How Can I Make My Home More Energy Efficient?

We asked the boiler experts from Intergas for their tips on how insulation, heating and hot water technology can make your home more economical and eco-friendly

How can I make my home more energy efficient?
The starting point is insulation. You can have the best boiler in the world, but if you don’t have insulation in/on the walls or in the roof, you don’t have double glazing and there are gaps under doors and around windows, get those sorted first. In addition, you can turn your central heating system down by one degree, use the microwave instead of the electric hob, stop leaving appliances on standby and take shorter showers, and you’ll start saving money and reducing your household carbon emissions.

What are the biggest causes of boiler breakdown?
According to the Which? Trusted Traders Report issued November 2020, the top four causes of boiler breakdown are, in order: diverter valve, auto air vent, pressure relief valve and printed circuit board. The good thing about all Intergas combi boilers, including the Xclusive, is that they don’t have diverter valves or auto air vents. In fact, our boilers only have four moving parts and, with fewer parts, there’s less to go wrong.

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How does Intergas’ heat exchanger design make its boilers more efficient?
All domestic boilers have two heat exchangers: the primary heat exchanger and the secondary hot water plate heat exchanger. Intergas has a bithermic heat exchanger (two-in-one) and its design, with two separate copper circuits, ensures optimum heat transfer and minimal heat loss. This means our combis can condense virtually all the time they’re producing domestic hot water, which keeps carbon emissions as low as possible and energy savings as high as possible.

Should I be concerned about NOX emissions from gas boilers?
You should be concerned about NOx, or oxides of nitrogen, full stop! Studies have shown that NOx can cause lung irritation and lower people’s resistance to pneumonia and bronchitis and other respiratory infections. Almost all NOx is emitted during the combustion of fuels. Contributions to UK emissions of NOx in 2018 were: 31% for road transport, 21% for other forms of transport (including off-road vehicles and mobile machinery), 20% from power stations and other energy producers, and 8% from other industrial sites. Domestic boilers produce more CO2 than NOx, but NOx emissions must come down even more to protect everyone’s long term health.

How does the Xclusive’s RF module help the owner and installer?
The radio frequency (RF) module fitted in the Xclusive is what makes this boiler so very smart. It allows you to manage your central heating remotely when it’s paired with our Intergas Gateway and ComfortTouch thermostat and app. For example, you can use your smartphone to change your central heating settings on your way home from work or from holiday. Your installer can also monitor your boiler’s performance remotely, using the Intergas Service Dashboard, and can stop a potential problem from developing into one.

How does the Intergas System Filter work?
As water is sent from the boiler to the radiators and back again, sludge and grit can build up in the system and that will affect boiler performance. The Intergas System Filter, when fitted to the pipe that returns water back to the boiler, removes the debris, so only clean water is returned. To comply with the new British Standard BS 7593:2019, a system filter must be fitted on every new boiler installation.

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What parts and labour warranty do I get with the Xclusive?
There’s a free 10-year parts and labour warranty that comes with this boiler. If your installer fits and registers our System Filter at the same time, that will add an additional two years to your warranty, so you get 12 years in total.

What new heating technologies can we expect to see in the coming years?
Everyone’s talking about hydrogen boilers and going all-electric, but as 85% of all UK homes use gas for their heating, it will be many years before any of us can take advantage of fossil fuel-free heating. It’s more likely that homes will have hybrid systems, like a mix of air source heat pumps and conventional boilers. The boiler is back up for when the heat pump (because of poor home insulation) won’t be enough to combat really cold snaps on its own.

Can you tell me about Intergas?
We are a Dutch boiler manufacturer with a 50-year history of making ground-breaking advances in boiler technology. Our aim has always been to increase energy efficiency and reliability, and we’ve been very successful at doing this thanks to an ingenious feature of every Intergas boiler: the bithermic heat exchanger. It was first launched in 1996, but its design is so innovative it remains at the cutting edge of boiler technology today. We set up our UK office in the Midlands in 2008, and in 2019 we were acquired by Paloma Rheem Global, Inc, giving Rheem a strong market presence in Europe and Intergas a growing one in North America. The Intergas headquarters remains in Coevorden in the Netherlands.

Where can I find out more about Intergas and its products?
You can view all our products, check out our amazing history and download our brochure by visiting: www.intergasheating.co.uk. Alternatively, you can call us on 01527 888000 and press option 7 to speak to one of customer service team or email: info@intergas-heating.co.uk

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