FAQs

Since 1996 our team of highly skilled, directly employed engineers have helped over 170,000 homeowners with a range of central heating services, from boiler installations to full central heating system solutions.

As such, we have compiled a list of questions that we are frequently asked by our customers. However, if you have a query which we haven’t answered then please don’t hesitate to contact us.

What is a condensing boiler?

A condensing boiler is a high efficiency modern boiler that incorporates either a larger heat exchanger or even a second heat exchanger. It produces lower flue gas temperatures, lower flue gas emissions, and consumes less fuel (gas).

By recovering and using heat that would otherwise be lost up the flue, condensing boilers are over 90% efficient, which means they use over 90% of the available heat in the fuel to heat the home.

So for every pound that you put into a condensing boiler you get 90 pence worth of heat out. In contrast a standard efficiency boiler that’s over 10 years old is only around 60-70% efficient meaning that for every pound you put in, up to 30 pence is wasted – making condensing boilers extremely economical. You could even recoup the initial installation costs in fuel savings alone.

How could changing to a high efficiency condensing boiler benefit me?

When you change your old boiler to a condensing boiler, you can:

• Save money on your heating bills
• Have a more energy efficient home
• Play your part in reducing the UK’s carbon emissions
• Benefit from total peace of mind with our 10 year warranty
• Control and monitor your heating via your smartphone or tablet device

Why do I sometimes see steam coming from my boiler's flue?

There are times when a white plume or discharge can be seen coming from the flue terminal on a condensing boiler. This is due to the flue gases being cooler than in a non-condensing boiler. Therefore the water vapour within the exhaust gas is visible. Whereas, in a non-condensing boiler flue gases are hotter and they cool down further away from the terminal and dissipate differently.

The flue gases of a condensing boiler exhaust at around 55°C and cool quicker in the atmosphere and in certain outside temperatures cause a plume similar to your breath on a cold morning.

What is a conventional boiler?

Also known as ‘open vent’, ‘heat only’ or ‘regular’ boilers, conventional boilers require both a cylinder and a tank. They also tend to be more suited to homes where multiple people require hot water at the same time. If you live in an old property with a system that hasn’t been recently updated it’s likely you have a conventional boiler.

What is a combi boiler?

Combi boilers (combination boilers), are the most popular type of boiler in the UK.

Providing heat and hot water on demand, without the need for a water tank or cylinder, they take up little space and don’t require an external pump. Taking water directly from the mains and heating it, combi boilers are compact, economical to run and produce a continuous supply of water. By not storing hot water in a separate tank, combi boilers can be more energy efficient and practical than their counterparts.

What type of shower is compatible with a combi boiler?

When a traditional boiler and cylinder is replaced with a combi boiler, any existing shower should be examined for suitability. For example, the shower may have been pump assisted and designed for low-pressure systems. Combi boilers by contrast produce hot water at mains pressure, which means they are compatible with either a mains pressure balanced or thermostatically controlled shower.

What type of boiler do I need?

The best boiler for you will depend on what kind of home you have and what you want the boiler to do, as well as the kind of lifestyle that you lead. There are three different types of boiler:

• A combi boiler – the most popular boiler in the UK, this is small and compact but contains both a high-efficiency water heater and a central heating boiler. Great for: homes with little space, and little or no roof or loft space.

• A regular boiler – this ‘conventional’ boiler directly heats the central system and produces hot water for the hot water cylinder that is fed by a cold water cylinder, often located in the loft. Great for: homes where mains water pressure is low and homes with two or more bathrooms.

• A system boiler – this is similar to a regular boiler except that it has no feed and expansion cistern and therefore is more economical and will warm up the central heating system faster. Great for: homes where mains water pressure is low and homes with two or more bathrooms. If you’re upgrading from a regular boiler you will see increased efficiency.

Is it free for one of your heating surveyors to come and give me a quote for a new boiler?

YES, we offer a FREE no obligation quotation. Just call our office and we can arrange for one of our heating surveyors to visit your property. Once the surveyor is at your property you can either choose to go ahead with the provided quote or get back to us at a later date.

How long will it take to install a new boiler?

Depending on the type of boiler you choose and how complex your heating system is, installation time can be anything from a day’s work to two or three days. If you’re converting from a system or conventional boiler to a combi boiler, you may be without heating and hot water for at least one day and night.

What do I need to do or think about in preparation for the installation?

If you aren’t planning to be at home when the work is being carried out, please be available for at least one hour at the start and end of the work. This will enable our heating engineer to confirm all the details of the installation before we start and show you the benefits of your heating system when it’s finished.

Will I have gas, electricity and cold water during my boiler installation?

Your gas, electricity and cold water supply can normally be isolated in the areas where we are working so you should be able to use these utilities for most of the time.

Will there by any disruption to my home during my boiler installation?

Our engineers will treat your property with the utmost respect and aim to keep any disruption to a minimum. They will cover carpets, protect work surfaces and use dustsheets in all areas they work. Please try to remove ornaments and other items from the working area around the boiler and radiator position.

How do I bleed my radiators?

Radiators may need bleeding when cold at the top and warm at the bottom. Ensuring that your heating is turned off, use a bleed key to open the radiator bleed valve. Have a cloth to hand, let any air out of the radiator until water starts to come out. Having done this close the bleed valve (not too tightly) and repeat the process as necessary. After bleeding your radiators check the system pressure if applicable to your system.

How soon can you install my new boiler?

From appointment to installation Safegas can install your new boiler within 48 hours.

My boiler wasn’t installed by Safegas; can I still have it serviced by you?

Our local, highly skilled Safegas engineers can service a variety of boilers – so it doesn’t matter whether we did not originally install it. All you need to do is call a member of our friendly team on 01937 588 181 to arrange an appointment that is convenient for you, then sit back and relax.

Why could my heating not be working?

Here are five initial checks that you can make yourself before contacting us:

1. Check that your time controls are turned on
2. Is your thermostat turned up above the room temperature?
3. Is there sufficient pressure within your system (combi boilers)?
4. Check that your gas and electric are not switched off
5. Is your time clock displaying the correct time?