Why LPG is often best for heating homes without mains gas
Nearly four million rural homes in the UK do not have access to mains gas, meaning that the boilers or other heat sources they use for heating and hot water must rely on an alternative energy source. The alternative closest to mains gas, for use with a boiler, is LPG and this is compatible with Viessmann’s conventional gas-condensing boilers. That’s good news for homeowners and good news for heating engineers.
LPG-compatibility is an advantage because Viessmann boilers are famously reliable, compact enough to fit in small spaces, and easy to install and maintain. Viessmann boilers are also exceptionally energy efficient, which reduces heating bills. Many A-rated LPG boilers achieve efficiencies greater than 90 per cent, meaning that more than 90 per cent of the fuel used is converted into heat – and throughout the range of Viessmann’s Vitodens models, from the compact 050-W to the powerful 200-W, they achieve extraordinary efficiencies of 97 per cent and 98 per cent. As the Energy Saving Trust points out, “heating accounts for about 55 per cent of what you spend in a year on energy bills, so an efficient boiler makes a big difference.”
How easy is it to benefit from these efficiencies?
Benefitting from these efficiencies is easier than many off-gas customers might realise. To make a Vitodens gas-condensing boiler perfectly suitable for LPG, Viessmann provides the installation engineer with a straightforward conversion kit. Small technical changes are needed because mains gas and LPG have different calorific values, burn at different temperatures, and work at different pressures. There’s not much more to the conversion than changing nozzles and valves – and with Viessmann boilers, this job is simple and quick. (The Vitodens 200 range, Viessmann’s highest specification gas-condensing boilers, don’t even need a conversion kit, as they contain a Lambda gas valve that adjusts combustion automatically when set up using the control.) Whereas an oil boiler could take a day-and-a-half to install, an LPG boiler would be fitted in a day.
Other options for heating off-grid
There are other energy options, of course, for central heating and domestic hot water boilers in homes that are off-grid. These are typically electricity or oil or solid fuel. This can be a confusing choice and it’s important to get it right. It is worth noting that electricity is about three to four times more expensive per kilowatt hour (kWh) than gas; oil is usually also significantly more expensive than gas, as well as being vulnerable to price volatility, which can make it even more expensive; and solid fuel often requires the homeowner to carry the fuel from a storage area to the biomass boiler, and perhaps also to feed the boiler as well as maintain it on a regular basis.
More eco-friendly than all other fossil fuels
With LPG, keeping the boiler fuelled is simple and straightforward. What’s more, LPG is a secure energy source and is more eco-friendly than all other fossil fuels. Standard LPG emits about 20 per cent less CO2 than oil and the renewable BioLPG for example, can reduce the carbon footprint of home-heating by a massive 38 per cent.
To avert fears of unexpectedly running out of gas, Calor tanks feature auto-ordering technology to monitor gas levels, and when a customer’s tank becomes low, a signal is sent to a local depot to schedule the next gas delivery, making the re-ordering process simple.
A choice of LPG boilers
For LPG users, there is a choice of six Viessmann Vitodens boilers – the 050-W, 100-W, 111-W, 200-W, 222-F and 242-F (which is designed for use with solar thermal) – to meet the demands of every home, no matter how large or small. All these boilers offer superior performance and reliability and stand out for their user-friendly design and ease of use. All have also been designed with smart technology in mind, enabling homeowners to save money and to control home-comfort from wherever they happen to be.
Independent reports confirm that Vitodens boilers not only keep customers satisfied, but installers too: in 2018, six of the most popular Vitodens boiler models were awarded Which? Best Buy status for the second year in a row. Which? tests are famous for being thorough, but Vitodens boilers scored the full five stars for reliability, customer satisfaction, and engineers’ recommendations.
For customers wishing to find a Viessmann Trained Installer in their area, please click here.
For installers wanting to learn more about LPG conversions on Viessmann boilers, contact your local Area Business Manager.
For installers wanting more information on LPG and BioLPG, or for details on how to become part of the Calor Installer Community, get in touch via 0800 121 7828.
In 2018, Viessmann, Calor and a number of other heating industry suppliers and installers carried out a ‘Heat for Good’ heating system installation at Let’s Play, a charitable organisation in Banbury, offering after school and holiday play facilities for disabled children and young adults.