There is nothing better than when a customer calls into one of our branches here at Mr Central Heating and says the following, “I have got an old boiler that needs replacing and it is a …!”. It happens frequently and our guys generally start to reminisce about all the past boilers that they have sold. Most of the guys employed by Mr Central Heating are well past their fifteen year term and it does not take them a lot to start them off on all the different makes and models they have sold over the years.
It is definitely easy to talk about old and new boilers as what really changed everything was the invention and mass producing of the combination boiler. Previously to this all boilers where cast heat exchangers and initially floor standing. This is why we still offer the Gold FSB 30KW which replaces the old Ideal Mexico, Diplomat and Potterton Kingfisher RS and CF models. The option of having a fan on a boiler was also not possible, boilers relied on natural draft and balanced flues and chimney flues which dictated the location of the boiler. So how far have we come in the last twenty years?
Traditional systems used gravity to move the hot water and heating around so heat exchangers needed to be tough and durable hence cast iron. In the UK we where good at heavy industry and cast iron foundries where abundant. People to start with only required hot water and used gas fires in the rooms to gain heat. Here at Mr Central Heating we still come across this constantly where an old London or rural house has relied on a gas fire just downstairs to heat the house. This technology created the advent of the back boiler and fire front really founded by Baxi and its CW1 range with the 45,000 and 55,000 Btu back boiler range. The LFE1 and later models used living flame effect electronic ignition to capture the imagination of the gas fire generation. These where all balanced or conventional flue and this governed the location.
When it came to wall mounted and a more modern town house living Baxi and Potterton again created a huge market in the UK for the Potterton Profile ,Potterton Netaheat, Baxi Solo,and Flamingo and so on. These started out as cast iron gravity boilers and progressed into the Prima which was lighter weight cast iron but did not offer gravity. With the onset of better technology and production lines came powered flues which used a fan to push the emissions away. This caused a new wave of boilers to come into the market like the Glow-worm Ultimate FF which allowed a more general application of boilers in a home around the kitchen and mixed in with the wall units.
Habits in the UK also started to change and people started to use the bath less and demand the more continental shower. This led to the introduction of combination boilers and Mr Central Heating was at the fore front of the change because central heating became easier to install.
Old boilers where robust and lasted a long time but they where inefficient, limited and restrictive. The market demanded more flexibility and an instant heat which you could not get from the traditional cast iron boiler. Things needed to move on and the flexible, efficient boiler was required to adapt to the new properties being built in the UK.
Mr Central Heating and Allan Pierce have sold nearly three million boilers and come across all types good and bad. The company has been built on old boilers but as much as we love an old boiler story we much more love selling a new boiler to customer and making him satisfied for another ten years because it is more than likely that he bought the old boiler from us and he is a returning satisfied customer.