Boiler Installation in Stevenage

Having an energy efficient boiler installation

Modern condensing boilers boast between 92-94% efficiency. These are often referred to as A-rated boilers. Boilers over twenty five years old can be as little as 60% efficient, or G-rated. But it is not as simple as swapping out an old boiler for a new boiler to reduce your fuel bills. Condensing boilers are not A-rated from the moment they are installed, but why? The simple answer is that newly installed boilers run up to twenty five percent under their A-label efficiency rating because some installers have not been correctly trained to set condensing boilers up properly. Vantage ensure all boiler installations are set up correctly to maximise the efficiency of the chosen boiler.

In this guide we help you calculate the genuine potential energy savings from a new boiler and guide you on selecting a boiler with the most efficiency potential. You will need a competent installer to bring it together in the home and we guide you there too. There are lots of changes you can make to vastly improve the efficiency of your existing system without changing the boiler. We give you impartial advice on all things efficiency to get you the best heating system for your home.

Boiler efficiency

A boiler’s energy efficiency is the percentage of the total energy used by the boiler to provide useable and effective heating. For a modern boiler with 94% efficiency, 94% of the energy used by the boiler is used to heat the home, with only 6% being lost. For old boilers with a 60% efficiency, only 60% of the energy used by the boiler goes to heating the home, a considerable 40% is lost. Now that is a loss that will impact the environment and your bank account.

Boilers, like other domestic appliances such as washing machines and dishwashers have energy efficiency ratings from A-G. Modern boilers have to be A-rated and show it on their literature.

As a rough guide, an A rating offers 90% and above, B rating gives 86-90%, C gives 82-86%, D is around 78-82%, E sits at 74-78%, F is 70-74% and G falls below 70%

Why are new boiler installations more efficient?

All modern boilers are condensing boilers. This means they are able to recover heat that was previously lost via the flue to pre-heat the heating system.

Now this is where the correct method of boiler installation kicks in. The heat that previously escaped via the flue is captured by the second heat exchanger and it can only do this if it has turned back into water vapour, which is why it’s called a condensing boiler. This requires the boiler to run at a much lower temperature. The lower the temperature, the more efficient the boiler. The fact is most boilers are shipped with their factory settings of about eighty degrees Celsius, which means they rarely condense and most of the useful heat is lost via the flue. This is why correct boiler installation is so vital.

In order for modern boilers to run at their A-rated efficiencies, they need to run at lower temperatures. A rated boiler temperatures are around sixty five degrees Celsius, whereas older systems ran at eighty degrees Celsius. We ensure all our boiler installations of condensing units run at the A rated temperature.

Condensing boiler installation from 2005

Condensing boilers became mandatory in 2005. If your boiler is less than 15 years old then will have been labelled A-rated.

All boilers must be A-rated with factory tested efficiencies of 92-94% or higher. Because the boiler is just one part of the heating system, the whole system must work efficiently for the boiler to achieve 90% or more.

Modern boilers can vary their output up and down to meet changing temperatures, which is very efficient, but only when paired with a control that speaks the same language.

Big is not always better

It is common for boilers to be oversized as a ‘belt and braces’ exercise. Over-sizing the boiler will lead to it cycling on and off, thus using far too much fuel. This constant on and off cycling puts strain on your boiler, as it will burn more fuel and the components will become worn out quicker. It will also rarely operate in what is known as ‘condensing mode’ and this is when the boiler can be 90% efficient. Any gas engineer worth their salt will be able to size and adjust your boiler to run more efficiently.

So, if you want a new boiler installation that will work effortlessly and save you money, whilst being kinder to the environment, Vantage will have the answer.

In an age where the prices of gas are rising so rapidly, you can ill afford not to select the correct boiler and a reputable company to carry out the boiler installation for you.

Ghostly goings on in Stevenage

Both the Old and New Towns of Stevenage are littered with ghostly stories and tales of paranormal activity. This is easy to understand when one considers Stevenage old town, but the newer part of Stevenage looks the most unlikely setting for spooky stories of things that go bump in the night.

The Six Hills Burial Mounds in Stevenage

The Six Hills, grass-covered Roman burial mounds dating from around AD 100, are Stevenage’s most familiar landmark. Many people unfamiliar with the Stevenage area or its history believe that they are simply mounds of earth left over from local modern day construction; clearly this is not the case though.

Although much has changed around the Stevenage mounds throughout the centuries, they have remained unchanged.

A local legend has grown up of unexpected goings on and misfortune taking place to those who have rashly tried to dig into the mounds in search of buried treasure and similar artefacts.

However, tales of ghostly dogs and phantom hounds of death are most associated with the Six Hills.

In 1910, a woman described two incidents of the appearance of a black dog apparition near the Stevenage site.

One involved the lady herself who claimed to have seen a large black hound as big as a donkey which rose up out of the ground in front of her and a party of friends as they walked along a footpath close to the burial mounds.

The second involved a local gamekeeper who described seeing a large black dog which rushed past him in the darkness one night and disappeared in the direction of the Six Hills barrows. Could these have been sightings of the famous Black Shuk?

In English folklore, The Black Shuck is the name given to a ghostly black dog which is said to roam the Hertfordshire countryside, although it is also reported to stalk East Anglia, namely Norfolk and Suffolk. It is also claimed that it roams the Cambridgeshire Fens and Essex. Accounts of Black Shuck form part of the folklore of, and descriptions of the creature’s appearance and nature vary considerably; it is sometimes recorded as an omen of death, the Devil incarnate, but in other instances, is described as friendly.

More recently, there was reported to be the sighting of a bloodstained male figure running in the roadway parallel to the burial mounds. Local police conducted a search but found nothing. The popular theory is that it was someone who had been involved in an altercation at a local pub, hence the blood.

The old NatWest Bank in Stevenage Old Town

The gruesome tale of a Stevenage grocer named Henry Trigg and his unburied coffin remains the most famous of Stevenage’s ghost stories.

Trig was worried that when he died, his body would fall victim to the Resurrection Men and grave robbers that were a common problem at that time. These criminals would dig up graves looking for jewellery, gold teeth or to pass freshly buried bodies to unscrupulous medical students for dissection in return for payment. He left an instruction in his will that his coffin was to remain unburied and for a minimum period of thirty years would be kept in the roof of a rented barn at the rear of his shop in what was up until very recently a branch of the NatWest bank.

After he died in 1724, his brother Thomas complied with the strange request and Henry’s lead-lined casket was lifted up and placed among the rafters where it has remained ever since.

Sadly, his original fears were justified anyway, as souvenir hunters were to steal pieces of the poor man over the coming years. Gradually, pieces of the skeleton were removed as mementos and trophies by a succession of local townsfolk to the point that when the East Herts Archaeological Society examined the coffin in the early 1900s they discovered that a third of his remains had been removed from the coffin.

The remainder of his skeleton was finally buried in 1999 but the coffin remains in the rafters of the building.

This sort of tale wouldn’t be the same without a ghost to go with it and accounts of a scruffy man, wearing old fashioned gaiters, has been seen in and around the building during the late 1960s and early 1970s. The apparition is believed to be the spirit of Henry Trigg, possibly out looking for his missing bones.

The White Lion Public House in Stevenage

The Stevenage building that stands today dates from the eighteenth century, but a coaching inn was built on the site before. During the Napoleonic Wars, French prisoners of war that were being marched north through Stevenage to a prison camp at Norman Cross near Peterborough were often held under guard overnight in the White Lion’s stables and possibly in the tunnel, which is now blocked off, which runs from the cellar of the pub under the road to the Cromwell Hotel on the east side of the Stevenage Old Town.

Managers and bar staff at the White Lion have experienced many ghostly goings on over the years.

They have reported hearing the sound of footsteps, scratching, a strange rustling noise together with banging and crashing sounds coming from where the prisoners were kept. Doors have been seen to open and close by themselves, while in July 2014 a glowing white shape was caught on CCTV during a night time thunderstorm, although doubters have suggested this was simply part of the storm being captured.

Knebworth House near Stevenage

Situated on the outskirts of Stevenage, Knebworth House has been the family seat of the Lytton family since fifteenth century.

A Tudor manor house built by Sir Robert Lytton in 1490 was variously adapted and altered over the years and the building that visitors to Knebworth see today, complete with battlements and gargoyles, dates from between 1843 to 1845, when the novelist Edward Bulwer-Lytton carried out extensive remodelling in the then fashionable Gothic Revival style.

Knebworth’s most famous ghost is a glowing apparition known as the ‘Yellow Boy’ which is believed to have appeared as an omen of death to Lord Castlereagh. This peer of the realm was Robert Stewart, 2nd Marquess of Londonderry, who committed suicide at his home at Loring Hall in Kent in 1822 after seeing the glowing boy near the Stevenage stately home.

It is now widely believed that there is no real truth in the story and much of the background of another of Knebworth’s paranormal activities is the sound of a phantom spinning wheel known as ‘Spinning Jenny’. This tale is taken from a fictional pamphlet that was published in London in 1800.

Fans of spooky stories can rest assured that Knebworth does have some ‘real’ ghost. Apparently, an apparition thought to be that of the seventeenth century Parliamentarian John Hampden was seen by students who were staying at the grand house near Stevenage during World War II.

More recently a white shadow is said to have appeared on a number of occasions in the house’s Picture Gallery and the ghost of a former worker who committed suicide in the grounds was seen in the garden in the 1980s. There have also been some reports of eerie footsteps and strange knocking noises heard when nobody was there.

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