Hot prop­erty

A new wa­ter cylin­der could be just the up­date your cen­tral heat­ing needs, says Geoff Eg­gin­ton from the Hot Wa­ter As­so­ci­a­tion

Rutherglen Reformer - - House & Home - Geoff Eg­gin­ton

If YOUR home’s cen­tral heat­ing sys­tem is in need of an up­date, a new hot­wa­ter cylin­der will help. Be­ing able to sup­ply mul­ti­ple out­lets ( taps, baths, show­ers, etc) is one of the main ben­e­fits of a cylin­der-based hot­wa­ter sys­tem, mak­ing cylin­ders per­fectly suited to homes with more than one bath­room.

If an­other mem­ber of your house­hold uses a dif­fer­ent shower or bath at the same time as you, a cylin­der can sup­ply hot wa­ter to both with­out sig­nif­i­cant loss of pres­sure or an ad­verse ef­fect on the tem­per­a­ture. To­day’s cylin­ders are highly in­su­lated and ef­fi­cient, and are avail­able in a va­ri­ety of sizes to suit your house­hold – your in­staller should be able to ad­vise you on the right size. If you’re re­plac­ing an ex­ist­ing cylin­der and have added to your house­hold’s hot-wa­ter needs, per­haps by ex­pand­ing your fam­ily or adding out­lets, you may need a cylin­der with a larger ca­pac­ity. The new cylin­der will usu­ally be taller than the old one and may have a larger di­am­e­ter to meet cur­rent in­su­la­tion re­quire­ments, but it won’t need a separate in­su­la­tion jacket. There is of­ten no need to re­place the boiler at the same time, un­less it’s old and in­ef­fi­cient. Only sys­tem and reg­u­lar boil­ers work with cylin­ders, so if you cur­rently have a combi boiler and want a cylin­der, the boiler will have to be changed.

Cylin­ders usu­ally have an im­mer­sion heater, which can be used to heat wa­ter if the boiler’s turned off or out of ac­tion.

Choose from a vented/open­vented cylin­der (with a reg­u­lar boiler), where wa­ter for the cylin­der is drawn from a cold­wa­ter tank, or an un­vented cylin­der (with a sys­tem boiler), where the sys­tem is sealed and wa­ter is drawn at mains pres­sure.

If you have a vented heat­ing sys­tem, chang­ing to an un­vented sys­tem will do away with the need for wa­ter tanks and the worry as­so­ci­ated with open wa­ter stor­age. It may also in­crease the wa­ter pres­sure.

When de­cid­ing which cylin­der to buy, look at the heat-loss fig­ure (how long the cylin­der takes to cool down), the re­heat time (how long the cylin­der takes to re­heat af­ter hot wa­ter is drawn off ) and the in­su­la­tion thick­ness.

These fig­ures should be supplied by the man­u­fac­turer and so shouldn’t be dif­fi­cult to find and com­pare – you may find that spend­ing a bit more on a cylin­der will give you greater sav­ings in the longer term.

Cylin­ders are now supplied with an en­ergy-ef­fi­ciency la­bel that pro­vides a rat­ing for the cylin­der, which is sim­i­lar to the la­bels you see on fridges, freez­ers and wash­ing ma­chines, etc.

If you have so­lar ther­mal ( wa­ter- heat­ing) pan­els or are think­ing of in­stalling them, go for a cylin­der with two heat ex­changer coil­ers (twin coil).

One coil is con­nected to a boiler (or heat pump) and the other can be con­nected to so­lar ther­mal pan­els to store any so­lar gain col­lected dur­ing the day. If you don’t have or want so­lar ther­mal pan­els, a sin­gle- coil cylin­der is fine – this is de­signed to be con­nected to just one heat source, usu­ally a boiler.

A CYLIN­DER Can sup­ply hot wa­ter to mul­ti­ple out­lets with­out an ad­verse ef­fect on the tem­per­a­ture

A NEW CYLIN­DER could help serve your house­hold’s hot wa­ter needs

If you have so­lar pan­els, go for a twin coil cylin­der

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