install or repair this particular make of boiler – mainly because it is hard to get parts for them.  And as Mary pointed out, the official service engineer had already called out to her, so he would be the expert on those boilers and as the boiler is only three years old, it would make sense to have it repaired by the manufacturer.

Our advice?

When we are asked by a customer to fit a new boiler for them, we always recommend certain boiler makes.  90% of the boilers we install are GlowWorm.  One of the main reasons is that IF there is ever a problem with your new boiler, the GlowWorm service agent is based in Limerick, so you will not have to wait too long for him to call to sort out the issue.  Another big plus is, all the parts are readily available here in Limerick – no waiting for parts to come from the UK!

So make sure to ask the right questions when you are considering a certain make of boiler.  Just because you see a boiler advertised locally, doesn’t mean the service agent will be local.  For some makes of boilers we know that parts are not carried by the local stockist here in Limerick, so you will have to wait for those parts to be ordered in for you.  We carry a wide range of parts for the  GlowWorm boiler we fit.  If we need something more unusual we can simply call to our supplier to pick it up – usually the same day!  So don’t be like Anne and find yourself without heat for over three weeks, just because you choose the wrong make of boiler.

 

Smart Home Heating

Come home to a warm home!

Almost all of our customers are now going for Smart Heating controls when we put in a new boiler for them.  The feedback we have had is excellent.  People are absolutely delighted to be able to control their heating from their phones, no matter where they are.  It means they never have to come home to a cold house again. They can simply open the app on their phone and select the desired temperature.  A lot of our customers said it is wonderful to be able to turn on the heating remotely when they are coming home from a holiday - especially in Winter!  Even at home, it is so convenient to simply turn the heating up, or down, from your phone.  

Smart heating controls can be used in two ways, either by manually selecting the temperature or by setting up and running a schedule.  It all depends on personal preference.  Some people have a fairly regular daily schedule, split between work and being at home;  others have more flexible lifestyles and might prefer to have more hands on control.  Either way, it is simple to switch from running a schedule to using the app in manual mode.  

For more information about some of the different options we offer, you can have a look at our Smart Heating page by clicking here.

 

 

 

Damaged flue

This boiler is HOW old??

I was called out to replace this boiler today.  It is only SIX YEARS OLD!  As you can see from the photos, the flue is in a terrible state, completely corroded.  Unfortunately for the home owner, whoever installed this boiler didn't fit the flue correctly and over time, water has made its way along the flue and done all this damage.  Not only that, but there is a lot of damage inside the boiler too, especially the fan which is also badly corroded.

If this boiler had been serviced annually, the problem with the incorrectly fitted flue would have been picked up right from the start.  Also, the service engineer would have checked for any signs of water damage or corrosion inside the boiler.  Now the homeowner has had to bear the cost of replacing his boiler, when he should have been able to get many more years of use from it.  

So remember, it's always a good idea to get your boiler serviced!  

 

 

Why is it important to get boilers serviced annually?

We all need a bit of TLC every now and then - your boiler is no different. Coming home to a broken boiler is never much fun.  At busy times of the year you might have to wait a day or two for the RGI to call.  Also, you might have to potentially pay an expensive repair bill!

An annual boiler check can also be a lifesaver in respect to certain types of boiler. Older boilers can produce carbon monoxide if not cleaned and checked regularly.  Carbon monoxide is odourless so you will not notice anything is wrong yourself, but a flue-gas analysis will be able to detect any dangerous emissions from your boiler.

By getting us to service your boiler, it will ensure it runs efficiently. This will potentially saving you lots of money on your heating bills. Regular servicing will also help ensure small issues with your heating system are spotted early, before they escalate into major, expensive issues!

Boiler manufacturers also recommend that you get your boiler serviced annually;  failure to do so may invalidate your warranty.

Who should service my gas Boiler?

It is illegal for anybody other than a Registered Gas Installer to service your boiler.

Your gas boiler should only be serviced by a Registered Gas Installer (RGI) as he/she will have the required competency and experience to deal with the servicing, repair and setup of gas appliances. The RGI will also check if the boiler is correctly installed and operating in a suitable environment.

Rental properties

By law, landlords are obligated to make sure that their let properties are safe to live in. Part of this obligation is arranging an annual service and safety check for all gas appliances in the homes they let. By law they must keep records of the steps they take to ensure gas safety in their properties, which is where the gas safety certificate comes in.