Have You Turned Off Heating To Cut Bills?

Households typically lower their thermostat at this time of the year as the weather warms up, but subdued temperatures have meant many people have kept their central heating on to avoid the chill. However, those who are worried about their future energy bills might be facing cold conditions anyway, as they look for ways to reduce their heating costs.

Sky News has reported how more and more pensioners are switching off their heating and putting on lots of layers of clothing instead to stay warm.

One-fifth of retired men and women in the UK are already living in poverty, and with the cost of living expected to soar, this problem will only worsen.

Earlier this month, the energy cap was increased, which means households could spend up to £246 more on their gas bills every year, according to the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU). For many people, this extra expense is not one they can afford, particularly as the price of food and petrol are also increasing at a rapid rate.

Doreen Moore, 74, is just one example of someone who is relying on an electric fire, closed doors, and drawn curtains to keep her home warm.

She told the news provider: “It’s depressing. And it’s getting worse.”

BBC News also revealed how some pensioners are staying in bed all day to stay warm, skipping meals to save money, and using hot water bottles for extra heat.

One way to reduce energy bills is to upgrade your boiler and make it more efficient to run. Find out more by calling us today.

Radiator Covers “Drastically Increase Bill”

Rising fuel prices are going to have a big impact on household bills over the next few months, so one thing homeowners will not want to do is force their heating fees up even more. That is why it is advisable to remove any radiator covers, no matter how fashionable they are at the moment.

Commenting on the matter, Daniel Nezhad, director of UK Radiators, told The Express that many people want to hide their heating devices, particularly if they are not designer or particularly stylish.

However, one thing they should not do is use radiator covers to disguise them, as this “could actually cost you more than you think”.

“Covering your radiator will significantly impact its ability to heat your home,” said Mr Nezhad, due to the fact the heat will remain trapped within the cover and will not be able to heat the house as efficiently.

Consequently, homeowners will turn their heating up higher or keep it on for longer to stay warm, which could “drastically increase the cost of your energy bills”.

Instead, Brits who want to hide their unsightly radiators could paint them the same colour as the walls, which is currently a very popular interior design trend.

Something else they could do is remove some of their radiators entirely and install underfloor heating in their North London home instead.

These have many benefits, including creating more wall space by removing radiators, spreading heat evenly throughout the house, being more environmentally-friendly, keeping bathrooms and kitchens free of water on the floor, and saving money on energy bills.

Why Underfloor Heating Should Be Home Improvement Priority

At a time when the cost of living has been soaring, many people will have been thinking carefully about how to manage their household budgets; not just in terms of day to day costs, but also in their larger spending decisions.

Home improvements are a case in point. For much of the last two years the desire for more home working room or extra outdoor leisure space has motivated many to focus on extensions.

Now, however, circumstances have changed. With the pandemic easing and the clarion call to return to the office having gone out, there may be other priorities for home improvement, like more energy efficiency as gas prices have skyrocketed.

Alongside this may be a matter of particular interest to Londoners. As property website Rightmove has noted, the capital is seeing prices rise as the ‘race for space’ that pushed people out of the capital has reversed and living in commuter land is back in a big way.

As the Evening Standard noted, the 7.3 per cent rise in prices over the last 12 months represents the strongest London price growth since the Brexit referendum.

With the average house price in the capital now £661,000, it may seem householders will not have to do too much to boost their property price. But the corollary of that is that for those wanting to sell, and move up the ladder in London will also be costlier than before.

That may be one reason for installing underfloor heating in north London. By boosting the value of a home, householders could gain a real edge in a Metropolitan property market that is now reasserting itself after years in the doldrums.

However, it is not just the shift away from needing home working space that could change priorities for home improvers, nor even the benefits of property value. A more efficient means of heating will be especially valuable if energy price inflation becomes even more pronounced due to the impact of the current Russia-Ukraine conflict on gas prices.

For all these reasons, investing in underfloor heating may be the most efficient, attractive and cost-effective way to improve your home.

5 Tips For Using Underfloor Heating In A Bathroom

Underfloor heating in the bathroom can be wonderful when it comes to taking the chill off cold floor tiles on a chilly winter’s morning, transforming the space into a warm, spa-like heaven.

If you’re in the process of renovating your bathroom, you might be considering whether to use traditional radiators or underfloor heating, which may be dependent on your budget and your property. We have a look at five tips to ensure you get the best out of your underfloor heating (UFH).

 

  1. Pick the best underfloor heating system

It will be largely dependent on your circumstances, for example, electric UFH systems are typically easier to install, but will have higher running costs. Whereas water-based UFH systems need a little more work to install, the monthly tuning costs will be lower. It is vital to choose the right system for you.

 

  1. Get the positioning right

To ensure you get the correct and even heat output, the cables/pipes must be laid at neat, regular intervals. The higher the heat output required, the closer together the pipes/cables should be.

 

  1. Choose the right flooring for underfloor heating

UFH works well with wood, tiles, or stone flooring, but smooth, hard surfaces like porcelain and ceramic tend to have an edge over other solutions when it comes to heat conductivity.

Some laminate and vinyl products are not suitable for use alongside electric underfloor heating. So be sure to check with your supplier that the UFH kit and floor surface are compatible.

 

  1. Leave your underfloor heating on

During the colder times of the year, it can take a while for UFH systems to warm up, and constantly turning your heating on and off for short bursts will waste energy. Keeping the system continuously running will ensure that the system is running efficiently and provides a constant level of warmth.

 

  1. Consider a hybrid setup

Removing redactors will free up space, especially in small bathrooms, but there are some advantages to including a radiator, such as a slim towel rail for a handy spot to warm towels so they’re toasty for when you step out of the shower.

 

If you’re looking for underfloor heating installers in north London, get in touch today.

Major Energy Firm Offers Free Energy Efficient Boilers To People On Low Incomes

A large energy company has offered a boiler installation worth £2,500 to people on low incomes to help them manage their energy bills more easily.

The scheme, offered as part of E.ON’s Affordable Warmth Scheme, offers the free standard boiler to people on a low income that are in receipt of certain benefits and are currently dealing with a broken or faulty boiler.

The criteria for which benefits qualify is somewhat specific but includes:

  • Universal Credit,
  • Other forms of income support for unemployed and low-paid staff, such as the Employment And Support Allowance and Jobseeker’s Allowance.
  • Carer’s Allowance,
  • Disability Living Allowance, Severe Disablement Allowance, Personal Independence Payment and other disability-related benefits
  • Several Armed Forces benefits, including the Armed Forces Independent Payment and War Pensioners’ Mobility Supplement.

E.ON has noted that people do not need to be an existing customer of theirs to be eligible for the support, as it is part of a government scheme to help improve the energy efficiency of homes for people who are on low incomes.

It is also separate from a similar scheme known as the Green Homes Grant, which covered up to two-thirds of the cost of heating improvements that helped to boost the energy efficiency of a home or convert to a low carbon heating method.

This can include some forms of boilers, such as those which use biomass, as well as heat pumps that convert ambient heat in the air or from a ground source into heat to warm a home.

Once the Affordable Warmth boiler is applied for, E.ON will undertake a home survey to help identify areas where energy can be saved. Some of these works may not be covered under the scheme and the homeowner may have to pay part of the cost if they wish to go through with them.

Can Central Heating Damage Your Home?

With the chilly winter temperatures and howling winds at this time of year, many of us will be putting the central heating on earlier and earlier, especially if youre working from home. However, experts have wanted homeowners to be wary, as their central heating could be causing damage to their homes.

While the end of 2021 was unseasonably mild, meteorologists are predicting a cold snap in the new year. But as well as wanting to reduce bills during an energy crisis in the UK, we have a look at another reason to use your central heating cautiously.

In winter, people use their central heating not only for warmth but also for such things as drying laundry. But to keep utility bills low, people tend to use their central heating only when necessary.

As the heating goes off, the house cools, and any water that has evaporated while it was warm will turn into condensation, which is a real problem and the most common form of dampness in a property.

With the British climate as it is, it means it can be very difficult to keep the home warm and dry.

If youre having issues with dampness in the home caused by central heating, then the best tip is to increase ventilation. Open a window at the front of the house and another at the back for ten minutes a day when the heating is on. This might sound contrary but will allow the moisture-rich air to escape and help reduce mould.

A final tip is to ensure the house is not too warm or too cold, as that can exacerbate damp issues. Having your heating on low and slow for longer rather than hot-cold-hot-cold will be better for your health and your home.

Make sure you dry clothes in a well-ventilated area, keep radiators free of obstructions and remember to open windows and air your home for ten minutes daily.

 

If youre looking for central heating repairs in North London, get in touch today.

What Could Affect The Cost Of My Replacement Boiler?

Replacing a boiler can be an expensive job, and the work required can push the cost higher. Boilers can break down suddenly, and potentially when youre not financially ready for such an expense.

However, there are options, such as getting your new boiler on finance, or you may be eligible for a new boiler grant. Lets have look at the factors to consider around replacement boiler cost:

 

1. Your pipework needs replacing

Depending on the position and location of the boiler, you may need new pipework. This means you not only need to account for the cost of new piping but also the costs of removing and disposing of the old pipes. This could add between £300 and £1,000 to the cost.

 

2. You need to reposition your boiler

If you need or want to move your boiler to a new location, this could mean construction work, dealing with walls and floors. Including getting rid of the old boiler and pipework, repositioning your boiler can start at around £500 and go way over £1,000 for more complicated jobs.

 

3. The flue position

A new flue, especially if you are relocating the boiler, may be required, and this can cost between £300 and £600. The flue is a large pipe that leads outside your home and ensures that condensation and gases are safely piped away from your home. A new flue can cost between £300 and £600.

 

4. You buy an additional warranty

Getting an extended warranty is a good idea when it comes to boilers, especially if you can get a 10-year one. Since that is the life a boiler is expected to last, less if not looked after and more if well cared for, its a useful support to have in place. The estimated cost added is around £150 to £250.

 

If youre looking for new boiler finance in London, get in touch today.

When Should You Replace A Boiler Instead Of Repair?

The heating world is in a period of change and flux, with the potential for 2031’s central heating systems to look very different.

The government has previously proposed a staged transition away from gas boiler installation in favour of electric storage heaters, heat networks and hydrogen boilers for new build homes.

At present, whilst there are incentives for switching to renewable heat, there is no requirement to do so in the near future, which means that if you bought a boiler recently it should provide many years of comfortable, convenient heat.

However, if you are having issues or are worried about your boiler, here are some of the factors that will help you decide whether to repair or whether it is time to replace it.

 

The Problem With Age

Boilers last a long time, and whilst the average lifespan nears 10-15 years, they can potentially last for up to 25 years with care, regular maintenance and regular but not excessive use.

However, at around the ten-year mark, that efficiency can plummet quite dramatically, with a reduction of up to 30 per cent in their thermal efficiency, leading to more expensive heating bills.

Maintaining legacy boilers can also be increasingly expensive as parts and expertise get harder to come by, so if you are noticing that your boiler becomes less reliable over the years, it may be time to get a more efficient new model.

 

A Yellow Flame Or A Bad Smell

Whilst you often have a lot of time to mull over replacing a boiler if the issue is simply age, if you notice a distinct sour smell, or find that the bright blue flame has turned yellow, you may need to turn off your boiler and contact an engineer as soon as possible.

Both of these are a sign of carbon monoxide leaks or malfunctions, and if left on could put anyone in the home in danger.

 

Water Leak

Your boiler should never leak water. If it is, that is a sign of a broken valve or seal and can cause significant damage to your home or electrical systems if left unfixed.

When you spot a leak, switch the boiler off and get it checked.

Govt’s Grants ‘Not Big Enough Incentive’

The government’s plans to offer grants for low-carbon heat pumps to reduce the number of households using gas boilers do not go far enough, experts have warned.

Last month, the Heat and Buildings Strategy revealed people will be offered a £5,000 government grant to install low-carbon heating systems to replace their old boilers.

The Boiler Upgrade Scheme, worth £450 million, is being introduced as part of a policy to decarbonise heat and buildings, with funding of £3.9 billion being put towards this.

It hopes these grants, which can be applied for from April 2022, will encourage people to install more energy-efficient heating systems, which will be better for the environment and save them money on their household bills.

If enough people take up these grants, this will help the UK reach its target for all heating systems using low-carbon, or new technologies, to replace new boilers by 2035.

Speaking about the Boiler Upgrade Scheme, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “Our new grants will help homeowners make the switch sooner, without costing them extra, so that going green is the better choice when their boiler needs an upgrade.”

However, some believe the government’s grants are not enough of an incentive to make a huge difference.

For a start, the grants will only fund 90,000 pumps over the next three years, despite there being 25 million homes in the UK with gas boilers, BBC News reports.

In addition to this, these pumps typically cost between £6,000 and £18,000. Therefore, a £5,000 deduction has been classed as “insufficient” to make them comparable in price to gas boilers, particularly for those with large properties.

There is also the cost of insulation and other home improvements that need to be accounted for to help people benefit from the change to heat pumps the most.

Dr David Glew, head of energy efficiency and policy at the Leeds Sustainability Institute at Leeds Beckett University, told the news provider: “Gas is actually relatively cheap to heat your home with.”

“Needing to insulate your house might cost you tens of thousands of pounds and you’re only going to be saving several hundreds of pounds, so the economics of that doesn’t really add up,” he went on to say.

A better alternative could be electric boilers, according to The Conversation. As all the electrical energy is turned into heat, they are far more efficient. What’s more, they do not create an extra noise and do not take up much space, unlike air-sourced heat pumps.

They are cheaper to install, do not typically require major construction work, and the cost of running an electric boiler is likely to fall in the future as renewable energy becomes cheaper.

The article concluded: “With electricity provided from renewable and low-carbon sources, a combination of heat pumps and electric boilers for domestic heating and hot water production will cover our energy needs in a sustainable and climate-friendly manner.”

 

If you are looking for a new more energy-efficient boiler in North London, why not give us a call today?

What Are Heat Pumps?

Our reliance on fossil fuels has been a major contributing factor to climate change, and it has become very important to find green alternatives for heating our households, especially with the installation of new gas central heating boilers to be prohibited by 2035.

To this end, the government has set out plans to offer £5,000 grants to help 90,000 UK households to install home heat pumps and other low-carbon heating solutions over the next three years, as part of its plan to cut the UK’s reliance on fossil fuel heating, reports the Mirror.

It is estimated that as gas boilers are phased out, heat pump installations could reach 600,000 a year in the 2030s. But what is a heat pump?

In the simplest of terms, a heat pump works like a reverse fridge. It extracts warmth from the air outside, the ground, or a nearby water source, then concentrates the heat and transferring it indoors. They look like a standard air conditioning unit.

As for why we need heat pumps, around 85 per cent of UK homes use gas boilers for heating, making it one of the most polluting sectors of the UK economy.

The fossil fuels we use for heating, hot water, and cooking account for more than a fifth of the country’s CO2 emissions, which means finding low-carbon alternatives are crucial for achieving the UK’s climate targets.

However, heat pumps cost far more than traditional gas boilers, starting at £6,000 for an air source pump, and at least £10,000 for a ground source pump. It is expected that these prices will significantly fall in the coming years as more are installed.

In the meantime, the government’s grant scheme should help bridge the difference.

 

If you’re looking for local plumbers in north London, get in touch today.