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Central Heating Pump

  • Innovative Ways to Keep Your Home Warm this Winter

    With the days getting shorter and the nights getting longer, more and more of us are reaching for that extra blanket or hot water bottle in a desperate attempt to cut back on our energy bills. More often than not though, these attempts are in vain. But what if I told you there are a number of simple and cost-effective ways you can keep your home a few degrees warmer without breaking the bank?

    Grundfos Magna 32

    DIY draught excluders

    In the modern age, it is easy to obsess over increasingly intricate and complex technologies and how they can make our lives better - and the same certainly applies to heating. But sometimes we are better off looking to the past and the use of draught excluders is one such example. Designed to prevent heat escaping from beneath your door, draught excluders are a necessity for a pleasantly warm home. If you are feeling particularly money savvy, you can easily create one of your own using nothing more than an old pair of tights and a few socks.

    Imitating double glazing

    You don’t need to shell out on double glazing to reap the rewards of it. In spite of its garish appearance, bubble wrap is a surprisingly effective alternative to double glazing. Thanks to its insulating properties, it is a more than worthy mimic. By coating your windows with bubble wrap, you can keep your home considerably warmer. Because of its appearance though, it certainly isn’t going to appeal to everyone. There is another option for the more aesthetically conscious - a transparent film.

    Capturing sunlight during the day and keeping it trapped at night

    If you aren’t going to rely on conventional heating methods during the winter months, you have to make the most of what little sunlight is available to you. The most effective - and simplest - way to do this is to open your curtains during the day and close them during the night. Any sunlight that filters into your home during the day will have a warming effect and closing your curtains or blinds when the sun goes in will ensure as much of the heat is retained as possible.

    Installing the right heating pump

    As much as you can maximise the temperature of your home using a variety of DIY methods, there is no substitute for a quality heating pump. The Grundfos Magna 32 is a stellar example. As an ‘A’ rated circulator, it is widely recognised as one of the best on the market today - and it owes this status to its efficiency. It uses up to 80% less energy than a ‘D’ rated circulator, culminating in an annual saving for the average household of around 10% on electricity. Whilst saving both energy and money, the Magna 32 will ensure that you have hot water whenever you need it - whether that be to run a hot bath or to switch on a radiator.

  • How to Fight Back Against Food Waste

    As a society we’ve grown disturbingly accustomed to wasting resources and destroying our fragile planet. Hundreds of trillions of gallons of water are wasted globally in food production alone, an unfathomable number to the average person. And yet the water we use to drink, bathe in, shower in, and flush the toilet with, accounts for less than one per cent of the world’s overall supply. In a century where the global population is expected to surpass nine billion, it’s never been more critical to manage our use of resources and limit waste.

    We’re all guilty of wasting food but not all of us are aware of the dire impact this is having on the environment. Landfills of rotting, wasted food are potent sources of methane - a greenhouse gas with the potential to accelerate climate change even faster than carbon dioxide. A reduction in food wastage would also mean a reduction in the emission of greenhouse gases in general, as the environment-harming chemicals associated with the production of food will be lessened.

    So what can we do to reduce food waste?

    Planning meals in advance

    Shopping list

    Efficiency and management is the key. At the supermarket, try to shop with a list, reducing impulsive purchases. A weekly planning schedule could help, giving you an idea of what to prepare and when. In time, you’ll develop a knack for portion sizes, and will learn what’s right for you and others, you may even find you’ve overspent in the past, making your weekly shop more cost effective.

    Getting creative with leftovers

    pickled goods

    As much as proper planning can help, leftovers are unfortunately more or less an inevitability. Freezing anything that is left over can preserve it for months. Canning, pickling and drying are three effective ways of ensuring your food goes further. The Love Food Hate Waste website is an invaluable resource - it is full of unorthodox, underrated and underappreciated cooking techniques and recipes that can help you create something delicious from what you would otherwise assume are incompatible ingredients.

    Invest in a wilo central heating pump

    wilo central heating pump

    While it won’t technically reduce the amount of food waste you generate, a wilo central heating pump will help to reduce the guilt you’ll feel after hearing the following statistic: throwing away a single burger wastes the same amount of water as running a shower for an hour and-a-half. Whenever food is wasted, so too is a mass of water.

    These ingenious central heating circulator units from Wilo regulate and maintain the water temperature in pipes even if they aren’t located near the storage tank or boiler. Although some initial energy is expended maintaining a uniform temperature, in the long term you can expect a drastic reduction in both consumption and wastage. After all, there’s no need heat up the water if it’s already at a desirable temperature, and you’ll no longer have to let the water ‘run’ as you turn on the tap - because it’ll already be hot.

  • Is infrared heating here to stay?

    Infrared heating has struggled to find its market - that is, until late last year. Having been all but dismissed as a viable alternative to LPG (Liquid Petroleum Gas) infrared heating has since pivoted to great success. Infrared saunas are the latest craze gripping the famously fickle attention of the health industry - but is it just another fad that will stick around for a matter of months before exiting as unceremoniously as it entered, or is it built to last long-term?

    The history of infrared heaters  

    It wasn’t for another 150 years after the discovery of infra-red radiation that it was properly adapted for the purpose of heating. During World War Two, infrared heating started to prosper more. Banks and banks of infrared lamps were constructed to dry paints and lacquers on military equipment. After the war ended, infrared heating failed to go from strength-to-strength, with its use floundering rather than flourishing.

    Fit for use in the home?

    grundfos alpha

    Infra-red heating models itself as an alternative to the gas heaters that have a stranglehold on the heating market. Better for the environment and better for your bank balance apparently. Whilst the former can be true (if the source of electricity is renewable in origin) the latter certainly isn’t. At 14p per kWh (kilowatt hour) infrared heating is the most expensive heating fuel available. And it is perhaps for this reason that infrared heating has failed to cut into LPG’s sizeable market share in domestic heating - especially as LPG costs a meagre 6p per kWh. With tech like the Grundfos selectric ensuring maximum efficiency, the price battle between LPG and infrared becomes a complete mismatch.

    The revival of infrared heating?

    Infrared heating has experienced a resurgence as of late, mostly thanks to the infrared sauna and the growing roster of famous clientele that swear by its effects. Unlike many other health fads that fail to expand beyond the trend-setting hub of Los Angeles, infrared saunas have successfully breached the proverbial ceiling - and for that reason, they look set to stay -at least for a while anyway.

    What are infrared saunas?

    grundfos alpha

    As you can probably guess from the name, an infrared sauna replaces the heat that is typically generated through traditional means (hot rocks and water or something of that ilk) with radiant heat from infrared light. Because the infrared rays heat the body directly, rather than the surrounding air, a lower temperature of around 70°C (normal sauna temperature is around 90°C) is required to achieve the same cardiovascular exertion.

    Does the science back up the reported effects?

    What infrared saunas haven’t escaped is the absolute scarcity of scientific evidence backing their extensive list of miraculous effects. Improvements in cardiovascular health, weight loss, detoxification, and even euphoria are just a few of many supposed benefits.  The cardiovascular benefits are well-documented, but the rest, not so much. The weight loss claim is dubious at best - water weight is lost through sweat but is quickly replaced when rehydration takes place. As for the detoxifying effect, there is no evidence that any heavy metals or radiation are wiped from your body as many ‘experts’ have claimed. The purpose of sweat is to cool your body, not to expel toxins.

    In spite of the controversy, infrared saunas are enjoying a period of popularity at the moment and the future of infrared heating seems to rest firmly in the niche of saunas, rather than central heating.

  • How does a central heating pump work?

    central heating pumpCentral heating pumps are responsible for the pumping of hot water around your central heating system. These pumps will deliver hot water around your building from the boiler, to the radiators, and back to the boiler again.

    When water travels from your boiler it’s hot, and as it makes its way through your pipes and to your radiator it loses heat. It is the heat from this pumped hot water that is responsible for the heating of the room. The water in the radiator then cools and travels to the boiler to repeat the process again. The whole purpose of a central heating pump is to make this procedure far more efficient and therefore effective.

    Some heat pumps come with a number of features & benefits that can really help increase the efficiency of it. One of these features is a wet rotor pump, which is specifically designed in such a way that it provides consistent pressure in your pipes. A huge benefit of this kind of pump is that it can automatically adjust the central heating pumps performance based on the demands of the system, which can greatly decrease the running costs of your central heating.

    Sometimes problems occur within a pump, but these are easily fixed for the most part. Here are some common problems when it comes to central heating pumps and the action you can take to fix them.

    The central heating pump makings a rattling noise against the wall

    Be sure to check if the pump is secured properly, if the screws holding it into place are loose be sure to tighten them.

    The pump doesn’t heat all of the radiators

    Turn the pressure up, though be aware this should only be done if the problem is upstairs. There could also be a problem that the pump is old and doesn’t have the power that it used to in order to be able to pump the water round the system.

    Noises from central heating

    There may be air in the pumps, be sure to bleed the radiators to rectify this.

    The pump casing is hot

    You may need to get the pump replaced, the pump casing can be warm but if it is too hot to be able to leave your hand on then there is a clear problem.

    The pump is making a lot of noise

    If you can hear a knocking noise within the pump, there is a good chance something has become misplaced inside of it. You will need to replace it.

    The pump isn’t making any noise at all

    It may be dead. Check if the pump has been turned off, or if a fuse near the pump has blown.

    Boiler heating the hot water but not the central heating (or vice versa)

    This is a common problem when the heating has not been used for a while and it has a simple solution: simply give the central heating a gentle tap. This can be more effective than you realise as it can free a sticking valve.

    At Pump Sales Direct, we are fully equipped if you need to replace your central heating pump. We have a wide variety available to choose from that will suit anyone’s needs.

  • Getting a SAP Pass for a Self-Build

    Getting a SAP Pass for a Self-Build - central heating pumpWe're all being encouraged to be more energy-efficient in our homes, and that affects not just boilers but everything from the insulation to the type of central heating pump installed.

    If you're building your own home, it will need to undergo the Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) in order to get an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) and be signed off by the building inspector.

    Understanding SAP

    It's important to understand exactly what the SAP is. A SAP rating allows different properties to be compared for energy-efficiency. It measures how much energy is used by the property, how much of this is lost and how good the building is at retaining heat.

    SAP ratings are on a one to 100 scale - a property scoring 100 would be so efficient that it actually exported energy to the grid. A higher rating therefore means a more efficient home that will use less energy and create less CO2.

    Getting a SAP

    SAP ratings need to be carried out by an accredited assessor. It takes into account the construction materials used, insulation, ventilation, the efficiency of heating systems and their controls, solar gain and any renewable energy technology.

    The SAP rating is used to create an EPC, which gives potential buyers the ability to compare the energy-efficiency of different properties. An EPC once granted is valid for 10 years unless there are any major changes to the property.

    Plan ahead

    In order to get a high SAP score, it pays to start thinking about energy-efficiency at the design stage. If you leave things too late, you could end up having to carry out costly and disruptive remedial work. You can get an initial SAP assessment before you apply for planning consent, which will help avoid problems later.

    The SAP test will often involve an air test. This involves blowing air into the house and measuring how much escapes. While all homes need some ventilation, too much means you're losing heat and could fail the test. It might be worth getting an air test done before the official assessment so you can fix any issues.

    U and Non-U Revisited

    All building materials have a u-value. This indicates how good they are at stopping heat from passing through them. The lower the u-value, the better the insulation value of the product. By specifying the most u-efficient products at the planning stage, you'll reduce the risk of problems later. Play special attention to doors and windows, as these are areas where heat is most likely to escape, so adhering to the latest standards for frames and glazing will help your score.

    Feel the Heat

    Heating systems have a major impact on SAP scores. Having an energy-efficient boiler or an alternative system like a heat pump is important. But heating controls make a big difference too. You need to show that you can obtain heat only when and where it's needed, so sophisticated programmers, wireless thermostats that you can take from room to room and thermostatic radiator valves are must-haves.

    Choose an Efficient Central Heating Pump

    Even the humble heating pump can make a difference, so ensure you choose a model with energy-efficient features like variable speed technology, and one that will work in harmony with your other heating controls to only run when needed.

    Find out more about SAP Calculations.

  • How to replace a central heating pump

    central heating pumpIn any ‘wet’ central heating system, it’s the circulation pump that is one of the most likely components to fail. This is hardly surprising, as a central heating pump works pretty hard. When your pump needs replacing, you may be tempted to call a plumber, but in fact it’s a fairly easy job to do yourself. Here’s how to know if your pump needs changing.

    First of all, you need the right tools for the job. You’ll need a couple of adjustable spanners, an electrical screwdriver and a paint-roller tray and some cloths to catch any spillages and drips. Next, make sure you get the right type of replacement pump. You’ll find a wide range on Pump Sales Direct, and there will be a label on your old pump that will help you determine the type you need.

     

    Changing the central heating pump

    1. When you’ve got together all that you need, you’re ready to start changing the pump. Begin by disconnecting the pump’s electricity supply. There’ll usually be an isolator switch allowing you to turn off the supply to the system. With this safely off, you can remove the cover to the pump’s electrical connections; make a note - or take a photo - of where the wires go before you disconnect them.

    2. In most modern heating systems there will be isolator valves above and below the pump, allowing you to turn off the water supply. Close both of these by turning them clockwise; you can then unscrew the connections holding the pump in place - make sure you don’t disturb the connections that attach the isolator valves to the rest of the pipework. Use your paint tray to catch any water that’s released.

    3. With both connections undone, you can remove the old pump and any washers. The washers can be reused if you must, but it’s best to replace them with new ones to prevent future problems. Put the new pump and washers in position and do up the connections. Make them finger-tight to start with to ensure you haven’t damaged the threads, and then tighten them up with your adjustable spanners. Make sure not to over-tighten.

    4. You can now reopen the isolator valves, checking for any leaks as you do so. Check that the electrical connection box is completely dry and re-attach the connections - refer to the sketch or photo you made at the start.

     

    Restarting the system

    Now you can test the system. Switch the power back on and turn up the room thermostat to kick the heating into life. You should be able to hear the new pump turning when the system is on. Changing the pump is likely to have introduced some air into the system, and there will be a bleed screw on the pump itself to allow you to get rid of this.

    Open the bleed screw gently and you should hear hissing as the air escapes. Keep a tray or cloth handy to catch any dribbles. When the hissing sound stops and you see some water, you can close the valve. It’s also a good idea to bleed the radiators at this point to ensure no air has been introduced into the system.
    That’s all there is too it - your new pump should now be running and your heating operating properly again. Shop your replacement central heating pump

  • How to test your central heating pump

    With the summer soon coming to an end, the nights will start drawing in and you’ll start looking for comforts again to keep you warm and cosy throughout those cold winter evenings. That’s right - sooner or later, it’ll be time to fire up the central heating once more.

    heating pumps

    Central heating is a ubiquitous feature in modern houses, and many older homes have been retro-fitted. Anyone who has lived through a winter with central heating will know the massive difference it can make to your levels of comfort and relaxation during the colder months, alongside preventing such annoyances and hazards as frozen or burst pipes.

    There would be little worse than rushing to switch on the central heating pumps on a chilly evening, having just got back from work, only to find that it’s not working. Your pump has probably not been used over the previous few months, and for this reason we thoroughly recommend testing your heating pump now to avoid disappointment down the line. Follow this guide to make sure your central heating system is up to scratch.

    How to test your heating pumps

    1. Start by checking that the settings on the pump are as they should be. Modern heating pumps can have a variety of settings and features, such as variable flow speed and power consumption settings. Ensure that your system is setup correctly, and remedy the problem if it's not.

    2. Next, after making sure that the electricity supply to the pump is switched on, turn on your central heating. You should be able to hear your pump rotating. If you have a quiet pump, place the metal end of a plastic-handled screwdriver on the pump with your ear on the end of the handle. You should be able to hear the mechanism rotating.

    3. At this point, your pump will either sound all right or won’t appear to be rotating. In either case, switch off power to the pump and remove the pump bleed screw. Be prepared for a small amount of water leakage as you do this. Remove any debris that you find inside. If your pump wasn’t turning before, gently try to turn the pump spindle with the screwdriver. If it’s stiff, turn it several times to loosen it up. Return the pump bleed screw to its correct location.

    4. If your pump still doesn’t rotate when turned back on, check the fuse. A blown fuse may even have tripped the RCD. Reset the RCD and replace the fuse, if appropriate. If you still have no luck, turn off the electrical supply to the pump and try checking the electrical connections with a voltmeter. You may feel more comfortable calling in a professional at this stage.

    5. Another common problem with heat pumps can be poor circulation, with hot radiators downstairs but not upstairs. The pump may be old and unable to supply sufficient pressure. Try turning up the pressure to see if this helps. Bleeding the radiators, as well as the pump itself, is also a good idea in summer, as any problems uncovered can be rectified whilst the system isn’t needed.

    Following these tips should ensure that you’ll be nice and toasty during the long, cold winter nights. Did this work for you? Do you have any other tips for keeping your central heating system in tip-top condition? Get in touch and let us know.

     

  • The history of central heating: From 15AD to 2015

     

    central heating pumps

    Today we take our central heating systems for granted, but it wasn’t always like that. Our modern systems with efficient boilers and central heating pumps are designed to keep our properties as warm as we like, but they have developed substantially from the initial models. Here we take a look at the development of central heating, from the early Roman methods through to the systems we benefit from today.

     

    Early Heating Methods

    The Romans were the first to invent any form of heating as far back as 15AD. Hypocaust, as the system was called, used a furnace to create hot air that then went along channels under the floor and pipes within the walls to generate heat. This type of heating created better living conditions and was the start of the development of central heating.

     

    19th-Century Developments

    Once the Roman Empire collapsed, the use of central heating largely came to an end, and homes generated heat through the use of individual fireplaces. Over the next thousand years, there was very little central heating in existence. It wasn’t until the 1830s that mass-produced systems that used steam were introduced.

     

    These were initially created by Angier March Perkins, who was an American based in the UK. His first customer was the then Governor of the Bank of England, who wanted to keep his home warm to enable him to grow grapes.

     

    Radiators were first introduced in Russia in 1855, and this is when we see the start of central heating as we know it today. Thomas Edison then went on to invent the electric heater in 1883, and by 1896 there were solar water heaters in existence.

     

    Central Heating Pumps in the 20th Century

    There were further developments in central heating systems during the middle of the 20th century. Robert C Webber came up with a direct exchange ground source pump towards the end of the 1940s.

     

    Central heating started to be installed within new homes from the mid-20th century. Today very few homes don’t have any form of central heating. Our modern systems combine radiators, a boiler and central heating pumps. Radiators are designed as a feature of the room now rather than a bulky appliance, and there are designer, slim and vertical styles to choose from.

     

    21st-Century Heating

    We now benefit from far more advanced heating systems than those early Roman models. The technology that we use within central heating pumps and other components allows the system to run as efficiently and effectively as possible. This enables us to have lovely warm homes while at the same time helping to keep our energy usage in check.

     

    Engineers are constantly looking at ways of improving our central heating systems to make them more efficient and cheaper. We are now seeing the use of more renewable sources of energy, such as solar and wind. They are considered a more viable option than they were a few years ago, and this is an area that will see significant changes in the coming years.

  • 5 ways to cut the cost of heating in your home

    The average family living in a three-bedroom house spends around £1,044 per year on gas and electricity, according to the energy regulator Ofgem. With energy prices having risen by more than 50% in the past five years, finding ways to cut your fuel bills is essential for any family that wants to make the most of their money. From reducing waste to updating your central heating pump, check out the following tips to see if you're saving as much as possible.

    central heating pump

     

    1. Switch Energy Suppliers

    According to a study carried out by the University of East Anglia, 47 per cent of households have never switched their energy supplier. Despite this, switching suppliers is one of the most effective ways to cut your heating bills, with typical savings of up to £100 per year. Thanks to a variety of comparison sites, switching is quick and easy and does not cause any disruption to your energy supply. The best tariffs are usually reserved for those customers choosing to pay by direct debit, so be sure you are using this option.

     

    2. Minimise Wastage

    If you're replacing domestic appliances, try to buy the most energy-efficient models you can. It's also important to use your appliances in the most efficient manner: always choose the lowest-temperature wash possible, and if the washing machine or dishwasher is not full, be sure to use the half-load or economy setting. Avoid leading televisions, computers and other items on standby, and when light bulbs blow, replace them with energy-saving models. Check doors and windows for draughts, and use sealant foam - widely available at your local DIY store - to save another £20 per year.

     

    3. Upgrade Your Central Heating Pump

    If your boiler is more than a decade old, the chances are high that it's nowhere near as energy-efficient as a more modern unit. However, with the cost of a boiler replacement running to many thousands of pounds, the potential savings, even over a lifetime, simply don't make financial sense. However, having your boiler serviced on an annual basis will ensure it is always working as efficiently as possible, and upgrading key parts, such as your central heating pump, could lead to even greater savings. Here at Pump Sales Direct you'll find a variety of models to suit a wide range of central heating systems.

     

    4. Think About Thermostats

    Modern thermostats are more accurate at measuring the temperature of a room and will therefore only keep your heating on for as long as necessary. Programmable models will automatically adjust the temperature according to the time of day and day of the week so that your heating only comes on when the house is occupied. According to the Energy Saving Trust, a new thermostat could cut your annual heating bill by as much as £150. Make sure your thermostat is placed in the room you use most regularly and that it is positioned away from radiators, televisions or other heat sources that could reduce its accuracy. Reducing the setting of your thermostat by a single degree can shave as much as £55 per year from your heating bills. Turning off radiators or setting a lower temperature in rooms that are not being used on a regular basis is another way to save.

     

    5. Shower Smarter

    If you get out of the shower one minute earlier than usual, you'll save £10 per year per person. If you have a water meter fitted, you'll save a further £15 in water costs. For a family of four, the savings equal £100 per year. If your shower and bath are fed directly from the hot water tank, you can also cut down your bills with just a small reduction in the water temperature setting.

  • How to install a central heating pump

    Changing a central heating pump may sound like a major task. However, it’s not as difficult as you think and is a task that can easily be undertaken by a competent DIYer. We’ve created a step-by-step guide to show how to install a central heating pump.

    Central Heating Pump

     1. What You’ll Need

    Before you start, you’ll need to have the following: an electrician’s screwdriver; a pipe wrench or adjustable spanner; a bowl and towels or paper towels to catch any drips; and of course a new pump.

     

    2. What to Check

    Today’s central heating pumps are a standard size, so the new pump should fit into the gap left by the old one. However, older pumps may differ, so when you go to buy a new pump make sure you have the measurements of the old one along with the type and diameter of the connections. If it’s different, you can get adaptors to fill the gaps. Also make a note of the type of pump and the setting of its output regulator.

     

    3. Turn Off the Power

    Turn off the power, or at least the power to the central heating circuit, at the consumer unit. Disconnect the electrical connections to the pump, and make a note of which wires go to which terminals.

     

    4. Isolate the Pump

    There should be isolating valves at the side of the pump. They will have a spindle or a wheel handle that can be turned with a spanner. Turn these off, and the pump can be removed without needing to drain the whole system.

     

    5. Disconnect the Pump

    Now place your bowl under the pump to catch any water that’s released when it’s disconnected. Hold on to the pump, and using your wrench unscrew the union nuts either side of the pump. Once the old pump is loose, you can lift it out.

     

    6. Fit the New Pump

    Put the new pump into place. Use fresh sealing washers to prevent leaks, and tighten the union nuts to fix the new pump in place. Open the isolation valves to allow water into the pump, and check that the connections are watertight.

     

    7. Reconnect the Electrics

    Reconnect the electrical cables - using your note of how they fit from earlier - and turn the power back on. You can now turn on the heating and check that it’s working properly.

     

    8. Checks

    In a system with an expansion tank, check that water isn’t being discharged through the safety vent into the tank when the pump starts. Consult a plumber if it does. Finally, check your radiators for airlocks and bleed as required.

    Shop the full range of Central Heating Pumps today here at Pump Sales Direct!

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