The combustion ability of a burner relates to it’s ability to burn the fuel it’s using completely, and this is tested by measuring the amount of excess air and unburned fuel in the burner’s exhaust product.

It makes sense that it’s the burners that show low levels of unburned fuel and low excess air levels that have the best efficiency ratings overall. This also relates to a burners given ability to avoid what’s known as “stack temperature” and means that the burner has a higher “thermal efficiency”. This is not the same as combustion efficiency.

A burner that’s producing excess air levels of about twenty five percent is said to be running at a pretty high level of efficiency. A burner operating at these levels is going to result in lower quantities of unburned fuel. This of course will also depend on the burner and boiler combination being used.

Burners that are designed with superior functionality can even get to an even lower excess air level of about fifteen percent. This is another reason why it’s important to ensure clients understand the benefits of installing a well designed system to begin with. The savings long term are more than worth the extra investment up front. Here at Heat Control London, we’re always keeping this in mind when dealing with new customers looking install a brand new boiler system.

Having such a system not only increases efficiency remarkably, but also the emission load is much lower, which means you’re saving your money, and helping lower your carbon footprint at the same time. The benefits are plentiful.

When a burner runs at the minimum excess air level possible, then this means that a lower amount of heat from the overall combustion process is needed to heat the excess combustion air, this in turn increases the amount of energy that’s available for the load, as well as reducing the amount of necessary fuel needed to raise the whole processes temperature of the system. Again in terms of being helpful towards lowering an environmental impact, this reduces the harmful production of NOX (nitrous oxide) and other toxic emissions.

The Basic Elements Of The Combustion Process

In most cases, an engineer will setup the burner so that it has sufficient excess air so as not to run out of combustion air in the process of burning fuel. Here’s a quick run down of the factors that can have an impact on this combustion process over time:

Oxygen Trim

Due to the fact that it’s not really possible (unless you’re running some kind of commercial operation where it’s viable and necessary) to have constant monitoring by an heating engineer, it’s necessary to have a monitoring system such as what’s known as “oxygen trim” incorporated into the system.

Basically, o2 Trim systems monitor a burner systems oxygen levels present in the stack at any given time, and then search for an optimal efficiency level of that given appliance so that it can run at high efficiency levels.

The better o2 Trim systems these days will have the ability to learn and improve their performance, and therefore improve the system’s efficiency, despite condition changes that may come up over time.

Barometric Conditions

The atmospheric conditions can have an impact on the air density, and also impact the fuel to air mix. This will invariably have an affect on how efficient the system is at burning fuel, and impact cost and environmental outputs over time.

Mechanical Hysteresis

Burner settings can “drift” off their initial values over time because of continuous operation without breaks or maintenance checks. This can mean that more air needs to be introduced to make the burner run properly. This of course can negatively impact the efficiency of the burner over time.

Calorific Value

What’s known as the “calorific value” of a fuel can change over time, and similarly to the barometric conditions, this will have an impact on efficiency and performance.

Carbon-Monoxide Trim

o2 Trim technology when used can have a very positive effect on a system’s efficiency levels. Co2 trim can add even more to these positive gains.

Similarly to o2 Trim tech, Co2 trim uses a detection method based on the chemical and catalytic properties of the output of the burner.

While the technical details given here may go above and beyond your understanding levels if you’re a consumer hoping to improve the efficiency of your system, there’s nothing to stop you referencing the basics here, and ensuring that you get your professional heating engineer to apply some of these setups to your current system.



Integrating A Smart Thermostat Into Your Home’s Heating System

With all the increasing technological advances in mobile devices these days, particularly with smart phones, it’s no surprise that this has positively impacted the area of heating, with greater and greater flexibility now being available. It now makes no difference whether you’re lying on a beach during the day and want to setup your home’s heating for your return home to the cooler evening, or you’re simply lying on the couch watching a movie, and are just too lazy to make your way over to the wall unit to adjust the temperature.

In this article, we’re going to look at some of the most popular “smart heating” systems that are out right now. So get cosy, and get ready to be acquainted with the future of home and commercial heating with a brain!

Here’s the submenu, if you want to jump ahead and look at any particular smart heating option:

Nest Learning Thermostat 3.0
Netatmo Smart Thermostat
Tado Smart Thermostat v3
Honeywell Lyric T6/T6R Smart Thermostat

Nest Learning Thermostat 3.0

Here’s the main stats for this smart heating system:

  • Special Features – Ability to learn and track routine, Domestic hot water control option, 4 colour choices, “away” mode, options for wall mounting, time tracking
  • Boiler Adaptability – Will work with most systems, you can see which ones at this link
  • System Requirements – Mains power, “Heat Link” connect to boiler (comes included) and Wi-Fi
  • Smart Phone Adaptation – Both IOS & Android
  • Price – £279

The company Nest was actually founded by 2 previous Apple employees Matt Rogers, and Tony Fadell. This unit is known as the “learning thermostat” due to its ability to change its behaviour based on how it is used over time. In just a short time (like 2-4 weeks) this device will learn which times you like to have the heating on and off, and of course at which temperature to run at.

Over a longer period, the learning ability of the Nest Learning improves, and it will be able to detect such things as when the house is empty, when people generally like to get up earlier, or later, etc. The UK version also includes an application called “True Radiant” which helps the device to reduce temperature swings, and keep closer to the temperature ranges that users prefer. The device is also compatible with IFTTT, which allows greater customisation.

Netatmo Smart Thermostat

The Netatmo features the following:

  • Special Features – Amazon Alexa & Apple “Homekit” compatible, custom scheduling, auto adapt feature, individual heating zone control, “holiday mode” for when you’re on vacation,
  • Boiler Adaptability – Most systems
  • System Requirements – Wifi, individual boiler gas supply, boiler, wood or gas energy supply connection
  • Smart Phone Adaptation – Android, IOS, and Windows
  • Price – £199

Designed by Phillip Starck, The Netatmo offers the same ability for users to control their heating remotely at any time, and from any location. Also, the creators claim that after going through a set of questions on the initial setup, the system will learn and adjust itself according to your desired prefences and usage patterns.

The temperature can be adjusted locally on the device itself, and via your smart phone, and also you’ll be able to check your energy consumption patterns to see how much you’re using over time.

Tado Smart Thermostat v3

Here’s the specs for the Tado:

  • Special Features – Individual heating zone support, Geolocation and weather prompts for different heating settings, IFTTT compatibility, Alexa and Apple Homekit compatible, hot water control for domestic system
  • Boiler Adaptability – Ninety five percent of heating systems including gas and underfloor systems
  • System Requirements – Power, Wifi, and an internet bridge (which comes included in the package)
  • Smart Phone Adaptation – IOS and Android
  • Price – £199

The Tado system can be integrated into your current heating system, and uses cloud based application to allow users to control their home or office temperature while mobile. The home unit comes in the form of a small and simple control box that uses LED light displays to indicate its current settings.

The unit, similarily to other brands, allows you to control the temperature in different rooms via what’s known as “Smart Radiator Thermostats”. The Tado can also track your current location via the inbuilt GPS system of the smart phone application, and this allows for the system to know when to warm or cool your home, so you arrive with the temperature just how you like it. It can also use weather data, to know how much to heat your home for your arrival.

Honeywell Lyric T6/T6R Smart Thermostat

The Honeywell features the following:

  • Special Features – Scheduling, IFTTT Apple Homekit, and Amazon Echo compatible, location based temperature control
  • Boiler Adaptability – Most systems, but not hydronic underfloor varieties
  • System Requirements – Receiver box (comes in the package) Power, and Wifi
  • Smart Phone Adaptation – Android and IOS
  • Price – £179

This is just one of the many “smart” heating systems that the company Honeywell offer. They also  have some other products called the Lyric T6 and T6R, and the Evohome. The Evohome is a little more advanced than their other 2 products, as it offers more than just smart phone control. They do not offer multi zone control for heating different parts of your home for example, but do offer smart phone control remotely, so you can still control your heating whilst not at home.

The T6 and T6R are fundamentally the same, except for the fact that the T6 is wired, whereas the T6R is wireless (R = remote I assume).

So you can see from just these 4 options within the smart heating range, these devices and systems are really coming along nicely, and the fact that they can integrate much of the time with your Underfloor heating setup makes them even more appealing. Not only can you have the most efficient and all around comfortable heating, but you can have the convenience and mobile control that you’ve always dreamed of!

Are you just looking for professional service, without unnecessary headaches? Don't mess around with other companies that are going to either charge you too much, or waste your precious time! Have a pleasant experience! Give Heat Control London a call today on 020 3598 6301 and get yourself setup with the real professionals in the London area!