5 tips on keeping your central heating running

We didn’t get a white Christmas but are we going to get some in January? We can’t be sure, but the last thing you want is to be without central heating when this happens. In the past many homeowners across Coventry & Warwickshire have been caught out by the milder winters but when the cold snap appears that are often caught out, literally in the cold.

For most Christmas is expensive enough without the need for call out charges at this time of year for boiler breakdowns or central heating faults, sometimes it can’t be helped, especially if a Gas Safe Engineer or Electrician is needed but here are some tips on helping your central heating running and keeping you warm through January.

5 tips on keeping your central heating running

1 – Keeping your condensation pipe from freezing

In freezing temperatures even the best-maintained boiler will struggle to function if its condensate pipe freezes. Luckily, it’s not a difficult job to put things right if it does happen. To prevent the pipe from freezing again make sure you insulate the pipe by wrapping it in some old towels or rags immediately to prevent it from freezing. If you’re able too, get to your local DIY store and buy some foam pipe insulation. This usually comes in a variety of sizes so bear in mind to measure it before you buy it. When measured and cut, wrap the condensation pipe in the insulation and this should help prevent the pipe from freezing

2 – Turn up your Boiler Thermostat

During a really cold it may help to run the heating system with the boiler thermostat set to maximum. This is not the room thermostat normally located somewhere in one of your main rooms. This is the thermostat that is located actually on your boiler. Once the really cold snap is over turn the thermostat back to its usual setting.

3 – Keep your boiler on ‘constant’

As a temporary measure it may also help to keep your central heating on a constant setting (24hr) as opposed to the timer setting. However keep your room thermostat on a slightly lower temperature of around 15oC. We certainly recommend this as an ongoing solution, as it goes against the idea of having an energy efficient boiler, but as a temporary fix, its worth doing.

4 – Get your boiler serviced

If at any time you need your boiler to be working at it’s during the winter months. In most cases boiler breakdown problems occur because of common faults and usually because it hasn’t been serviced for some time. Like a car, your boiler needs to be serviced on a regular basis. Getting your boiler serviced before it gets too cold would be advisable before problems start occurring.

5 – Power Flushing

If you’ve got an older central heating system over time this can become inefficient because of blocked pipes, preventing radiators from heating up correctly. A black sludge can build up in your central heating system and can cause your radiators to get cold spots. Getting rid of these cold spots is fairly easy with an effective technique called Power Flushing. Water and cleaning chemicals are pumped through your radiators at high pressure which flushes out any build-up of dirt, often a back sludge that is causing a blockage. By Power Flushing all your radiators, you will be making your central heating system more efficient which will save you money on your heating bills and potential money spent on central heating repairs. Above all else its keeping you warm through January

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How to protect your central heating system and boiler with Magnaclean

Magnaclean on Valliant boilerWhy your boiler becomes inefficient?

When first installed a new central heating system normally consists a new boiler, radiators, pipe-work and an easy to use thermostat to control your heating system. Some years later problems start arising particularly at this time of the year, when you go to switch your boiler on for the first time for the winter. In most cases, after some time radiators have dis-colored and the pipework has now filled with a thick, black sludge that you can’t see.

This black sludge is typically know as iron oxide which is mainly ‘rust’ that has broken or fallen away from the inside of the radiators or other components of the your central heating system.  The effect of this is no different to you or I have a bad diet of fatty foods, it makes things far less efficient and shortens the life expectancy. As with most things in life prevention is better than cure, however, in both cases there are things that can be done to solve these issues.

Adding an Inhibitor to your system

The first thing to do is to add an Inhibitor to your system this prevents the metal in your central system from rusting in the first place. It does this is by coating the surface of the metal and stops it from reacting with anything else. Inhibitors are manufactured by companies such as Fernox and Sentinel

Removing the sludge for your system with Magnaclean

The second thing to do is remove the sludge from your central heating system. This sludge is a mix of metal oxides, it is magnetic; a fact that most people had known for as long as Central Heating systems had been around. However, like with most things in life, the simple ideas are always the best, it was only recently that Adey Ltd came up with a gadget for removing this magnetic sludge, which they called the “Magnaclean”. 

What does Magnaclean do?

As the name suggests, this ingenues idea, is simply a magnet that sits in your Central Heating system and cleans the water that runs past it by making all the metal oxides stick to the magnet. When the magnet is completely covered you just take it out, clean it and put it back in again.

Of course the Magnaclean does not stop your system rusting away, it merely reduces the damage caused by this rust; so you need to use an “inhibitor” as well. Ah, some of you may be saying, if I’m using inhibitor I won’t be getting any sludge, so I don’t need a Magnaclean!

Absolutely right, but how do you know if you have enough inhibitor in your system? At the very least you could look upon the magnaclean as a window into the health of your central heating system.

How can it benefit you?

MagnaClean Professional is a proven, high efficiency, full-flow magnetic filter designed to tackle all central heating systems removing virtually 100% of the suspended black iron oxide.  The benefits of this 

  • Reduces ongoing maintenance and heating energy costs
  • Improves your central heating and boiler efficiency 
  • Reduces carbon emissions carbon emissions 
  • Provides immediate results and system protection following installation
  • No ongoing running costs
  • Long operational life AND guaranteed for TWO years

I’ve switched boiler on for the first time and its not working

My boiler isn’t working!

During September & October we’re finding this is the most common problem homeowners are having at the moment. With an unpredictable winter on the way the last thing most homeowners want is to switch on the central heating and fine the boiler isn’t working. At that particular moment there is nothing more frustrating and sometimes costly for your boiler to go on the blink! our advice is to be aware of costly call out or emergency charges. Our recommendation is always ask the engineer or company to explain how they charge for the services they provide before you call them out or they start working on your boiler or any of your gas appliances.

Amongst problems with boiler breakdowns and servicing we are also seeing a lot of people across Coventry & Warwickshire asking for advice on the following Central Heating, Gas and Underfloor subjects. We thought we’d give some of those visitors some advice on these areas, what to look out for and where we can help you.

  1. Central Heating Services Coventry
  2. Valliant Boilers Coventry
  3. Best Combination boiler 2011
  4. Boiler Installation Coventry
  5. Gas Engineer Coventry, Leamington Spa
  6. Heating and Ventilation Coventry
  7. Pressure relief pipe installation
  8. Underfloor Heating Engineers Warwickshire
  9. Replace open vent boiler with combi boiler
  10. Best Valliant boiler for me

If there is anything else you would like advice on please either contact us or comment below. We’d be happy to hear from you and if its something we don’t specialise in we can point you in the right direction.

 

 

 

Would Power Flushing solve this….

Maintain your Central Heating System – otherwise this could happen!

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Not maintaining your central heating system pipework can lead to serious damage to your boiler and radiators.

Some of the symptoms are;

  • The boiler or pump is noisy
  • Combi boiler blocked heat exchanger,
  • Reduced hot water temperature
  • Boiler overheats
  • The radiators have cold spots or not working
  • Radiators take a long to warm up
  • Radiators need regular bleeding of accumulated air
  • Evidence of sludge and rust in the system
  • Pump failures

All this can be reduced with a powerflush and restore your heating system to the efficient system it should be. See our Powerflushing services here

How not to install a pressure relief pipe

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Boiler Breakdown Services in Coventry

On being called out to a Ariston boiler breakdown in the Coventry area, we came across a novel way someone has connected the pressure relief pipe, in addition to this the outer casing was stuck on with tape. They had used a ‘Garden Hose’ to connect two copper pipes. This is surely a case for Rogue Traders!!!

Coventry & Warwickshire Homeowners

Coventry and Warwickshire homeowners please make sure you use a gas safe registered engineer. Look at our Gas Safe Engineer Tips or contact us for Advice

Which Boiler is Right for Me?

Top Tips on finding the right boiler

Is often the question asked by most home owners and most of us don’t know where to start even before we asked for advice from a registered installer.  Often this happens when your existing boiler has a fault or has died on you.

By law, all new boilers must now be high-efficiency condensing boilers unless it is too difficult or too expensive to fit one. Condensing boilers capture the heat that is normally lost by traditional boilers and reuses it. This means that a top of the range A-grade boiler could have as much as 96% efficiency, such as Vaillant, Main amongst others. See our special offer on combi boilers with 5 year guarantee  Vaillant boilers here.

Vaillant Boilers

Which boiler to choose can be very confusing, time consuming and to most people they’re unsure which type is best suited to them their home and family. Another issue is that different types of boilers are sometimes known by different names.

Here’s our top tips to finding the right boiler

1. Combination boilers

Combination (Combi) boilers have become the best selling boiler type for gas central heating in the UK. And because they heat water directly from the mains, you don’t have to wait for water to heat up – and your stream of hot water will be endless. They are usually small and very economical to run. Combi boilers don’t use an external hot water tank, there is no cylinder to heat first, and no need to reheat the same water again if you’ve let it run cold.

However, for this same reason – the lack of a hot water storage tank – your nice hot shower will be interrupted if anyone else starts running the hot water in your home at the same time.

Is this the right boiler for me?

If you live in a small house or flat, without multiple bathrooms, or are short for space then a combination boiler will be an excellent choice for you.

If you currently have a cold-water tank in the loft but want to convert your loft space into an additional room, swapping your old boiler for a combination boiler will eliminate the need for the tank, and free up more space.

A combination boiler is the only way to have instant, on-demand hot water in your home without the inconvenience of having to wait for the water tank to be heated and you’ll also get drinkable water from every tap.

 

2. Sealed system boilers (unvented)

A system boiler (also known as a closed or sealed system boiler) works on the principle of stored hot water. This means that you will need an airing cupboard or other space for the hot water storage tank.

Although a tank is needed in the airing cupboard, a system boiler still needs less space than a traditional open vent or heating only boiler, which utilises a second tank in the loft. Also, many of the individual components of the heating and hot water system are built in, which means that installation is quicker, neater, easier and more efficient.

With a system boiler you can run hot water from a range of outlets simultaneously, without someone else’s shower running cold on them. You will also get good water pressure.

 

Is this the right boiler for me?

A system boiler is a great choice for a larger home or family with hot water needs that can’t be met by a combi boiler, but who want to keep loft space free. You will need a tank in the airing cupboard though. However, you’ll have to wait for water to be heated when you want it, and it could run out if it’s used too quickly.

Many people with older systems such as open vent boilers choose an unvented sealed system for their central heating and hot water. Although it is more expensive than simply replacing your boiler with the old system, you will be able to free up more space in your home.

 

3. Open vent and open vent sealed system boilers

An open vent boiler is the existing system in most people’s homes. This type of system uses two water tanks, both located in the loft, and a hot water storage cylinder in the airing cupboard so it is very space hungry. One tank draws water from the mains supply and feeds the storage cylinder which, when heated by the boiler, can release hot water to taps all over the house.

The second tank is the feed and expansion tank which contains the correct level of water for your heating system, allowing for water expansion when you turn the heat on. Showers, taps and running baths can be drawn in any room at the same time, but be aware that if the cylinder should run cold it will take a little time to reheat.

Many people switch from a traditional open vent boiler to an open vent sealed system boiler. This is a relatively cheap switch to make and will cut the need for one of the tanks in your loft.

 

Is this the right boiler for me?

Because it’s the existing system in many people’s homes, an open vented boiler is inexpensive to replace and making the switch to an open vent sealed system is also relatively cheap. However, both these systems use up loft space.

Like system boilers, open vent systems allow you to run hot water from a range of outlets simultaneously, without the water running cold elsewhere in your house. The water pressure is low though, and you’ll only have drinkable water from one outlet, because it uses a storage system.

The hot water might also run out, and you’ll have to wait for it to reheat.

4. Back boilers

Some homes still use back boilers, which are hidden behind a chimney, with a fire front to cover them. If you don’t already have this system then it’s not going to be a first choice for you as the water pressure is low, it is very space-hungry and you’ll need somewhere to hide your boiler.

However, if you do already use a back boiler, then it might be the best option for you when the time comes to replace it.

Traditionally, back boilers are not very efficient, but great improvements have been made over the past 5-10 years, so by replacing your old back boiler, you could make huge savings on your annual heating bills.

Is this the right boiler for me?

Back boilers provide reliable heating and hot water, and allow you to draw hot water from more than one tap at the same time, without affecting other outlets. However, they need a lot of space – the boiler hidden behind your chimney, two tanks in the loft, and a cylinder in the airing cupboard.

Few people will consider a back boiler unless they already have that system in place as other, newer systems can easily handle the demands of a large home without taking up as much space. But if you already use a back boiler, you’ll save a lot of money by sticking with the same system when the time comes to replace your boiler.

5. How much will it cost?

Installation costs can vary widely depending on the type of system you currently have and the type you would like to replace it with. You should expect to pay around £1,000 for a good, gas boiler and more for an oil one, but it’s the work itself that will also cost money. If you’re having a full heating system overhaul, including radiators and heating controls, the cost will go up considerably.

If you will struggle to meet the costs you should first check to see if you’re eligible for any grants or special offers.

If you can’t get a grant or discount, there are a lot of national companies offering a “buy now, pay later” scheme – some of these offer 0% interest for a set time, while others will tailor your repayments to suit your circumstances, but be wary of taking this type of finance – the interest is usually around 30% and you could get a much better rate on a loan from your bank.

For free advice on which boiler is best suited to you please contact us here

7 Year Parts & Labour Guarantee on Vaillant Boilers

Coventry & Warwickshire Vaillant Boiler Specialists

Vaillant Boilers

Why Should you choose Hunt Heating to replace your Boiler:-
  • No Call out charges
  • Gas Safe Engineers
  • All labour Guaranteed
  • 7 Year Parts & Labour Guarantee on Vaillent Boilers
  • Professional Staff with over 35 Years Experience

Replacing your old boiler with a new Combi boiler will give you the following benefits:

  • This system supplies hot water on demand
  • The central heating system works through this system
  • These are the most popular boiler type
  • Combi boilers heat the water direct from the supply
  • Can be more energy efficient than other boiler types
  • Do not require storage space
  • Eliminates the heat loss process  that you would find with regular copper cylinder system (Traditional heating systems store heated water in a copper cylinder situated within an airing cupboard within the property)

Contact Hunt Heating for a Free Advice and Quotation to replace your old boiler

Nu-Heat. Oak Framed Underfloor Heating System

Nu-Heat Underfloor Heating System

As part of this beautiful Oak Framed Kitchen Extension Hunt Heating was asked to design and install a heating solution that would eliminate the need for unsightly radiators.

Because so much emphasis was put on interior aesthetics and finishes to reflect the quality of the building, Hunt Heating recommended a Nu-Heat underfloor heating solution. It would not only eliminate the need for unsightly radiators and provide more space to arrange furnishing to the owners best advantage, but would also offer the most comfortable and even form of heating at economical costs.

Reduce Your Heating Bills

Unlike many similar systems, Nu-Heat underfloor heating is suitable for whole house heating and ideal for installation with practically any type of flooring including screed, floating and suspended. The choice of floor covering is also virtually limitless including flagstones, tiles, timber, carpet and vinyl.

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Movember – Hunt Heating Gets Involved for Prostate Cancer

The Prostate Cancer Charity

Richard Hunt gets involved in Movember for Prostate Cancer, what’s it all about?

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The Mo, slang for moustache, and November come together each year for Movember.

Movember challenges men to change their appearance and the face of men’s health by growing a moustache. The rules are simple, start Movember 1st clean shaven and then grow a moustache for the entire month. The moustache becomes the ribbon for men’s health, the means by which awareness and funds are raised for cancers that affect men. Much like the commitment to run or walk for charity, the men of Movember commit to growing a moustache for 30 days.

Richard will be posting regular updates on the progress of his Tosh! to donate please click here

More information on Movember please click here->