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Domestic Heating: More chances in the crossover market

While traditionally there has been little crossover between the domestic and commercial boiler markets, recent developments mean the components in domestic and commercial appliances are similar. Graham Williamson, business director of commercial heating at Ideal Boilers, discusses the crossover market
Domestic Heating: More chances in the crossover market
FOR many years, the view within the heating industry has been that commercial heating installers work on commercial and industrial applications, while their domestic counterparts operate only in the domestic sector. This can largely be attributed to the differences in technology between the sectors and the perception that installers would have to learn new skills to enter the other’s arena.

However, advancements within the heating industry have seen a rise in appliances that are suitable for domestic and commercial applications. It is this trend that has seen the “crossover” market for domestic and commercial installations emerge. This includes higher output domestic boilers and lower output commercial appliances which are suitable for large domestic properties and smaller commercial applications for example.

For installers in both fields, this means they can apply their existing knowledge and experience to many stallations they previously did not feel they would be able to undertake without additional training.

Another factor that has further propelled this crossover market is the acceptance of wall-hung condensing technology in commercial applications. This technology has rapidly gained in popularity because of ease of installation, compact size and flueing flexibility.

Ultimately, this has opened markets for domestic and commercial installers. The domestic market, for example, offers commercial installers the opportunity to take a share of the 1.4 million boilers sold every year. The commercial boiler market is relatively small and very mature, with only 20,000 new units sold annually. But there are greater margins to be made. The commercial sector is also growing year-on-year since the introduction of Part L2A and L2B of the Building Regulations last year, so there has never been a greater need for installers who are competent in HE boiler installations.

Bridging the gap between domestic and commercial boilers are Ideal Boilers’ Icos HE 30 and 36 models. Specifically designed for homes that require extra heat output, the appliances are also suitable for small commercial properties. Highly efficient (SEDBUK A rated), the Icos HE 30 and 36, like other models in the Icos range, are easy to install, reliable and engineered to the highest standards.

On the commercial front, the Imax W45 wall-mounted boiler is also capable of being installed as a single unit, making it ideal for larger domestic properties, such as five-bedroom, three-bathroom family homes or open plan apartments. Similar to large output domestic boilers like the Icos HE 30 and 36, the Imax W45 is a condensing boiler, with up to 98% efficiency net (88.5% gross cv) non condensing and 108% net (97.3% gross cv) at 30% load, fully condensing.

As a leading UK heating manufacturers, Ideal Boilers believes it is essential installers have access to the information they need so they can take advantage of this market. It has recently updated its commercial and domestic product range guides. The commercial guide includes the technical and specification information on the Icos HE 30 and 36 models, which has all the information on Ideal’s range of commercial boilers. Similarly, along with providing installers with information on Ideal’s range of domestic boilers, the domestic range guide features the Imax W range.

Overall, while many domestic and commercial installers have traditionally been reluctant to tender for work in the commercial and domestic markets respectively, Ideal Boilers believes there is plenty of scope for installers to apply their extensive experience in the crossover market and take advantage of the increased profit opportunities available.

The Icos HE sits in a cupboard in the kitchen if necessary
1 June 2007

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