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.

Why Gas Crisis Is More Reason To Go Solar

Householders all over London will have been dismayed by the recent surge in energy prices, caused by the rising wholesale cost of gas that has pushed some suppliers out of business and forced others to raise prices as far as the energy cap will allow.

All this will leave some upset or angry at the bottom line on their bills, but many will also wonder just what they can do about it.

More solar panel installation in London could be one way forward, enabling people to generate some of their own electricity and not have to rely on suppliers at the mercy of the various factors influencing the energy market. After all, burning gas is one of the ways electricity is generated, so this is not immune to the cost pressures.

A good reason for using more solar power is that the gas crisis may not go away anytime soon. It is certainly true that in the short term the surge in demand for gas has been driven by the opening up of western economies as vaccination programmes ease the pandemic. But this alone is not a full explanation, as gas demand was higher before the crisis.

The main issue is supply. Across Europe, gas supplies are down because half of it comes from Russia and the amount coming through the pipelines continues to decline. This impacts on wholesale prices, although the UK sources some gas from the North Sea and Norway.

Britain was self-sufficient in gas until about 20 years ago, but now relies on the Langeled Pipeline from Norway and the BBL Pipeline from the Netherlands to boost supply.

Another issue is gas storage. Other European countries have up to five times as much capacity as Britain, with UK levels being branded “pathetic” by Sir Jim Radcliffe, the head of chemicals giant Ineos. He has warned of possible factory shutdowns and blackouts over winter.

A few years ago the government planned to increase gas supplies from shale, but the controversy over the fracking methods used to extract it has led to this being abandoned.

With solar being so green and gas supplies being so uncertain, now may be the best time yet to get some rooftop panels installed.

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.

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.

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.

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.

 

Helping the Plumber Over The Phone Can Save You Time And Money!

Whenever Bernard my master is asked what my favourite food is the answer is anything that’s on his plate! When it comes to anything a dog wants to play with it’s theirs but when it’s broken, it’s yours!

A bit unfair on humans, I know, but we are loyal and make the best guards and guides, which can sort out all sorts of safety prevention problems for our masters.

In fact sorting out problems is exactly what a busy plumber like Bernard is definitely about, of course. Customers are always looking for a great service at the best price and when a plumber needs to be found to fix a problem, there is always a worry over being overcharged or extra time being added to the final bill.

Experienced plumber – accurate estimate

A good and experienced plumber should firstly,  always tell the customer the exact cost and time of callout charges over the phone. Often problems can be rectified within the set call out period unless the job requires additional time to complete. Once again, an experienced plumber will be able to give an accurate estimate to include all parts and labour.

Even I have to wait to be fed while Bernard is busy fixing a boiler! But I always try to sniff out a half eaten chocolate bar or crisp bag to keep me going!

Information helps the plumber

However, a customer can often help themselves and the plumber with a little bit of plumbing knowledge. Rather than simply panic when waking one morning and finding you have no hot water, or a leak, for example, a few simple checks can save time for both you and the plumber.

A leak can be a straightforward problem. Firstly, find the stop-cock and turn off and then try to find where the leak is coming from so when you do ring a plumber you can provide the information, which will help pinpoint the problem and the likely time and cost to put right.

No hot water…

However, no hot water is probably the most common reason to call a plumber. Those with a gas water heater installed will need to firstly make sure the pilot light has not gone out and check the temperature setting on the water heater is set high enough to provide adequate amounts of hot water.

With an electric boiler heater, the first thing to do is see if there is power going to the heating elements. Check for a tripped circuit breaker or a blown fuse on the water heater circuit in the wiring centre or fuse box. If power has not been disrupted then it’s possible that the electric thermostat or a heating element has become faulty.

If a water heater is leaking, then it’s likely that rust has eaten away through the bottom of the water storage tank, and the water heater may need to be replaced.

Once again, having made the simplest of preliminary checks and carefully explaining the symptoms over the phone to the plumber could save precious time and money!

It also means that Bernard might get to feed me on time and save me having to raid the biscuit barrel!