Central Heating

Central Heating

Maybe surprisingly, heating is required for comfort in the winter months, so why not have an efficient balanced system installed.
Central heating with radiators using aluminium, steel or designer panels is the most common form of central heating; Water heated to 65 degrees Centigrade by gas / oil fired boilers or electric heat pumps is pumped through wall hung radiators within the property. Systems are easily controllable with room thermostats. Installation requires minimal upheaval, in most cases, with systems taking a week to install. In the case of gas and oil fired systems a fuel supply is required.

Central Heating can also be achieved with underfloor heating systems. In our opinion the most comfortable form of central heating. Hot water ( 35-40 degrees C ) is pumped through coils of pipe a few centimeters below the floor tiles. Each room is piped individually to a central manifold from which the system is controlled and maintained. This form of central heating is usually more suited to new construction or major reform due to the nature of the installation and upheaval involved. An under floor heating system is suited for use with a gas or oil boiler, electric heat pump and is also compatible with a Solar installation.

Central Heating – The Legalities.

All central heating installations require a certificate RITE accrediting the system as being installed within current legislation, meeting requirements regarding heat output, insulation, use of reusable power and ventilation.
One Hundred Percent Plumbing are a licenced Rite installer.

Other ways to heat your home.

Electric heat pumps providing heating in the winter and cooling during the summer. (See air conditioning.) These are easily installed, fully programmable and a very economical way to heat and cool a smaller property.

Wall hung, balanced flue, gas convector heaters are suitable for use in smaller properties. These units use gas to heat individual rooms whilst expelling unburnt fumes to the exterior unlike mobile gas heaters.

The most cost efficient system to run?
Running costs from most expensive to cheapest are generally as follows.

Gas / Oil / Electric Heat pump / Bio fuel.

There are pros and cons with every system and each must be taken on its own merits with convenience, maintenance and initial installation costs an important consideration when making a final choice.

OIL INSTALLATIONS.

For domestic use oil is normally installed in tanks with volumes of 750Lt, 1000Lt and 1.500Lt. These can be installed inside or outside and require a concrete platform. Oil tanks are filled by lorry with new orders made by telephone to your oil supplier. Oil fired boilers are generally more expensive, noisier and require more maintenance however lower oil costs can result in savings on running costs.

ELECTRIC FOR HEAT PUMPS

Fuelled by power from the grid or from Electric solar systems. The efficient nature of a heat pump can mean considerable savings on fuel costs. In conjunction with an Electric Solar panel installation your home can be heating for free! For more information see Solar Installations.

GAS INSTALLATIONS.

All gas installations are keenly monitored by the ministry of industry and must comply with strict regulations. ( For more information see Gas – The Legalities)

Which Gas?
Gas is sold in many formats. Piped gas from a communal gas tank is becoming a common feature in new urbanisation’s. Installations must be inspected and approved before a meter is installed. A charge is then made to individual householders based on consumption.

Propane bottles 35Kg.
These are normally supplied in banks of 6, 8 or 10 and are housed in a purpose built “casitas”.

How many bottles do I need?
Legislation requires that a household has a gas supply sufficient to function over 15 days on its reserve bottles ( half of the bottles installed). Gas re ordering is via a telephone call to your gas provider who arranges for a new delivery of bottles to your house within a few days.

Propane bottles 11Kg.
These smaller bottles are convenient for high demand individual appliances as they work with a higher pressure than butane gas bottles. “Propanitos” are normally used for barbecues and gas fire installations. Small propane bottles are currently subsidised by the government and can work out approx. 40% cheaper per Kilo than the larger bottles. Because of their smaller storage capability however they are not practical for use with large central heating installations.

Butane bottles 12.5Kg.
These are usually used for individual appliances, gas hobs, mobile gas heaters. They work at a lower pressure than the similar sized propane bottles. Small butane bottles are currently subsidised by the government. They are not practical for use with central heating installations due to the low storage capability and the lower working pressure.

Gas Tanks
A Gas tank provides a convenient propane supply. The gas price per kilo is similar to that of 35Kg Propane bottles. Fuel can be paid for as it is delivered or fuel costs can be spread throughout the year in equal monthly installments. Gas is ordered by telephone and is delivered within 4 days. A gas tank is normally rented from the gas provider at a nominal cost and contracts are generally for a duration of 10 years.

Beware!
Gas tank providers contracted high rents for their tanks in previous years so if inheriting a gas tank with an old style contract you may find your rental obligations are a lot higher than they could be! If you have an existing gas tank it is possible to change your provider although a cancellation charge may apply. 100% Plumbing can make enquiries on your behalf and advise you of any costs and of the best options available to you.

Gas – The Legalities.

All gas installations need to be licensed by a registered gas installer and in many cases gas installations will also need authorisation by independent inspectors.

Gas installations also require a 5 yearly inspection and certificate except where appliances are portable ie. portable barbecues or gas heaters.

How do I know if it is an authorised installer?

100% Plumbing is an “Empresa instaladora A” licenced to install and maintain gas to industrial level. We licence all types of gas installation and arrange inspections and paperwork “in house”. We also carry out 5 yearly gas revisions and have a third party liablity insurance cover upto a value of 937,800€.

To become a gas installer involves many years of study.
Once a pass has been achieved an installer is accredited with a gas licence relative to his level of expertise. Once certain conditions have been met which include contracting an extensive third party insurance cover, and once the installer is registered with the ministry of Industry he is then able to install, maintain and authorise gas installations.

An installer will be in possession of a gas licence issued by the ministry of industry in Alicante.

Spain does not recognise gas licences from any other EU country.

IMPORTANT! Beware the Bogus gas man!

Be wary of unethical companies who although licenced will drastically overcharge at every opportunity changing components whether necessary or not.
Remember no gas company will send their technician to your property without first making a prior appointment by telephone. “Bogus gas men” prey on the unsuspecting homeowner so NEVER agree to unsolicited gas inspections.

We maintain and install Gas and Oil systems in Costa Blanca North covering, Finestrat, Altea, Alfaz, Albir, La Nucia, Benissa, Calpe, Jalon, Benitachell, Javea, Moraira, Pego, Orba and Teulada.

Call our plumbing hotline: 965 835 939 for Central Heating on the Costa Blanca