From its modest beginnings in a garage of one of the founders over 40 years ago, Firebird has developed into a renowned heating boiler manufacturer on the global market.
Firebird started its manufacturing days in 1980 with the development of an inset wetback, which fitted inside a typical Irish/British fireplace. The mild steel box set the standard of high-quality performance products by Firebird, which matches the exacting standards they still practice today.
The two founders had to move production out of their local garage within a short period of time as orders came through from plumbers throughout Ireland. They set up the first production facility 30kms from the famous Irish tourist town of Killarney, in a township (or village) called Ballyvourney. As many of you know, Ireland has its own language, Gaeilge and this village still speaks it today as its primary language. It is a typical Irish village consisting of a church, a post office, and of course 6 bars! Firebird has been a key employer in the region since the early 1980s.
Once the factory had been built in Ballyvourney, research, and development (R&D) commenced on a diesel boiler. The resulting boiler, called ‘The Popular’, was launched to the market in 1986. ‘The Popular’ boiler was a standard efficiency boiler supplied with just a burner and no other accessories or casing. The boiler was typically installed in the garage of a house. The same boiler was sold throughout Ireland and the UK up to 2007.
Firebird developed a wide range of standard efficiency boiler models throughout the years; including an outdoor boiler, combination boiler, and of course the system boiler which we are familiar with here in New Zealand. As orders grew, so did the factory, including the investment of metal punching machinery in 1995, robotic welding in 2004, and over 150 people employed.
When the EU set targets on the boiler industry to improve efficiency, Firebird stepped up to the challenge. 26 prototype condensing boilers were developed across a period by the Firebird R&D team, finally concluding on a condensing boiler shell that would perform. The result is one of the most efficient diesel boilers on the market, and what became known as the ‘True Condensing Boiler’. The stainless steel condensing exchanger that entrains higher energy out of the boiler (improving its efficiency), is located at the bottom of the boiler where the cooler return heating water enters back into the boiler, hence improving the overall efficiency.
Central Heating New Zealand was the first export country for Firebird outside of the British Isles. Today, Firebird exports to mainland Europe, Falkland Islands, South Africa, and the USA.
The first Firebird boiler was sent to Central Heating New Zealand back in 2001 and from there the relationship between Central Heating New Zealand and Firebird has grown. Firebird CEO Colm Murphy visited New Zealand back in August 2017 to see our market and reasoning for requesting a specific boiler. The high level of finish in houses and the standard of workmanship was obvious to Colm after his visit and so the project began between both parties to create a specific boiler for New Zealand conditions.
The Firebird NZ boiler launched to the market in November 2019 and we are proud to have all the latest technology included inside the boiler. The boiler is designed to make it easy for the end-user to operate, the installer to service and install, and better for the environment. It's aesthetically pleasing to the end-user and its performance is above all other diesel boilers in the market. Easy to install including access panels to assist pipework installation, Lowara modulating deaeration pump, serviceable air vent, plug, and play operation. In November 2019 Central Heating New Zealand travelled up and down New Zealand bringing the new diesel boilers to our loyal customers and installer/specifiers. Read about our Road Show here.
Environmentally, Firebird is above and beyond all current EU low NOx emission standards, achieving this by installing the latest burner on the market; the Elco Burner. This ensures a clean burn and protects the environment for future generations. Firebird’s boilers, heat exchanger, and parts come with a 5-year warranty and all thermistors and electrodes come with a 1-year warranty.
So, from modest beginnings, we are sure you will all agree that Central Heating New Zealand made the right decision back in 2001 choosing Firebird as their leading boiler supplier.