Warm Home Discount Scheme Set To Open

Despite many of us hanging on for an Indian summer in September, temperatures are cooling off, and the days are noticeably shorter, and it won’t be long until households across the UK are turning up their central heating, which can lead to higher fuel bills over the winter period. 

We are all looking for ways to help reduce our fuel bills, but to help with the mounting costs, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has reminded people that they could be eligible for a £140 discount on their electricity bills for 2021/22 winter season under the Warm Home Discount Scheme, which opens on 18 October.

The £140 is not paid directly to the claimant, but instead is a one-off discount on your electricity bill between October and March 2022. If your energy supplier provides you with both gas and electricity, then you may be able to get the discount on your gas bill instead.

Am I eligible?

There are two pathways to qualifying for the Warm Home Discount scheme:

How to apply

Your electricity supplier decides who gets the discount, and the number of discounts available is limited, so be sure to check with your supplier as soon as possible to see if you’re eligible and how to apply, and they will add the discount to your bill by 31 March 2022.

For more information about the Warm Home Discount Scheme for winter 2021/22, visit the GOV.UK website here.

Looking for central heating repairs in North London? Talk to us today.

How To Have A More Energy Efficient Home

Energy efficiency is high on the agenda at the moment, as the world’s climate becomes hotter every year, and the devastating results of global warming can be seen with frightening regularity. Near the top of the action list is improving the efficiency of UK homes, which are currently responsible for 20% of the nation’s carbon emissions.

 

Insulation

A very simple step you can take is to ramp up your levels of insulation. This will stop as much heat escaping, meaning you can turn radiators down, or turn the heating off earlier. Not only will this make your house warmer and drier, but you will also save on energy bills.

Fitting your hot water cylinder with an insulating jacket will preserve heat, save you costs, and reduce emissions. Cavity wall insulation can stop as much as a third of all heat leaking from your home, according to the Energy Saving Trust. Houses built after 1920 but before 1990 may not have any wall insulation, so it pays to have this checked out.

Loft insulation is also essential, to save as much as 25% of your heat from leaking through the roof. The investment will soon pay for itself, and you can carry out the work yourself, unless you have a flat roof. Also consider applying draught-proofing strips around window and door frames, and draught-proofing the chimney.

 

Underfloor heating

The thought of converting to underfloor heating may seem like a very expensive way to save money, but you might be surprised at how affordable it is nowadays. It is also a far more efficient way to heat a home, because underfloor heating systems need much lower temperatures to warm a room to a comfortable level.

Not only that, you will have a lovely toasty warm floor to walk on when you get up on crispy frosty mornings, and your home will feel more spacious without bulky wall radiators!

 

If you need a new boiler quote in North London, get in touch today.

Which Radiators Should You Bleed First?

Bleeding a radiator is one of the simplest DIY tasks you can do, but there is a method to bleeding your radiators to ensure you get the maximum benefit to your central heating.

It is a good time of year to check your central heating is working properly, to ensure you won’t be without it when you need it when the weather gets colder. Bleeding your radiators is a good place to start, and we explain how, as well as which radiator to bleed first.

From time to time, air can get trapped in your central heating system, which means you need to bleed your radiators. The best way to check if you have air trapped is to switch on your central heating to maximum and allow the radiators to heat up to their full temperature.

Check each radiator carefully, and feel if there are any temperature differences across the surface of each radiator. If it feels cool at the top, and warm at the bottom, then it is likely you have air trapped, and it needs bleeding. Remember to check all the radiators and bleed all those that need.

 

The radiator to bleed first

Before you start, ensure that your central heating is switched off, and start with a downstairs radiator that’s the furthest from your boiler. Work methodically, moving to the next closest to the boiler, and repeat the process on the next floor.

 

How to bleed a radiator

All you need is a brass radiator key (or a flathead screwdriver) and a cloth to catch any drips of escaping water. Please ensure your heating system is switched off and had a chance to cool down before starting this job.

Once you’ve bled all your radiators, switch on your central heating and you should find that all of your radiators are heating up evenly and fully. If this is not the case, or if you find you are having to bleed your radiators regularly, it’s probably worth getting in a professional heating engineer to look for any deeper problems.

 

If you’re looking for central heating repairs in North London, talk to us today.

Prime Minister To Postpone Gas Boiler Ban By Five Years

Boris Johnson is considering pushing back the ban on the sales of new gas boilers by five years to 2040, following a backlash over spiralling ‘net-zero’ costs

The Daily Mail reports that Brits are being incentivised to buy eco-friendly heat pumps and hydrogen boilers, and the postponement of the ban on gas boilers will allow the price for the eco-friendly alternatives to come down and for businesses to invest into helping people make the change gradually.

It may mean that working boilers would need to be taken out before 2050, or the UK may risk failing to hit its net-zero targets, which ministers are keen to avoid.

Here are concerns within the government about the cost of the PM’s eco-plans, which could see the Treasury needing to find another £400 billion.

The initial plans were to issue homeowners with ‘green cheques’ worth hundreds of pounds to compensate for making green changes to their homes, but now only the poorest of Brits will get the financial assistance, leaving middle-class families to pay some of the bill.

A full strategy is set to be published in the autumn ahead of Britain hosting the COP26 climate summit with 100 leaders from around the world.

Britain’s 28 million homes contribute more than a third of UK carbon emissions, which must be slashed to zero by 2050.

However, government insiders are concerned that while great leaps have been made in electric vehicle technology to replace petrol and diesel cars, heating strategies and technologies are not advancing as rapidly, as heat pumps are not compatible with some properties, such as flats.

Climate experts and forecasters say the cost of acting now will be far less than letting it run out of control and get even worse in the decades to come.

 

If you’re looking for central heating repairs in North London, get in touch today.

Why Underfloor Heating Is Not Just For The Rich

Mention underfloor heating to some people and they imagine it is a luxury for the wealthiest of homeowners, but it is in fact something that the average householder could have installed in their home as a highly valuable and successful investment.

Of course, there are plenty of luxury homes that come with this feature and get plenty of publicity about it. This week, for instance, The Only Way Is Essex star Jess Wright showed her Instagram followers around her new mansion.

Naturally enough, the tabloids lapped up the neon lighting, chandeliers and plush furnishings, but Sun readers also got to read how she has “state of the art” underfloor heating. The Daily Mirror missed this detail out, preferring to reflect on what her fans said about the air conditioning.

Either way, the fact is that there’s every bit as much reason to install underfloor heating in north London homes as there is in posh mansions located in the Essex countryside.

This was highlighted in a collaboration between Sofa and carpet specialist firm ScS and property marketing expert Bruna Pani at We Buy Any House.

Their list of recommendations for home improvements to add value to a property included underfloor heating in the bathroom, which can add £10,000 to the value of a home. Among the great benefits of it is the fact that radiators won’t be needed any more, so it creates more space.

Ms Pani explained: “Underfloor heating ranges from £1,000 to £1,500 depending on size, the company installing and cost of materials.”

She added that this cost is well worth it, as underfloor heating makes the bathroom “far more cost-efficient, in comparison to running regular heating, and adds a feeling of quality”.

All this goes to show that when it comes to getting underfloor heating installed, Essex is definitely not the only way.

Top Tips To Reduce Your Energy Bills This Summer

This summer has been an exceptionally scorching one, and for many people that has meant turning on air conditioning or fans and relaxing with cool drinks in the shade.

However, the heat can work in your favour and you can save money on your energy bills this summer by following some of these top tips.

 

Check On Your Boiler

The last concern on many people’s minds when the weather is roasting is their boiler, especially since it is generally winter weather that boilers tend to be unhappy with.

Try to turn your heating on or turn on hot water for 5-10 minutes per week and check if there are any issues.

It is much easier to check if you need a boiler installation in North London when the sun is shining over Islington, rather than when the weather is bitterly cold in Barnet or Tottenham.

As well as this, keeping your heating moving, even for a brief time each week, can mean the difference between a healthy boiler for years to come.

 

Keep Your Fridge Out Of The Sun

Whilst the point of a fridge or a freezer is to keep your food cool, they paradoxically generate a lot of heat, and so they must be kept away from sources of extreme heat.

Keep them away from the oven, keep them out of direct sunlight and keep them away from rooms that generate a lot of heat if at all possible.

If you use an outdoor fridge or freezer, try to keep them in your garage or out of the sun if at all possible.

 

Check Your Insulation

Insulation of course is used to keep your home warm in winter, but it also stops external heat from getting into your house in the summer and heating up your home.

What Are The Benefits of Solar Panels In The UK?

We are all seeking more sustainable ways to live our lives and can make purchasing decisions on everything from food to electricity based on a product or company’s eco-credentials.

Solar panels are a great way to help reduce your carbon footprint, but what are the pros and cons of solar energy? Aside from reducing carbon emissions, solar panels will reduce your energy bills, increase your property value, helps protect you against rising energy costs, and you can even sell your unused electricity back to the national grid.

The downsides include high up-front costs, which might not be a wise investment if you’re about to move home, and they may not work on every roof. If you only have small electricity bills, you may not benefit from the returns on your investment for many years.

Let’s have a closer look at some of the advantages.

 

Solar improves the value of your home

The Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) found that energy-saving home improvements, such as solar panels, could increase property values by on average £16,000. Even if you’re planning on moving in the near future, you’ll earn back your solar panel investment and then some when you sell your home.

 

Independence Off The Grid

Solar panels will provide you with an independent source of electricity. The light from the sun cannot be monopolised or privatised, and the electricity generated belongs to you.

 

Reduces Electricity Bills

Your solar panels will contribute to some of your energy needs, which in turn will help reduce your energy bills. How much you will save will depend on the size of your solar panel system, and your energy usage.

Not only will you save on your electricity bill, but there is also a possibility to receive payments for the surplus energy that you export back to the grid if you generate more electricity than you use.

 

Renewable Energy

Switching to solar energy cuts your carbon footprint, as it is a green, renewable source of energy. Unlike traditional electricity generators, solar power does not release any harmful carbon dioxide or other pollutants.

Estimates also show that solar panels for homes could save around one tonne of CO2 per year, which comes to approximately 25 tonnes over its lifetime.

 

If you’re looking for solar panels in North London, talk to us today!

4 Considerations About Bathroom Renovations

As we spend more time in our home than ever before, we have all started to reassess how we use the home, and many people have taken to home improvements, such as renovating the bathroom, hoping to transform it from a solely functional space to a spa-like experience.

There is quite a bit to consider before you change ahead and begin ripping fixtures and fittings out, and not just choosing the colour palette! We have some tips for what to think about when designing your new gorgeous bathroom.

 

Consult an expert

The sinks, toilets, and bathtub/shower are laced where they are for a reason, and it would be wise to consult with a professional before making plans to replace the sanitaryware, plumbing, or lighting, as you do not want complications later down the line.

 

How do you use the room?

It may seem like a silly question, but it is worth considering things such as how often you use the bathtub, for example, if you mainly shower, and the bathtub is mostly unused for bathing, then maybe a shower/wet room would be a better investment.

If you are particularly tall, then a larger than standard toilet would provide extra legroom, or maybe you want to add mobility features for elderly or disabled family members.

Think about your routine, and what changes would be of benefit to you.

 

Consider your budget

It would always be great to have a budget that allows you to splurge on all the designer trappings you desire, but if finances are not as flush as you would like, then check reclamation yards and eBay for fixtures and fittings that will make the room unique.

 

Where to invest

If your plans include tearing it all out and starting fresh, then one investment you should consider is to have underfloor heating installed. It is great for bathrooms and wet rooms, and not as expensive as you may think. Just think about the warm floor underfoot on a chilly winter’s morning!

 

If you’re looking for underfloor heating installers in North London, talk to us today.

 

How To Tell If Your Boiler Needs Replacing

Nothing lasts forever and your boiler is a particularly hard-working part of your house, giving you all the heating and hot water you need to enjoy living comfortably at home. Regular servicing once a year is a must to keep it in good working order, but there may well come a time when a new appliance becomes a necessity.

But how do you know that a new one is required? If you find that the appliance needs repairs on a regular basis or if you hear lots of funny noises coming from within, then it’s likely that you could benefit from investing in a new one.

Listen out for knocking or hissing sounds when the boiler is on, as this suggests that it’s on its way out. Parts wear out as boilers get older and it can be more cost-effective in the long run to replace, rather than repair.

If you know your boiler is more than ten years old, an upgrade could be a good idea, as well. New boilers are far more efficient than their predecessors, so you could do the planet some good and save yourself some money by switching out your old appliance.

Also look out for fluctuations in water temperature, as this is another indication that your boiler is about to pack up. Repairs could see improvements, but if it continues, a new boiler could be your only solution.

And, of course, it’s always worth remembering that a faulty boiler can not only be a nuisance but also pose a serious risk to your health. Faulty appliances can lead to carbon monoxide leaks, which can be deadly – so it’s essential that you make sure your boiler works as it should.

 

For help with new boiler installation in North London, get in touch with us today.

Spring has Sprung! It’s Time for Annual Maintenance

As London is enjoying some lovely warm weather, the last thing that is on your mind is your boiler. Unfortunately, the majority of people think about their boiler when they try to get it running again in the autumn. That tends to make us very busy as every job is urgent as the weather cools down. Get in early and get your boiler serviced now so that it’s in top shape for the next winter season.

The warm weather gives us a chance to get the windows open and have a spring clean. The sunshine does show up the grime on the windows and the cobwebs in the corners so it’s not surprising that this is a time when everyone spruces up their home. Many people take the extra time off work around the bank holidays to decorate a room or get out in the garden and tidy things up. But not many people think about their hard working boiler that would also enjoy some well earned maintenance.

Best Practice

We advise people to have their boiler serviced annually. This means we can check it over, clean the filters and make sure the boiler is safe. All our service staff are Gas Safe engineers who understand the importance of a safe boiler and meet the standards required. Having your boiler serviced means that you can be satisfied that there aren’t any leaks. Carbon Monoxide is a silent killer that has no odour and is very hard to detect. Having your boiler regularly maintained by a professional means you significantly reduce the risk of being poisoned in your own home.

Time for a Change

If your boiler is old, the summer is the best time to replace it. The latest condensing boilers save you money on your energy bills and are clean and quiet to run. It is sometimes difficult to get the spares we need to repair old boilers, so getting them checked out in the summer could save you a real headache when you actually need your boiler up and running.

Taking time off work in November while you wait for a heating engineer in your cold house is not an ideal situation. Take a summer day off and enjoy your garden while your plumber is servicing your boiler.

Hot Water!

Don’t forget that your boiler is doing more than heating your home, it heats the hot water too. You really don’t want to be without hot water in the summer when nothing refreshes you better than a hot shower after a day at work in the city. It is far better to utilise your boiler to heat your hot water than use an electric immersion tank. If your boiler runs on gas you will find it cheaper than electricity to heat your water. Also, by using the boiler for hot water in the summer it keeps the boiler ticking over nicely so it will be ready to fire up to full power in the colder weather. After all, you don’t want to find yourself in the wrong kind of hot water – with a boiler that has broken down.

Whatever spring cleaning you do this spring don’t forget your boiler!