“ Luxury fireplace. Inspired by a fireplace in Chatsworth House. „
Thanks for info on Baxi Bermuda VP3.Recently moved and inherited one, Do you know where I can get a user manual?
~~~The Boiler and Fire Front~~~
Baxi make boilers and firefronts as you might guess, and one of those is the Bermuda. The Baxi Bermuda is a back boiler with a gas fire front and the letters and or numbers following designate the style and ornateness of the front fire. The VP3 is the more ornate version of GF3, and is based on an actual fire located within Chatsworth House. The boiler on all the Bermudas is the same, just a few cosmetic detailing differences are present, namely that the VP3 has a fancier brass front fender while the GF3 has a plainer matt black bar style fender and the hood has a different brass decorative detail . They are otherwise identical. I happen to own the VP3 model as shown here, and it looks great even in a modern living room with a leather suite, adding a touch of class and elegance.
Being a back boiler, the Baxi Bermuda system uses existing chimney space to site your boiler behind the gas fire. Yep, a back boiler. Yes, I am an eco nut. So why not a combi? Well, firstly because this came newly installed when we bought this house last year, and secondly, we planned to take it out and put in a combi, until research showed us it was a BAD idea.
Why is this more efficient you ask? A few things. All new boilers have to meet certain standards of energy efficiency set by government bods.. How efficient they actually are in practice, however, depends on how they are used. Combi boilers do indeed only heat hot water on demand. BUT you can only run one hot tap at a time, so if you are running a bath upstairs, and someone wants to wash clothes, run the dishwasher, or wash their hands elsewhere at the same time you are out of luck. You will not get enough hot water for an application unless only ONE point of use is being used at that moment.Yes, you can plan around it, but why should you? It is far simpler to have an energy efficient boiler that heats the hot water on a timer for when you want to use it. Add applainces that are also A rated for energy efficiency and that heat their own water, and you are well on your way to not having to worry. Yes, you can still have those and use a combi. BUT...always a BUT, isn't there? But, if there is hot water available, those appliances will suck it away from your hot bath and still have to heat some of their own water.....so you use a lot of energy! We also read that new home builders usually balk at installing combis for this very reason in homes with more than 3 bedrooms.
Second reason....a room thermostat can be fitted in the main hallway so that the heat does not kick on unless the temp reahes the critical low point. Add rad stats and you help yourself save even more energy. These measures save you more on your actual heating bill than the type of modern boiler you buy as it is these things that help control when the thing fires up. Combis can also be used this way, but with the hot water issue, why would you want to?
Thirdly, many homes have a fire, often gas. Since this fires off the boiler which is already lit behind, very little extra energy is used to put out the warmth. Let's face it, you will only have this thing on if it is cold, and if it is so cold, your main heating is also on. This just helps with atmosphere, and a little warm up when you come in from outside. I have actually watched my gas meter go round, and it is excellent as top up heat even before the thermostat lowers to that point if you feel cold, as the meter goes SLOWER than when the central heating itself is running by itself. I found that interesting!
So basically, there is a LOT of hype surrounding boiler types. Consider your usage, if you have thermostats, and what not, as well as number of persons and appliances likely to be using the hot water at similiar times before making a deciion based on statistics mumbo jumbo'd in an effort to convince people to install THEIR type of product.
~~~Ease of Fire Use and Maintenance~~~
It is a coal effect fire with a living flame. It has electric ignition, realistic looking coals, and is made to look like it is a coal burning stove of some description. The instruction booklet has handy simple instructions for lighting it with a match in case of electricity failure.
You must clean the fire when completely cold (duh! don't burn yourself!) using a slightly damp lint free cloth. NO polish or silicone based sprays must be used on ANY part of the fire surround. The glass frame must be cleaned with a cream glass cleaner, and not a spray, because the sprays may damage the glass due to the chemical composition. The first week or two of use each season, you have to clean both sides of the glass. This is because of condensation marks that will become visible when you light the fire itself.
To clean the inside, making sure the fire is cold, you remove the canopy according to your instructions, and then open the doors out. There are retaining clips for the glass. You carefully remove these and lift the glass out, clean, then carefully replace. To put the clips back, replace the centre clip first to ensure a tight seal, close the doors, and then replace the canopy, ensuring that you gently ease the sides inwards and that it locks into place. It is a lot easier than it sounds, honest!
There are also 40 watt bulbs in the fenders that you can turn on for light. We never bother as the fire itself provides a nice ambient light. I will caution though that as with any gas fire, if the gas fire is on, the entire "stove" gets very hot, so small children should be adequately protected with a quality fireguard and you should never hang things on the fire itself. I should also mention here that the same as any boiler and gas fire, you should have it serviced yearly for safety.
All in all we have been very pleased. before moving to this house, we rented a 2 bedroomed house with a modern condensing boiler. Our bills were £45 a month BEFORE all these price hikes, and only heat and water were gas. With all the price hikes, and having a gas oven and hob as well, and not yet having installed said thermostats, being on a timer like we were at the old house, AND using the gas fire fairly often to defreeze after coming in from outside (I have Reynaud's) and the heat not yet being on, our bills have been £30 a month. One of neighbours, in an identical style house, and same number of persons, has a combi, has the hot water issues I mentioned, is also on a timer for about the same amount of time, and pays £40 a month.
Another advantage of having a back boiler is down to the fact that it uses exising chimney space. This means that you do not lose wall space to an unsightly boiler hanging on the wall. This means you have room to put in a needed kitchen cabinet, or that the look of your bathroom is not spoiled, or you can actually use that airing cupboard space.
My advice in a nutshell...shop around, look at how and when you use your hot water, and get what you like. Don't go combi just because of energy efficiency hype. ALL modern boilers have to meet a minimum efficiency standard and the way you will use it to will have a far greater effect on how much gas it uses. My electricity as my dishwasher and washer are heating their own water? £30 a month. Very nice indeed.
Where to get this? This model is available from many Corgi registered installers, including British Gas, as well as places that sell gas fires. Looking online, I see the fire and the back boiler cost about £1300 and come with a 3 year warranty from defects, which seems to be a standard thing with boilers. If you already have a back boiler, the fire front can often be found for under £500 on its own. Of course, make sure it is fitted by a qualified Corgi fitter (check he is actually certified for gas fires, there are different Corgi qualifications for gas appliances), and be certain to get it properly serviced yearly. Do this, and it won't let you down.