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Specialists in Electric Hot Water Cylinders

4 Tips to Improve Unvented Cylinder Efficiency

12 December 2023

Life before the invention of unvented cylinders was much more complicated. To have hot water at the taps, you had to install a cold-water cistern near the top of your home. Even then, you didn’t have mains pressure hot water or the same pressure at all the taps in the house.

Unvented cylinders have changed things dramatically. However, that doesn’t mean that yours is as efficient as it could be. Here are four simple tips to improve unvented cylinder efficiency, reduce costs, and even benefit the environment.

1. Drain and refill the cylinder

Most municipal water supplies contain some degree of dissolved minerals. This is particularly prevalent in some areas of the UK. Over time, minerals settle out of the water and onto the bottom of the cylinder, as well as onto immersion heaters. This compromises efficiency, performance, and capacity. Draining and refilling the cylinder once per year is one of the most important things you can do to improve efficiency.

2. Insulate your pipes

Want to bump up the efficiency of your unvented cylinder even more? Consider insulating your hot water pipes. This is particularly important for pipes that run long distances from the cylinder. The farther from the cylinder, the more heat you’ll lose as water travels through the pipes. By insulating your piping, you can help maintain a constant temperature and ensure that you’re able to use less hot water at the tap.

3. Insulate your cylinder

Whether your cylinder is located in a remote, uninsulated part of the home or not, adding an insulating jacket can help boost efficiency by a considerable amount. Yes, today’s cylinders are manufactured with high-efficiency insulation built into the walls, but an insulating jacket can increase your cylinder’s temperature-holding capabilities many times over, reducing the need to reheat water over time.

4. Choose the right cylinder size for your needs

How much thought does the average person put into their choice of unvented cylinder? Chances are good that “good enough is good enough” in most cases. However, this can lead to some serious trade-offs that cost you more in the long run. Make sure you choose the right cylinder for your needs. To do that, you’ll need to consider how much hot water you and your family need daily. Too small, and you’ll be constantly refilling and heating water. Too large, and you may waste energy reheating hot water that doesn’t get used quickly enough.

Bonus Tip: Invest in annual maintenance

A well-maintained unvented cylinder is an efficient unvented cylinder. We recommend that you service and maintain your cylinder annually. This should include a visual inspection, but also replacement of valves and other components that might be nearing their end of life, checking insulation for deterioration, inspecting the tundish for signs of leaks, and more. Here is some helpful general advice from Citizens Advice about the efficient use of energy and saving money heating your home.

At EasyFlow, we specialise in helping people just like you get the most for their money. Whether you’re interested in annual maintenance for your existing unvented cylinder or you’re trying to purchase a new one that’s just the right size, we can help. Contact us today.


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