The Best Time of Year to Get a Conservatory Built

A conservatory can be a good addition to almost any house. Whether you are simply in need of some extra space, or want to lower your heating bills by adding a south facing conservatory and increasing the thermal gain of your home, conservatories can be an excellent idea. A well designed and well built conservatory could enhance your living space – creating a sort of bridge between your garden and home. If you, like so many of us these days, are looking to save money and live a more sustainable life, a conservatory could be the answer. As well as saving money on your heating and perhaps even lighting bills, a well-insulated conservatory will be perfect for starting and growing fruit and vegetables, so it could even save you money on your food bills too!

You can build a conservatory at any time of year, but perhaps, it could be argued, the very best time to build your conservatories is in the early spring. Here are a few reasons why building your conservatory or having it built in early spring is a good idea:

– The weather is beginning to get better: This means that there will be less disruption to you while the work is going on and any work knocking through will not make the rest of your house too cold while works are ongoing. It also means that there will be less mud around. It will be easier and less messy to do some building work once the ground is thawed and the precipitation is a little less. Of course, with the British weather, there are no guarantees

– Plants need to be sown and grown:

Having conservatories installed in early spring means that they will be ready to start germinating and growing seedlings at this crucial time of year for the garden. Anything you can do to extend the growing season a little is a good idea if you have decided to grow your own.

– Maximise solar gain:

By building the conservatory when the sunlight levels begin to rise once more as we go into spring means that you and your home can maximise on the increased light levels at that fast-changing time of year. Thermal mass, such as ceramic tiles of a wall which the light hits in conservatories allows them to retain heat for later, which will be perfect when the year is still a little cold and will continue to be helpful throughout the year.

– Enjoyment:

Perhaps spring is the loveliest time of the year to sit and watch the growing garden, the birds making their nests and the spring bulbs beginning to flower. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to sit and watch your garden from a lovely warm conservatory, before it is really warm enough to actually sit outside? If liverpool conservatories are built in the spring, this gives the owner a chance to enjoy this garden room all season.

So, if you are considering a conservatory but haven’t quite made up your mind – hurry up, because the best time of year for building conservatories is almost upon us.

Get Yourself an Oil Boiler!

Oil boilers have been increasing in popularity for some time now, and are making a good go at replacing conventional gas and electric boilers. They can be used in the same way, for heating homes and water, but has many more functions and a much higher efficiency rate.
These are just some of the ways in which an oil boiler is preferable:

  • They produce significantly less carbon, making them more environmentally friendly than other boilers
  • There is no risk of danger when handling, and cleaning is simple
  • Biodiesel can be mixed with the oil to reduce emissions
  • The entire house can be warmed by using them
  • They are particularly useful in areas which aren’t on the natural gas grid
  • And oil is a lot cheaper than gas anyway!

 

There are a few different types of oil boilers to choose from. These include

  • Conventional boilers, which include hot water tanks. These are best for large families as a large amount of hot water can be stored at temperature
  • System boilers, which are standard domestic boilers. Easy to install and to maintain, all the extra parts – such as pump, valve and expansion vessel – reside within the boiler.
  • Combination boilers are preferred by small families. It heats water instantaneously, which wastes less energy, but also means that hot water flow can be slow in heading toward the outlets, making it less useful for large families.

 

There are two types of flue that an oil boiler might have – one is balanced, and the other is open. In a balanced flue, a concentric pipe is connected to the extract flue, which draws air to allow for combustion. Open flues on the other hand draw the air from the boiler room itself. Balanced flues are often recommended over open flues, because the air drawn into open flues may be contaminated by other emissions, and if clean air isn’t used the boiler may sustain some damage.

 

Installation of an oil fired condensing boiler should only ever be done by a trained professional, although watch out for additional costs. Most boilers nowadays come with control systems which can be difficult to understand, and there are further differences between domestic and industrial boilers. Industrial boilers fall into the categories of attended, unattended and limited-attendance boilers. All come with a storage tank and a control system.

 

Boilers need to be installed carefully, and it’s important to have a lot of information about which boiler is best for your home before you buy and hire an installer to fit it. The size of the boiler you buy will be largely dependant on the size of the room for installation, but the larger the house the bigger boiler is needed. Deciding to install your boiler on the cheap or without professional help can be extremely dangerous – guidelines are in place for a reason!

(Source: Grant UK)

Easy Boiler Maintenance for the Layman

There is much you can do to make life easier and reduce the likelihood of your boiler going wrong. Here are some useful tips, but please remember if you’re not confident or there’s any risk of gas or carbon monoxide leaks, you must call somebody qualified.

1) Check regularly all year.

Too many people wait until winter before turning the boiler on, only to discover a problem. Run for 10-15 minutes once in a while during spring and summer – this gives you time to discover and fix any issues before the cold weather, as well as help keep everything moving, making a breakdown less likely.

2) Read the manual

Boiler maintenance is easy if you have the correct manual to hand. If you’ve lost it, search for the model number online – you may find a pdf version. This will give you information specific to your model to help you carry out basic boiler maintenance.

atoz layman

3) Insulate your condensate pipe

If your condensate pipe is outside, wrap it with insulating material as it can easily freeze in cold weather and cause your boiler to switch off. This is known as ‘lagging’.

4) Check the pressure

If the heating isn’t working, check the pressure on the dial. On combi boilers it should be 1 – 1.5 bars. If it’s lower, you might need to tighten or refill it. If it’s higher, you might have to release excess pressure. You can fix this yourself without calling in professionals, but again, consult that manual and follow the instructions.

5) Keep it clean

Signs that your boiler needs cleaning include poor circulation, blockages, increased noise, and delays in heating up. Black sludge can build up due to corrosion and reduce efficiency so you can try draining and refilling. Ensure the boiler is off, allow it to cool, and isolate the electrical supply. Find the drain valve (consulting the manual if needed). Run a hose from here to outside the house and place a dish underneath in case of drips. Open the valve and allow to drain fully. Open the air-bleed valves on all radiators to ensure that water can drain off, and remember to close them again afterwards. Once completed, close the drain valve and remove the hose. If your system is vented, simply turn the water back on at the tank in the loft to allow it to flow back. If it’s an unvented or sealed system, connect the filling loop and open the valves to re-pressurise the system. Release any air from radiators and re-check the pressure. Depending on your manual’s recommendations, you can also add system cleaner to the expansion tank. It may take a couple more attempts at draining and re-filling to get the water drainage clear.

Always be aware of safety and call a professional if unsure. Good luck with your boiler maintenance!