Boilers - Expert Commentary

Why Hybrid Heat Pumps Deserve Their Moment In The Spotlight
Why Hybrid Heat Pumps Deserve Their Moment In The Spotlight

With the UK committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050, drastic action is needed by the government. For new-build homes, there’s a gas boiler ban coming in less than five years’ time. And for older properties, it’s likely that gas prices will continue to rise, to encourage homeowners to switch to a more sustainable alternative. Renewable heating market With this in mind, the renewable heating market is growing rapidly, albeit from a very small base – but with targets in place to keep the momentum up. The government has committed to install 600,000 heat pumps into new homes by 2028. The government has committed to install 600,000 heat pumps into new homes by 2028 People who are already living in (old and new) properties heated by renewable technology should be applauded for pioneering it – but understandably, not everyone has the confidence to give up a solution they’re familiar with, and to step into the relative unknown. And that’s why the value of transitional technologies cannot be over-estimated– both to homeowners who want to live more sustainably and to installers looking to adapt and future-proof their businesses. But the role that hybrid heat pumps can play in accelerating progress on the road to zero has been somewhat overlooked to date. Hybrid heat pumps Hybrid heat pumps combine the power of a heat pump with the familiarity of a high-efficiency boiler. The two appliances work together to provide heating and hot water, providing the ideal replacement for a combi boiler as a first step towards introducing renewable heating technology into the home. Compared to a traditional gas boiler, hybrid heat pump systems can reduce CO2 emissions by as much as 55% and have been proven to deliver up to a 50% reduction in energy bills in homes in the UK. Our Daikin Altherma hybrid heat pump’s smart programming helps to save up to 35% more energy than a traditional condensing boiler by automatically determining the most economically and energy-efficient operating combination based on energy prices, outdoor temperatures, and indoor heat capacity. Heat pump share The hybrid system’s operating mode can be shifted to more electric heat pump share As well as being quick to install, hybrid systems are designed to look and operate like a conventional boiler system and deliver like-for-like performance and comfort levels. And to give homeowners peace of mind, the heat pump can act as a back-up for the boiler, and vice-versa – meaning they’ll never be caught short. Hybrid systems are best-suited to smaller homes in urban areas, that are likely to have a combi-boiler, and where the shell of the building is not energy-efficient enough to rely on electricity alone. But as the efficiency of the building is improved and upgraded over time, the hybrid system’s operating mode can be shifted to more electric heat pump share. And while there’s a lot of talk about new homes in the renewable heating debate, hybrid technology is ideal for renovations and boiler replacements. Heating system replacements We estimate that there are 1.1 million homes across the country that would be well-served by a hybrid system. That, combined with the benefits of hybrids for both installers and consumers, is why we firmly believe in hybrid heat pumps’ potential to support a faster, easier, and more affordable transition to low carbon heating in this country. Every homeowner who buys a Daikin Altherma hybrid system gets a high-efficiency boiler for free When consumers are looking at heating system replacements, we know that complexity and disruption are barriers to purchase. Fortunately, neither is an issue with hybrids. While hybrid heat pump systems can be installed with a household’s existing boiler, to help increase uptake, we’re running a special offer at the moment whereby every homeowner who buys a Daikin Altherma hybrid system gets a brand-new, high-efficiency boiler for free. Low carbon technology And there’s no need to lose valuable floor space to a hot water cylinder or to make changes to the radiators. Hybrids aren’t just good news for homeowners; they represent a real opportunity for installers, too. At the moment, there are 1,000 heat pump installers in the UK and around 125,000 gas boiler installers. We need to transition these boiler installers towards low carbon technology – not just to drive progress on the road to net zero, but to help their businesses stay relevant and competitive. This year, in partnership with 11 of our Daikin Sustainable Home Centres across the UK, we’re running a free nationwide training program to help installers enter the renewable heating market with hybrid heat pumps. eco-Friendly hybrid solution Reducing electricity prices isn’t enough to encourage people to change the way they heat their homes Installers who complete the day-long course can expand their portfolio and gain the skills to upgrade customers to an eco-friendly hybrid solution. Reducing electricity prices isn’t enough to encourage people to change the way they heat their homes; more needs to be done to make new, clean technologies accessible and appealing. We’re doing what we can to incentivize homeowners – and installers – to embrace the possibilities of a hybrid heat pump system, but a clear funding mechanism from Government is needed as well, specifically to help with the upfront cost of upgrading (free boiler or no free boiler). While the now-closed Green Homes Grant explicitly included hybrid heat pump technology, there’s a big question as to whether the same hybrid solutions will be included in the Clean Heat Grant – the details of which are expected later this year. The answer to that question needs to be ‘yes’.

BEIS Hydrogen Strategy, Reaction From Baxi Heating
BEIS Hydrogen Strategy, Reaction From Baxi Heating

The energy transition is upon us and we are shifting today’s energy use to low and zero carbon sources. The way in which we heat and provide hot water to our homes and businesses will change, and we are developing technologies that will support this transition. A bold and pragmatic policy framework will encourage investment and drive change. BEIS Hydrogen Strategy We, therefore, welcome the publication of the Hydrogen Strategy from the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS). This important document details the role and vision for clean hydrogen deployment at scale, in the United Kingdom, building upon the ambitions in last year’s 10 Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution. As an energy carrier, hydrogen has many uses that will help to decarbonize heating, transport and industry. We, therefore, welcome the government’s assurance to the public that hydrogen can be made as safe as natural gas. UK Government’s Contract for Difference The availability of low-cost hydrogen at scale is a key enabler of the deployment of hydrogen for heat Alongside the BEIS Strategy, the UK Government is publishing its proposed business model for supporting hydrogen production, in the form of a Contract for Difference. This approach has been utilized successfully for offshore wind and will enable the sector to invest in early-stage projects, and reduce the cost of hydrogen. The availability of low-cost hydrogen at scale is a key enabler of the deployment of hydrogen for heat. We believe, there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution, and a whole range of heating technologies will need to be deployed for a range of properties. Baxi Heating, as part of BDR Thermea Group, is at the forefront of developing clean heating solutions, including our ground-breaking development of hydrogen boilers. Hydrogen-ready boilers from 2025 Our work with the Hy4Heat project and associated demonstration sites in the UK show technical feasibility of this solution. We believe the government should act upon advice from the Climate Change Committee and other sources advocating a mandate that all boiler sales from 2025 should be hydrogen-ready, in order to help pre-populate a swathe of the housing stock, ready for a future conversion. Technology, energy efficiency and business models are all bit parts in the wider picture. Skilled installers and contractors will be utterly essential to success, so we are glad to see the announcement of a hydrogen sector development action plan in early 2022, setting out how the government will support companies to secure supply chain opportunities, skills and jobs in hydrogen. UK Heat and Buildings Strategy Following the Hydrogen Strategy, we look forward to several important publications in the lead up to the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26), including consultations on the role for hydrogen-ready appliances, off gas grid heating measures and the UK Heat and Buildings Strategy.

Renewable Heating Is The Future For Commercial Buildings
Renewable Heating Is The Future For Commercial Buildings

In 2019, the UK became the first major economy in the world to pass laws to end its contribution to global warming by 2050 - a landmark moment on the road to net zero. To meet that target, owners and managers of commercial buildings are increasingly facing more standards, regulations, and legislation to promote carbon reduction. This may pose challenges when it comes to investing in building service technologies, but the net-zero goal also provides an opportunity to embrace new approaches to the design and operation of commercial buildings. Heat commercial buildings When we look at reducing the carbon impact of a building, heating is an important factor to consider. Heating and hot water are significant contributors to a building’s carbon emissions. In fact, they create nearly a third (32%) of the total carbon emissions in the UK. Luckily, the technology to heat commercial buildings in a more energy-efficient, renewable way is already out there - in the form of heat pumps. There is legislation focused on the provision of heat to commercial buildings that need to be considered So, what benefits can heat pumps offer, and how can building managers be sure that they are the right solution for a commercial space? There are already regulations in place to help reach net-zero – from the Climate Change Act in 2008 to the Green Growth Strategy in 2017. More specifically, there is legislation focused on the provision of heat to commercial buildings that need to be considered. Energy efficiency standards Part L of the Building Regulations states that non-domestic buildings should be moving to low-carbon heat sources, the minimum energy efficiency standards means it’s illegal to let any property with an EPC rating of less than band ‘E’, and the Non-Domestic RHI has been extended until 2022, in order to help overcome barriers to investing in renewable heating. There is also growing interest in embodied carbon in commercial buildings, and considering the amount of carbon produced by a building across its whole lifecycle, it’s important to understand the full environmental cost of the extraction, processing, manufacture, delivery, and assembly of every single product or material used. Conventional electric heating The government has already set a target of 600,000 heat pump installations per year by 2030 Needing to consider all of these factors may seem like a lot, but it serves to show that focusing on renewable heating now is the best way to future-proof commercial buildings for years to come. Heat pumps are central to reaching this decarbonized future, with the Carbon Trust finding that heat pumps have the potential to deliver CO2 savings of up to 70% compared to conventional electric heating, and up to 65% compared to an A-rated gas boiler. The government has already set a target of 600,000 heat pump installations per year by 2030, and the Committee on Climate Change estimates that 19 million heat pumps will need to be installed by 2050 to achieve the net-zero goal. Offering renewable heating To reach this goal, uptake needs to maintain momentum. As well as offering renewable heating, heat pumps allow for a reduction in running costs and increased efficiencies, and are increasingly becoming the first choice for building managers planning renovations - because they are designed for both retro-fit and new build, are easy to design and install, and are scalable to work with other systems. In the years since heat pumps first became available, the choice of heat pumps has expanded This means they’re a suitable solution for almost any space, and are even able to work alongside existing heating systems in a hybrid situation if required. A heat pump is an ideal solution for commercial buildings, it’s just a case of finding the right one for the job. In the years since heat pumps first became available, the choice of heat pumps has expanded, and building owners are now able to select exactly the right equipment for a building’s requirements. Combining residential homes For example, heat pumps can now work at higher temperatures, meaning they are a great option for spaces like hotels, hospitals, and leisure centers where there is a high demand for hot water at peak times – removing the need to use a gas boiler. This is also a compelling case for heat pumps in mixed-use buildings – which is a burgeoning space in the UK-built environment. Buildings which combine residential homes and commercial businesses have a wide variety of heating and cooling requirements within the same structure. Traditionally, this is where gas boilers, combined heat and power systems, or electric water heating would have come in. Heat pump installations Modern heat pumps can also be applied in buildings alongside other technologies Now, high-temperature heat pumps – like the 40kW Ecodan QAHV – can deliver hot water up to 90°C, helping businesses increase the efficiency of hot water production while slashing their carbon footprint. Other heat pumps can offer options for a modular approach, so that multiple devices can operate in one system. This means that the multiple-unit system can cascade available units on and off, to meet the required load of a building. It also means heat pump installations are scalable, and can work for a small doctor's surgery through to entire district heating projects. Modern heat pumps can also be applied in buildings alongside other technologies, and boost the renewable element of a project – reducing the requirement for heat energy. Commercial heat pumps Finally, to satisfy these needs without compromising on sustainability and the green imperative would have been challenging, before the advent of commercial heat pumps. Reaching net-zero and moving to renewable technology is now a priority for everyone. For building services professionals, there is a real opportunity to lead the way, and encourage clients to take a new approach to heating and hot water in commercial buildings. The heating equipment we install will be in a building for at least a decade, so installing a heating system based on fossil fuels might risk leaving the building as a ‘stranded asset’ in the future. Making the move to renewable heating will help ensure buildings are meeting efficient and environmental standards for years to come.

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Sila Services LLC Acquired Fahrenheit HVAC To Deliver Exceptional Home Comfort Solutions
Sila Services LLC Acquired Fahrenheit HVAC To Deliver Exceptional Home Comfort Solutions

Sila Services LLC recently acquired Fahrenheit HVAC, adding Fahrenheit's commitment to reliably professional same-day HVAC repairs and installations to Sila's already impressive portfolio of companies. Fahrenheit has provided outstanding and affordable care to its customers for over three decades. Sila is an HVAC industry veteran, with an unwavering commitment to customer satisfaction, and has been delivering exceptional home comfort in heating, AC, plumbing and electrical services, throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, since 1989. Home comfort expert "By extending our reach and adding the highly trained Fahrenheit technicians' services to our already premier packages, we're taking Sila to the next level," said Lou Pellegrini, CEO of Sila. "We're extremely pleased to be welcoming the Fahrenheit HVAC family into ours and there's a reason we are both household names in the Southeastern Pennsylvania area. Because we treat your home like we treat our own – ensuring you have efficiently running systems and invaluable peace of mind." Sila's factory-trained and certified technicians serve over 500 homes a day With over 7000 ‘A’ ratings on Angie's List, earning its prestigious super service award for multiple years running, Sila is the complete home comfort expert. A preferred partner of Carrier, Google Nest, Lennox, Mitsubishi, Unico, and other manufacturers, Sila's factory-trained and certified technicians serve over 500 homes a day, with 100% satisfaction guaranteed every single time. Saving customers money Repairs: Dependable and prompt repairs that ensure customers never have to wait too long to get back to living life in comfort. Tune-Ups and Maintenance: Prevention is key to keeping heating and AC systems in peak shape, ready for extreme weather. Annual Sila tune-ups include a 15-point safety inspection and filter change. Maintenance plans keep systems running reliably and efficiently – preventing breakdowns and saving customers money. Replacements and Installations: When replacements or new installations are necessary, Sila helps its customers select the perfect solutions for the home or office that fit nicely into any budget with attractive financing. Go Green: For those considering greener options for heating and AC, Sila offers geothermal systems that use natural, sustainable energy from the ground.

LENNOX EMEA, Standard Unit Coolers Compatible With A2L Refrigerants
LENNOX EMEA, Standard Unit Coolers Compatible With A2L Refrigerants

A number of standard unit coolers from Friga-Bohn, which supplies a wide range of market-leading refrigeration solutions to the food industry, are fully compatible with A2L refrigerants. The unit coolers support use with both new A2L refrigerants such as R1234yf, R454C, and R455C, as well as existing HFC refrigerant solutions. As a result, a single unit can provide for present and future requirements, reducing inventory for wholesalers and easing selection choices for installers. The market for unit coolers is changing. The F-Gas regulation means that a ban is in place for new installations using refrigerants with a GWP (Global Warming Potential) of more than 2500. Furthermore, other refrigerants are having their availability limited by diminishing production quotas, which is consequently affecting prices. Refrigerant producers have to fall within a regulation-defined limit of Teq CO2 (carbon dioxide equivalent tonnes) per year. So opting to produce a refrigerant with a high GWP means less product availability, leading to a higher price. CO2 refrigerant Friga-Bohn can confirm that a number of its unit coolers offer compatibility with new A2L refrigerants CO2 has become the preferred refrigerant in high-capacity refrigeration installations due to its low GWP and good thermo-physic properties. However, for small/medium-capacity systems, the choice is not so obvious. CO2 is of course an option, but alternatives such as A2L refrigerants are very attractive as their constituent technology is similar to HFCs while offering a far lower GWP. To ensure simplicity of choice for installers, Friga-Bohn can confirm that a number of its unit coolers offer compatibility with new A2L refrigerants, as well as existing refrigerant solutions. This approach differs from other market systems, which are only suitable for one or the other. Wholesalers, therefore, benefit as they only need to stock a single type of unit cooler-one capable of meeting the requirements of both applications. A2L-compatible coolers The A2L-compatible coolers available from Friga-Bohn include MR and MH series ceiling units, NTA dual-discharge units, and 3C-A cubic units. Typical applications include cold rooms in cafes, hotels, bars, restaurants, local shops, minimarkets, and supermarkets, with options available to suit both positive and negative temperature conditions. Despite their low GWP (R1234yf, R454C, and R455C have a GWP of less than 150), A2L refrigerants carry a ‘slightly flammable’ security classification. For this reason, all Friga-Bohn unit coolers using A2L refrigerants have been subject to a comprehensive risk assessment, with INERIS, the French National Institute for Industrial Environment and Risks, providing full approval and validation. A2L refrigerants provide the opportunity to reduce environmental impact and comply with the F-Gas regulation A risk analysis is also necessary for each installation to ensure safety for users and the general public; a process that should take into account the entire refrigeration system as well as its environment over the product life cycle. Here, Friga-Bohn can offer several newly developed tools to help simplify this process for installers. The availability of these tools ensures that the ‘slightly flammable’ classification of A2L refrigerants should not be an obstacle in reducing the industry’s carbon footprint. Transitioning to lower GWP refrigerants In summary, A2L refrigerants are a good solution when transitioning to lower GWP refrigerants. They provide the opportunity to reduce environmental impact and comply with the F-Gas regulation for small/medium capacity installations. However, changing to A2L does require some technical knowledge. Here, Friga-Bohn is ahead of market competitors – the company is fully prepared and ready to help wholesalers and installers with any assistance they may require in helping the food sector achieve a safe and effective switch to a future based on low-GWP refrigerants. Friga-Bohn can also help wholesalers to educate installers about this important industry shift.

IWBI Announces New WELL Performance Rating Focused On Using Dynamic Human And Building Performance Metrics
IWBI Announces New WELL Performance Rating Focused On Using Dynamic Human And Building Performance Metrics

The International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) announces the upcoming launch of the WELL Performance Rating, a new designation rewarding building owners and operators for using measurable and validated building and human performance metrics to gain insights into health and well-being of the people inside and enhance conditions in their spaces based on those insights. The rating will consist of features drawn from the WELL Building Standard (WELL) along with new pathways and beta features that will be informed by the IWBI Performance Advisory, WELL Performance Testing Organizations (PTOs) and a host of industry pioneers in smart building technologies. Smart building technologies “The industry has done a great job of capturing environmental building performance metrics on site – energy and water use, for example – but we need to be able to marry these eco-friendly indicators with health performance metrics to enable balanced choices about the health of planet and the health of people,” said Rachel Hodgdon, President and CEO of IWBI. The industry has done a great job of capturing environmental building performance metrics on site" “With this incredible and diverse array of partners, advisors and other contributors, we are confident that the new rating will unlock and accelerate the use of smarter, more integrated approaches to improve and enhance well-being and performance.” The WELL Performance Rating will be comprised of WELL features specific leadership thresholds air and water quality, thermal comfort, acoustics, lighting and experience, helping projects both quantitative and qualitative to track, monitor and improve the performance of both the buildings and the people inside. Stand-Alone designation IWBI’s global network of 42 WELL Performance Testing Organizations, IWBI member organizations and its broader community of over 18,000 WELL Accredited Professionals (WELL APs) and registrants in more than 100 countries will support customers in their pursuit of the WELL Performance Rating. This new designation will add to a growing suite of WELL ratings that includes the WELL Health-Safety Rating and the forthcoming WELL Health Equity Rating. Each can be achieved as a stand-alone designation or milestone along the way to WELL Certification at Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum level. For WELL Portfolio participants, achieving these ratings will contribute to their WELL Score. IWBI members contributing to the development of the WELL Performance Rating include Aircuity, Carrier, CETEC, Cognian Technologies, Honeywell, Johnson Controls, Kaiterra, Lennox International, Schneider Electric, SGS, Thornton Tomasetti and Trane Technologies. Creating healthy buildings We have led the industry in HVAC and building health and are currently pursuing certification" What industry pioneers say about the WELL Performance Rating: “Like WELL, we have long been committed to taking a holistic approach to the full spectrum of factors that create healthy buildings for people, including air quality, safety, and [functional] conditions such as thermal comfort, lighting, sound and environmental issues that contribute to better cognitive function and well-being.” “We have led the industry in HVAC and building health and are currently pursuing certification under the rigorous WELL v2 standard at our own world headquarters. Carrier is proud to support the WELL Performance Rating, which will provide people with confidence to return to the things and places they love and missed,” said David Gitlin, Chairman and CEO, Carrier. Innovative building solutions “At Honeywell, we’re not waiting for the future, we’re making it by creating innovative building solutions that foster and improve well-being and unlock positive outcomes at scale. By collaborating with IWBI on the WELL Performance Rating, we’re ushering in a new era of building performance, bridging building health while being conscious of environmental impact, and equally important, inspiring innovation and spurring market transformation that advances occupant well-being and productivity,” said Vimal Kapur, President and CEO, Honeywell Building Technologies (HBT). At Honeywell, we’re not waiting for the future, we’re making it by creating innovative building solutions" “As we continue to build on our history of more than 135 years delivering smart, healthy and sustainable buildings, we are excited about the opportunity to collaborate on the launch of IWBI’s WELL Performance Rating. The Rating will serve as a powerful accelerant that we know the market needs right now to help us all realize our shared vision for healthy buildings, while also aligning seamlessly with our proven and leading work to improve operating efficiency, boost productivity and advance sustainability,” said George Oliver, Chairman and CEO, Johnson Controls. Pioneering integrated solutions “As we move more decisively and strategically to meet our decarbonization goals in all buildings all around the globe, it’s imperative that we are just as ambitious in seizing the accompanying opportunity to optimize these spaces for the health of the people inside.” “By leveraging the science behind WELL and with today’s launch of the WELL Performance Rating, we are poised to chart a path to remake the buildings of the future and continue to deliver on Schneider Electric’s longstanding mission to pioneer integrated solutions that leverage the power of digitalization to achieve peak performance, efficiency and reliability, all while enhancing occupant health,” said Jean-Pascal Tricoire, Chairman & CEO, Schneider Electric. Improving human experience Now more than ever, people need safer, healthier, and more efficient indoor spaces" “Now more than ever, people need safer, healthier, and more efficient indoor spaces. We focus on helping building owners and operators assess, mitigate and monitor indoor environmental quality to ensure occupants’ well-being and the building’s performance. The WELL Performance Rating helps validate that the right measures are being taken for people to thrive in the spaces where they live, learn, work and play,” said Dave Regnery, CEO, Trane Technologies. “AI and IoT technologies perform at their best when employed to improve human experience. We are proud to collaborate with IWBI through the WELL Performance Rating as we evolve our services to deploy technology-based solutions to address changing market needs. This initiative supports us on our journey to becoming a more sustainable, data-driven company and our commitment to enabling a better, safer and more interconnected world for all our stakeholders,” said Frankie NG, CEO, SGS, WELL Performance Testing Organization. Evidence-Based solutions "IWBI has been instrumental in driving the evolution of building occupant health and well-being, cementing scientific rigor and robust measurable goals as a means to advance building performance. The innovative WELL Performance Rating is set to become another ground-breaking tool,” said Adam Garnys, Principal Consultant Strategy, and Dr. Vyt Garnys, Managing Director & Principal Consultant, CETEC, WELL Performance Testing Organization. “There is new urgency in how we shape, guide and foster advancements in building performance to better align with the science of supporting human health. Through this collaborative launch of the WELL Performance Rating, we are doubling down on that promise of actionable, evidence-based solutions to drive continuous improvement across the key health metrics that help enhance productivity, increase comfort and support well-being,” said Liam Bates, Co-Founder and CEO, Kaiterra, IWBI Performance Advisor.

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