Stainless steel is the key and here is why. . .
Heating technology should work together to ensure the smooth operation of the entire system – from boiler via burner, control unit and heat exchanger, to deliver the highest possible operational reliability. Today, domestic and commercial boiler technology demands the most reliable, energy efficient components. Contact us for a quotation
A key component in choosing the right system, is the heat exchanger within the boiler, as maintenance costs, durability and product lifetime should all be considered when buying a boiler. As the two most common types of heat exchanger in the UK condensing boiler market, we have examined the differences between stainless steel and aluminium to offer a comparison of quality and longevity.
Stainless Steel Heat Exchangers:
Used by Viessmann throughout its entire condensing boiler range, stainless steel heat exchangers provide a high resistance to corrosion in a wide variety of pH levels, therefore increasing the useful life of your boiler. This provides long term value for money and requires less system downtime due to maintenance.
Important points to consider:
- Increases useful life of your boiler.
- Less downtime due to maintenance.
- Does not require use of system inhibitors.
- Recommended for filling with potable water (drinking water) no inhibitors required.
- Higher grade corrosion resistant material.
Aluminium Heat Exchangers:
A lightweight and alternative option, Aluminium heat exchangers also provide high heat transfer but require special inhibitors when maintaining the system, which if not used can result in a high risk of damage to the boiler. Annual maintenance is also vital to remove aluminium oxides, which can build up and clog the condensate line.
Important points to consider:
- pH treatment critical to longevity of the heat exchanger.
- Artificially softened water not permitted.
- Aluminium material corrodes through aluminium oxide build up and erodes further at high flow rates.
- Reduced lifetime of the heat exchanger.
- Cheaper to manufacture than stainless steel.
All Viessmann gas condensing boilers are equipped with stainless steel Inox-Radial heat exchangers. This technology brings with it an extremely high efficiency rate of 98 percent and exceptionally reliable and efficient operation during its long service life.
Viessmann guarantees the Inox-Radial heat exchanger for ten years against leaks resulting from corrosion.
A study has found that watching spending has become an ingrained way of life that consumers will continue with, even when their finances improve. It seems the recession has left behind a legacy of cautious consumers, with people needing a strong reason to part with their money.
An annual boiler service, however, needs to be seen as essential spending. In much the same way as a homeowner would regards a service and MOT for their car. Most people anticipate there will be ongoing costs associated with their vehicles and budget for them accordingly.
An annual boiler service provides some important benefits; it will ensure the boiler is safe, is performing efficiently and reliably, and maintains the manufacturer’s warranty.
The number one reason for a homeowner to have their gas boiler serviced regularly is safety.
Unfortunately, consumer awareness of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning is thought to be generally low across the UK. It is important for heating engineers to explain to their customers that unsafe gas appliances – those that have been incorrectly fitted, badly repaired or poorly maintained – can produce this highly poisonous gas.
According to the Department of Health, 50 people die each year from CO poisoning and another 4,000 are treated in hospital. It is thought the true number is likely to be much higher, as the early symptoms can easily be mistaken for flu or tiredness.
Another benefit of regular servicing extends the service life of your heating system and ensures reliable, trouble-free operation. This is the only way to make sure that the energy from the fuel is used efficiently and cleanly, thus protecting the environment and saving on heating bills and the likelihood of breakdown, saving the homeowner money and minimising disruption without compromising high heating and hot water convenience.
Again, it is useful to draw on a car analogy. A homeowner will understand that things like replacing filters and spark plugs are essential to keep their vehicle in top condition, and that avoiding a scheduled service may have a detrimental effect on the way the car works, leaving them out of pocket in the long run. The same rules apply here, the boiler, burner and control unit form a system like that of a car engine which is essentially runs for many more hours than a car. If your car was in operation for the same amount of time as your boiler, it would cover more than 60,000 miles in a year. All car owners know that they need to have a service carried out at regular intervals. Therefore your heating system should be serviced at least once a year, much like your car.
An annual service is usually a condition of a boiler warranty – which is another important reason why you as the homeowner should invest. Today, boilers come with lengthy warranties, which should be seen as a sign of reliability, but the working parts still need to be checked annually.
Call us today to book your service on 01722 417873.
Sited: McCallum Layton study. HVP Magazine May 2016.
Written by ‘The Girl in the Office’.
As the government has placed us on their key worker list, we will be carrying out emergency works, to include breakdowns, repairs, required maintenance, water leaks, oil leaks and gas leaks. Therefore being on hand to help our customers who have no heating and/or hot water in these difficult times.
In these strange and unprecedented times Alexandra Heating Services takes its responsibilities for the health and safety of our customers and our employees very seriously taking special care to follow the government guidelines to include social distancing and PPE to be worn by our engineers.
Our Pledge to You.
Please note that all appointments are made for emergencies only. To include a lack of heating, hot water or a gas, water, oil leak. As I am sure you can appreciate boiler services will be postponed until the current COVID-19 crisis has subsided.
Our Office will have asked you if any members of the household are showing any of the symptoms of COVID-19. Please ensure you inform the office if any symptoms become apparent after making the appointment.
On arrival our engineer will knock on the door and will stand back 2 metres to introduce themselves. They will be wearing gloves and potentially a protective face mask. Following the current guidance they will be unable to shake hands, please do not take offence.
They will ask you the same questions that you have been asked when booking your appointment to confirm that your circumstances have not changed from when the booking was made.
Our engineer will ask where the boiler/cylinder is located and confirm what the problem is. Our engineer will ask you to step back so they can adhere to the 2 metre social distancing rule and go directly to the area of concern.
Please do not follow the engineer or enter the room with them. Please do not offer our engineer a drink, however well meaning. Our engineer may use antiseptic wipes to clean the area where he is working.
If the engineer has questions they may call you on the telephone so as to keep a safe distance.
Once the works are completed our engineer will shout out that he has finished, place his single use plastic gloves in your waste bin. He will then wait outside the front door to explain the works completed. Along with explaining any potential next actions required.
Please inform the office if you find the above unacceptable before our engineer attends your property.
We hugely appreciate your cooperation in helping ensure our engineers remain safe which in turn will help us keep our customers safe. Then we can ensure we will continue providing this vital service to the local community.
We look forward to normal service being resumed as soon as we are safe to do so and we would like to thank everyone for your support to our local business in these difficult times.
We all shout … HELP ! … and out of nowhere a Siri like voice offers cryptic guidance.
No, the team are not at a séance but actually the escape rooms for the 20th Anniversary of Alexandra Heating Services.
Alexandra Heating Services thought 20 years of successfully serving our customers was well worth celebrating. So after lunch at The Stable in Winchester we arrived at the escape rooms on the Broadway, to put our collective minds together. In hope of figuring out the cunning puzzles and conundrum’s set before us. We had split into 3 teams, with each team entering a separate “room” from which they had to escape. The aethereal voice was each rooms controller, watching via video. While no doubt enjoying the ensuing debates about the meaning of many clues and props. Everyone had a great time and inevitably competitive traits emerged, each wanting to be crowned “top team”.
Afterwards we descended on a local hostelry to compare notes, game plans and talk about one teams secret weapon. Turns out Carol in accounts is a puzzle queen! Everyone got changed and joined up for a local dinner, at Cote Brasserie, where the hours flew by and much banter was enjoyed by all. What a treat for us all!
As part of this celebration is an important THANK YOU to all our customers who have supported us over the years and without you there is no Alexandra Heating Services.
Here’s to another 20 years of service and support to our local area.
The year is 1999 and major events are taking place.
- “Y2K” is looming and the associated prediction of IT systems failing and catastrophe (which as we now know was rather inaccurate).
- The “euro” gets introduced to the worlds financial markets,
- The Matrix film (the first of the trilogy) is released to huge financial success & critical acclaim.
- …. and Alexandra Heating Services is launched.
OK, so maybe AHS is not quite headline news compared to the others but to us at AHS it was the start of something big.
20 years on and we have not only grown in both employees and premises. But also we have broadened our horizons to new areas such as renewables. Along with creating an electrical division. One thing hasn’t changed, ultimately the customer always comes first! The same attention to detail and professionalism is as important today as it always has been.
And as part of our celebrating 20 years we are delighted to offer new customers an introductory 20% off all servicing. Between 1st July and September 30th 2019. Please quote CELEB2019 when calling 01722 417873 or emailing us.
We look forward to serving the local area for a further 20 years, so if you have heating or electrical needs or want to talk to us about renewable energy we would love to hear from you.
The big day for a wedding in Stratford Tony, Salisbury was looming with much excitement and anticipation, so time for one more check through the list:
- Invitations – Sent.
- Catering – Ready.
- House – Clean and tidy.
- Lawn – Cut.
- Gardening – Done . . . do we need more balloons and flowers?
But suddenly there’s a BIG problem. No one had checked the swimming pool and it was COLD!
With only a few days before the wedding and guests looking forward to a refreshing swim in the pool, you can imagine the distress. A quick call to Alexandra Heating Services, and shortly afterwards with an engineer visit, he had diagnosed the problem. All options were considered, but the conclusion was the swimming pool boiler couldn’t be fixed. The bad news had to be delivered that the swimming pool boiler needed to be replaced.
The Techy bit:
Alexandra Heating Services has designed a swimming pool solution based on the award winning and which best buy Viessmann condensing boiler technology, coupled to a heat exchanger with titanium internals and a Poolsmart plus controller. Designed to run more efficiently (Viessmann boilers can run up 98% efficiency) and with excellent durability and longevity (thanks to Viessmanns’ German engineering and the titanium rods within the pool heat exchanger). Our customer decided to have the AHS solution installed over and above the normal contenders, such as Certikin.
After a concentrated effort by AHS, our heating engineers had the Viessmann swimming pool installation up and running. With a day to spare before the ceremony. The wedding went smoothly and even the sun shone – a happy ending all round.
Our delighted customer, based in Stratford Tony, Salisbury, Wiltshire, kindly sent us a picture of wedding guests enjoying the pool.
That was all 1 year ago (May 2018) and so we asked, have the benefits materialised? To quote our lovely customer: “It is too early to tell if the running costs have reduced, but I’d be very surprised if they haven’t. The water certainly heats up a lot faster, which is a considerable advantage.”
If you interested in learning more about our swimming pool solution, please contact us.
MY DAY BEGINS . . .
It started earlier than usual, meeting our service engineer at the unit in Old Sarum at 7:30am to ensure we arrived at our first job on time at 8:00am.
Ready to start our day. . . .
Our first port of call was a gas boiler service in Redlynch. After informing the customer of our arrival, we accessed the boiler in the garage. The engineer showed me how to safely remove the case of the Viessmann boiler to expose the inside. He talked me through each of the components that make the boiler work and then using the Viessmann toolkit (pictured below):
I was shown which parts needed to be removed in order to carry out the service. This is a careful process which begins with, most importantly, switching off the gas supply to the boiler. Once this is done, the burner needs to be removed in order to check the burner seal, electrodes and clean the heat exchanger as necessary. There is certainly a knack to the removal of the burner, undoing clips in the right order, followed by the screws and then removing the unit safely ensuring not to burn yourself or damage the part itself. Once this has been done, any wearing parts are then checked and changed if needed. On this occasion, we replaced the burner seal, which is a rubber ring that the burner leans on when placed back into the heat exchanger that houses it. Whilst the engineer did this, I used our dry vacuum followed by cleaning wipes to ensure there was no loose debris or dust inside the boiler. Once the boiler was put back together, we fired it up and put it into service mode. This allows the boiler to produce emissions as it would when in full demand and whilst it did this, we used the flue gas analyser to check the boiler was producing a safe gas reading. Once the gas readings were taken, they were printed on site and attached to the CP12 certificate that the engineer had already began writing out. This left me just enough time to finish my coffee and biscuits, before asking the customer to sign the CP12 and setting off to our next job.
Our second job took us to an industrial warehouse building, much like our own for another gas boiler service on a Viessmann boiler. This time our engineer carefully watched as I carried out the initial checks, such as turning off the gas supply and unplugging the burner controls, unscrewing and removing the burner. I replaced the burner seal under the careful watch of our engineer. After giving the boiler a good clean inside and out, and completing the CP12 we were ready to leave another happy customer with a newly serviced boiler and move on to our 3rd job of the day.
Our next job took us out to one of the first Viessmann oil boilers installed by AHS Ltd. On arrival, our customer wanted to tell us just how much of a difference he had noticed in the first year, by changing from his previous boiler to the energy saving Viessmann – always great to hear. Once again, our engineer talked me through the components that make up a Viessmann oil boiler and what parts needed to be checked during an oil service. I was impressed by the kit that accompanies these boilers that allows for an engineer to remove the main heat exchange, while being supported by a clip-in mechanism on the casing of the boiler. This is helpful due to the size and weight of the heat exchange and means less wires need to be unplugged and put back in. After checking all wearing parts, this time with no replacements needed and cleaning out the boiler, we completed the CD11 and had it signed off by the customer before leaving.
Our final job of the day took us to Owslebury to look at a broken flush mechanism and leaking WC. Having read our jobsheet in advance, our engineer had an idea of what the issue might be and therefore how to resolve it. We therefore stopped off at our suppliers to pick up the materials and then headed on to the job. Arriving to a houseful of wedding guests, meant we had limited time to cut off the water supply and rectify the leak. Whilst our engineer dealt with this, I used our wet/dry vacuum to remove any water left in the cistern – ensuring to put down sheets to protect the customers floor from any water damage in the process. Once the water had been isolated and drained from the cistern, it was removed. We found the existing flush mechanism to be damaged and the doughnut washer was allowing water through. Whilst I constructed the new flush mechanism ready to be installed, our engineer replaced the doughnut. The replacement flush was then fitted, water switched back on and the WC tested 2 – 3 times checking it was in good working order and no leaks were apparent. Another happy customer!
The drive back to Salisbury bought us to 5pm and the end of our shift. I thoroughly enjoyed my day out in the field and not just for all the biscuits!
It was great to see a different aspect of my job and meet some of our customers. It was very nice to hear them praise the company’s previous work as well as their appreciation for the benefits of our installations. From an office workers point of view, it was rewarding to know that our well planned routes are worthwhile and save travel time in the day for our engineers. Overall, spending the day working with an engineer was a fun and interesting experience.
Written by ‘The Girl in the Office’
It’s hard not to be impressed at the work our engineers undertake especially when it comes to an installation such as this.
What a beautiful building for the installation to take place at.
Now down to the main plant room. . .
Two Viessmann gas boilers installed and awaiting to be fully connected and turned on.
To an untrained eye, such as mine, even I can see the work that has gone into this Plant Room by the sheer size of the new cylinders and pipework. All the old dropping pipework is coming out to be replaced by new straight and completely secured 2 ½” iron pipework and fittings.
This not only shows the magnitude of the work involved, but that careful thought and design consideration has been made, to fit into the space available and to make all the equipment accessible and serviceable in the future. Not forgetting that until it is time to switch over to our new system the old system has to be running as the hotel is fully booked as the work continues.
The Technical Side:
I would like to give you a rundown of the equipment used in this installation:
– 2 x Viessmann-W 200 Vitodens 60kW boilers
– 2 x Viessmann Vitocell 300-B 500L Cylinder
– Viessmann Low Loss Header and insulation
– Spirotrap MBL 2 ½ “
– Spirovent Dearerator 2 ½ ”
– 2 ½” Pipework
– Controls – Weather Compensated
Our customer will have complete control of the heating and hot water system within the hotel.
The main plant room has 1 underfloor heating circuit for the conservatory, used as the dining room. Then 3 individual fully weather compensated heating circuits for the main house ground floor, 1st floor bedrooms and 2nd floor bedrooms. Meaning different temperatures and timings can be set for the different sections of the hotel.
So from an atmospheric conventionally flued system to include boilers and water heaters, they now have a balanced system with Viessmann high efficiency condensing technology with full weather compensation.
What a difference we can make!
Written by ‘The Girl in the Office’.
When the owner of a former listed rectory dating back to around 1600 in a small village outside Salisbury, Wiltshire, came to replace the property’s fifty year old boiler and gravity fed heating system, he naturally had high expectations.
The project needed to significantly reduced running costs (the old system consumed 2,000 litres of oil per month), provide a constant space heat temperature and enable the heating, hot water and secondary hot water circuits to be controlled independently and remotely. Salisbury-based Viessmann partner, AHS Ltd., specified a Viessmann Vitorondens oil-fired boiler, with weather compensation and Vitotrol 300A remote controls. The result is a modern, fuel efficient heating system which is saving £8,000 per year, or around 70 per cent of his previous expenditure on oil.
The Technical Side:
- 60kW Vitorondens 200.
- Vitocell 300-B 500L.
- 3 x Header Divcon Units with mixers.
- Vitocom 100 with Virotrol App.
- Vitotrol 300A remote control (3 heating circuits).
- Wilo Comfort COR-2 pressure booster set.
- Break tank.
- 2 x large expansion vessels.
Viessmann Vitorondens oil-fired boiler, with weather compensation and Vitotrol 300A remote controls.
The new heating system comprises three fully weather compensated heating circuits and one constant temperature circuit for under-floor heating.
Saving space, saving oil.
With oil bills of almost £13,000 per year at the 6,660 sq. ft., six bedroom, four bathroom home, fuel efficiency was a major priority. The Viessmann system – attractive because of its product build quality, system performance and user- friendly controls – was also the only one to come with weather compensation controls. These would fully optimise the Vitorondens 200’s efficiency and improve internal comfort, regardless of external temperature.
The installed system provides three fully weather compensated heating circuits and one constant temperature circuit for under-floor heating. One cylinder loading circuit with controls operates the heating and hot water and also the secondary hot water circuits. A welcome benefit of the advanced Vitotrol 300A controls is that AHS can monitor the system remotely on behalf of its client.
Noise was also a key consideration as the boiler’s flue would terminate above an outside seating area. The Vitorondens outperformed its competitors on noise levels.
AHS was called in as one of the few companies who could take on the complexities of the equipment and the task of designing, specifying and constructing a new, 9 ft by 6 ft plant room, in an outbuilding next to the main house. Tight for space and access, there was a lot of kit to install and most of it had to be dismantled and built inside the room. Thanks to the swift work of AHS, the crossover to the new plant room was achieved in just two days.
Overall the installation has resulted in a huge reduction in heating costs and oil consumption of around 70 per cent. Says a satisfied AHS Customer:-
In a property with no particular thermal efficiency, the installation of a highly efficient oil boiler and the very latest in temperature curve control programming has achieved a massive shift in performance.
Written by ‘The Girl in the Office’.