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Archive for the Hints & Tips Category

Be Proactive, Summer heating checks You Need To Do

temp-controler

It’s that time of year again, the time to be pro-active and think about your heating system before you need it.

Before the ‘heating season’ gets into full swing and all the good engineers are fully booked, it is prudent to get your boiler serviced. If you already have servicing done at a different time of year then now is the time to carry out a few checks for yourself.

  1. The chances are that you haven’t had your heating on much these past few months, so the next day that it’s ‘nippy’ or you have washing that needs drying, turn your heating on. Check that each radiator gets hot and that the room thermostat works.
  2. Check that isolation valves turn on and off and aren’t stiff.
  3. Check oil level in your tank, oil suppliers prices are generally lower during the summer months.
  4. Make sure you can locate and turn off your mains stopcock and also your external mains isolation valve (usually with the meter).
  5. Check your immersion heater works (If you have one). This should only be used as a back up, but it is wise to have it working before needing it.
  6. If your boiler hasn’t been serviced this year, now is the time to get this done.
    A service and safety check will increase the efficiency of your boiler and could flag up any potential problems with your heating system, meaning you spend less time without heating and hot water when you need it the most.

T.R.V.’s – What Are they And How They Can Save You Money

Thermostatic Radiator Valve

On your radiator you should have something similar to the picture above. These are called T.R.V.’s or Thermostatic Radiator Valves.

T.R.V.’s are self regulating valve fitted to the radiators on a heating system. Traditionally, they have a wax plug which expands and contracts with the temperature around the valve. The plug is connected to a pin,which is connected to a valve. As the temperature around the valve increases, the pin decreases the flow of water through the valve thus allowing a maximum temperature for each radiator to be set.

T.R,V.’s can dramatically decrease the amount of fuel your household burns and thus save you a substantial amount of money as well as providing a comfortable temperature in your individual rooms.

But they must be set correctly to achieve this. Luckily this is an easy process.

  • Step 1 – Make sure your room thermostat is turned up to around 20 degrees
  • Step 2 – Turn every T.R.V. to setting 4 out of 5 (or equivalent) and turn on your heating system
  • Step 3 – Turn down 1 /2 a notch (setting) of the T.R.V.(s) of the room you are in. Give it approximately half an hour and if you are not cold, turn down another 1/2 a notch . Repeat this process until you feel a bit nippy.then turn up 1/2 a notch.
  • Step 4 – Repeat this process in each room. Remember that, you need to take into account what you would typically be doing in each room when setting the T.R.V.’s. i.e. sitting in armchair in your lounge, bathing in the bathroom so try to recreate this when setting the valve.

 

Note. I said it was an easy process, not quick, you may have to do this over a few days/week. You may also have disagreements with partners, housemates and pets as to what is cold and what is hot. The management take no responsibility for any disputes that arise from following this advice…

Helpful Local Numbers In Case Of An Emergency

alertIt’s best to plan ahead for when things go wrong, so ensure you know where the water, gas and electricity off taps and switches are. In the case of an emergency, for example – an inside broken water pipe – turn off your water and get in touch with us. If it’s an external water pipe then get in touch with the local water supplier.

You can call the following numbers in an emergency.

  • Gas safe (England) – 0800 111 999
  • O.F.T.E.C. – 0845 65 85 080
  • Anglian Water – 03457 145 145 (emergency)
  • Anglian Water – 0800 771 881 (reporting a leak)
  • British Gas – 0800 111 999 (This is a 24 hour emergency line)
  • Electrical , UK Power Networks 0800 783 8838

Save money with oil clubs

save-money-heating-oilBuying heating oil in bulk from an oil supply company can be expensive. What oil clubs provide is a means of pooling together a group of people who can negotiate a better price for their oil.

Check if your village has an oil club, you may find this information in the local newsletter/magazine or at your local post office.
Agricole oil can also direct you to their oil buying club if they have one in your area.

Wrap your pipes and save money

insulated-pipePeople tend to forget about the simplest, most inexpensive ways to save money. Simply insulating pipes where they are exposed to extreme conditions will help prevent burst pipes and stop heat loss where it is not wanted.

‘Fibre- glass’ insulation can be used to insulate loft spaces, preventing unnecessary heat loss into the loft space. Double glazing of windows, though initially expensive will save you money and improve the value of your property.

How do I get rid of limescale build up?

There are many products on the market that deal with limescale build-up which can be bought from most plumbers merchants and D.I.Y. stores. Vinegar works well on taps as does lemon juice.

Caustic soda can be used in extreme circumstances, but make sure you are very careful and wear gloves and goggles. Do not use with bleach!

If in doubt, call us with details and we will help you sort out the problem.