Households could be missing out on significant fuel bill savings

Households could be missing out on significant fuel bill savings

Apr 4 2018 3:15 PM

With the warm weather hopefully on its way, households are being urged to ‘spring clean’ their heating system to avoid missing out on significant savings.

The recent ‘Beast from the East’ double storm emphasised the importance of keeping your heating system in tip top shape. Now the weather has started to settle down, it’s a good time to check everything is working efficiently to ensure you make the most of the savings on your fuel bills during the warmer months.

In response OFTEC, which represents the oil heating industry, has issued a spring cleaning checklist to help people cut energy costs over the warmer months:

  1. Adjust your heating timers. Check the heating is coming on at the correct time, especially if you changed the ‘On/Off’ times to heat your home for longer during the cold weather.
     
  2. Turn off individual radiators. Ensure you aren’t wasting money heating rooms you aren’t using. Also check the radiator temperatures in your main rooms if these were set higher during the cold weather.
     
  3. Make sure you have enough heating oil. You may have used more oil than usual during the prolonged cold snap. Check how much you have left and top up early to avoid any emergency deliveries. We recommend you use an FPS fuel supplier.
     
  4. Have your boiler serviced. The sub-zero temperatures this winter mean that your boiler and heating system will have been working very hard. Have the system checked over by a GasSafe (for mains gas) or OFTEC (for oil) registered technician who will ensure it is working correctly and to maximum efficiency. Abbey Boilers do LPG, Gas and Oil annual services


Malcolm Farrow from OFTEC, said: “During the unusually cold weather many households will have ramped up the use of their heating systems and made significant adjustments to the controls to keep warm, especially if they spent more time at home due to the snow.

“It’s easy to forget about these changes and you might not even notice issues such as your heating coming on whilst you are asleep or out of the house. However, this oversight could be costing you quite a bit of money which is why we are reminding households of the benefits of making a few quick checks as part of a usual spring clean. 

“Boilers should also be serviced annually by a registered GasSafe or OFTEC technician to ensure maximum efficiency and realise cost savings. This is more important than ever following the extreme cold spell we have recently seen, where many of our registered technicians were called out to fix broken down boilers that hadn’t received a recent service. Having your boiler checked by a professional can identify potential issues before they happen and help avoid facing the same difficulties next winter.”

For more information and advice, visit www.oilsave.org.uk.



Malcolm Farrow

10 Things to Know About Oil Tanks

If you find yourself moving into a new property with a heating oil tank or you just want to recap on what's good practice for your oil tank, our top tips are sure to help. 

1.  Understand you tank

If you have recently moved into a property with an oil powered central heating system, examine your tank, find the sight gauge, find the filter and learn where the cut off valve is, in case of an emergency.

2. Check your tank regularly. 

Oftec (the Oil Firing Technical Association) recommend you look over your tank weekly. Look for any cracks, scratches, bulges or rust, which may allow the fuel to leak. 

3. Replacing your tank

Oftec suggests that the lifespan of the average oil tank is 20 years. This number can fluctuate depending on the amount of maintenance the tank has received.

4. Tank and Oil Insurance

A lot of household insurance policies do not include your heating oil tank. The environmental agency recommends you take out another insurance policy that covers your tank for any loss of oil, any expensive environmental cleanups and the cost of cleaning your own and any neighbouring properties. 

5. Getting to your tank

It is important that your Heating Oil delivery driver and your heating engineer are able to access your tank for inspections, deliveries and maintenance. 

6. Protecting your tank and oil. 

Although not common, oil theft does happen, especially in more rural, isolated, properties. Although it is important for tradesmen to have easy access to your tank,  it is also important that the tank is not obvious to everyone else. You can limit the chance of theft by shielding your tank form the road, installing a security light or alarm and regularly monitoring your oil usage. 

7. Checking your oil levels

Running out of oil is an easy but problematic and expensive thing to do. Running out of oil means you will require an emergency fuel delivery and possibly an oil technician to re-start your heating system.  

8. Leaking tank

Heating oil is toxic and dangerous for the environment and wildlife. If your tank does leak, try to limit the damage as much as possible by; trying to stop the leak, placing a bucket or something similar down to catch the leak and phone Abbey Boilers on 01403 275512  

9. Water in your tank. 

Condensation and leaks can happen in your tank. This causes a buildup of water. Water can contaminate the fuel in your tank and cause problems with your central heating, boiler, or Aga. Our annual service includes a tank check. If water is found by our engineer, it can be easily removed and save you a whole world of trouble. 

10. Service your boiler and tank annually. 

An annual oil service at Abbey Boilers costs £72. Here at Abbey Boilers, we follow the recommended guidelines set out by OFTEC and suggest your oil heating system is serviced once a year. At the inspection, our engineer will check your oil boiler, in addition to your tank, your supply pipes and your filters. For the reasons, you should get an annual service, click here. 

All Things Oil Tanks

Below, is a brief guide to oil tanks. From price to size to oil regulations Abbey Boilers has the experience and the expertise to answer all your questions. 

The tanks themselves:

Oil tanks can be installed inside, outside, or underground. Heating oil tanks are made of fabricated steel or plastic. Both of which can be integrally bunded (tank has two layers)  or single skinned. Integrally bunded tanks are made of one tank inside another. The outside one housing the main tank's fittings and vents. This type of tank tends to offer better protection than the single skinned tanks because there is more room between the two layers to prevent oil leaking externally. 

The essentials:

Most single skinned tanks need to have a bund built around them for protection. However, the necessity of this is dependent on where you live and the position of your tank. The bund is designed to hold up to 110% of your tank's contents in order to avoid spillages. 

Checking your tank:

OFTEC (the Oil Firing Technical Association) recommend you look over your tank weekly, for any cracks, bulges or rust, which may allow fuel to leak and damage the surrounding environment. 

Nonetheless, it is also important to get a qualified oil engineer to inspect your tank annually. Abbey Boilers inspects your oil tank as part of your annual service for just £72.  It is also recommended to do this if you have recently moved into a new property with an oil tank. 

Furthermore, steel tanks have an oil-resistant coating. this coating needs maintaining in order to prolong the life of the tank. It is best to check with the manufacturers to find out what kind of maintenance your tank needs besides its annual service.  

Buying your oil tank:

It is essential for your safety and the safety of the wildlife and the environment that you get an oil tank that is OFTEC approved and fitted by an OFTEC registered engineer. 

Abbey Boilers both supplies and fits oil tanks. Click here to contact us for more information about the type of tank you should have and where it should be placed in order to meet oil tank regulations. 

Tanks vary in size depending on your requirements. They can hold between 1,000 to over 3,500 litres (although the larger tanks tend to be for commercial use). The prices of the tanks generally vary between £500 to £2000. 

All about the oil:

The amount of oil you will need is hugely determined by different factors including:

  • The size of your house
  • How long and often you have your heating on 
  • How efficient your boiler is

The best way to ascertain how much oil you are using is to monitor the gauge on the tank over a period of time. 

There is usually a gauge of some type on your heating oil tank. It could be on the tank, next to the tank or displayed remotely. However, sometimes this is not the case, you can buy a gauge for anything between £25 for a basic gauge, to over £80 for a digital remote one.  It's crucial you monitor your oil levels so they do not get too low.  Make sure you order before it becomes less than a quarter full, especially in winter.  It's worth noting that you only need to fill your tank to around 80-90% of its capacity to avoid spillages. 

 

Get in touch with Abbey Boilers to find out more about Oil tanks, Oil services and how to maintain your oil heating system. 

 

 

Are you cleaning your system often enough?

The UK trade marketing manager for Sentinel, Daniel Cheung, claims, 'an up close and personal' approach is essential to maintaining a long-term, healthy, heating system. 

Filthy water circulating in your heating system is both common and damaging, as corrosion is the number one cause of boiler breakdowns. Corrosion can cause other expensive problems with your boiler including; repairs, part replacement, complete boiler failure, increased energy consumption, ineffective heating as a result of radiator cold spots, loss of boiler warranty and higher heating bills. 

Research from two leading boiler manufacturers found that in over 5000 homes 35% of heating systems under 5 years old and more than 50% of systems over 5 years old contain dirty circulating water. It is recommended for heating engineers to always consider dirty water when looking for solutions to boiler issues. For example, 'if the heat exchanger is clogged in a relatively new system' of it the pump shaft is broken it could be because of rust flakes in the water.

Considering a dirty system doesn't end with checking the quality of system water, but should also include a system cleanse. In order to do this effectively, the correct cleaning agents must be used and this is determined by the type of dirt present in the system. it is similar to how you wouldn't use shampoo to wash your clothes or washing up liquid to wash your toilet, different cleaning chemicals do different jobs. 

there are three main types of cleaners:

  1. cleaners for new systems
  2. cleaners for heavily-fouled, older systems
  3. fast-acting cleaners for older, more lightly-fouled systems

The cleaners designed for new systems are made to remove installation debris, greases and oils from new components, and flux residues. In summary, contaminants that are particularly prevalent in new heating systems.

In comparison, cleaning agents for older systems are primarily focused on removing corrosion deposits. 

In most cases, more severely corroded systems require more heavy duty products whereas, systems that require the removal of dirt can be cleaned with fast-acting, one-hour cleaner.  

Experts claim, 'correct system cleaning is a prerequisite to effective protection and maintenance'. On the other hand, if there is fouled water circling a system, then any attempt to protect that system will be compromised. 

In summary, it is important to ensure your system is clean in order to have it running with optimum health at maximum efficiency. 

 

If you would like to book a power flush with Abbey Boilers, please click here. 

2018 is Baxi's year of Success.

Baxi is smashing it in 2018 so far. Baxi's spare parts business, Baxi Genuine Parts, have won four customer service awards from the Top 50 Companies awards. They have also gained a spot amongst the top ten companies for customer service. 

Baxi won; best in sector for customer service, first place for customer service on calls, second place for customer service on emails, and fourth place for customer service on live chat, fighting off fierce competition from 350 other businesses from a cross-section of industries. 

The scrutinous and lengthy judging process, the judging panel impose ensure that these awards are highly regarded and respected. Real customers are used as mystery shoppers over a period of several months, and the company's customer service is measured over four facets: calls, social media, live chat and emails. 

The awards are an endorsement of the Baxi Genuine Parts' customer service team. They advise customers on spare parts and promote the benefits of using genuine, approved Baxi products.  

7 reasons an annual boiler service is a good idea.

Is there any point? Is it necessary? Is it worth the money? These are all common questions people ask themselves when considering getting a boiler service.  Getting your boiler serviced is just one of those chores that people often put off or neglect and as a result, your boiler doesn’t get the attention it needs. But your boiler shouldn’t get overlooked and here are 7 reasons why.

1.    Save money on your energy bills.

Part of a boiler service will include checking the boiler is running efficiently, which, in turn, can save you money over time.

Naturally, the model and age of a boiler are factors in its energy efficiency. However, maintaining a healthy boiler system, you are putting your boiler under less stress and so are using less energy to run, which reduces fuel costs.

2.    You can catch your boiler problems early.

The adage, prevention is better, and cheaper, than cure can be applied to your boiler. Your boiler is in constant use all year round, not just in the winter. It is your boiler that allows you to have those nice warm showers. However, most people only notice a problem with their boiler in the winter when they are using it more frequently. By this time, the problem has often escalated to a more severe, and thus, more expensive problem.

3.    A service is cheaper than replacing a boiler.

A service probably costs less than you think. At Abbey Boilers a service costs as little as £65.45, whereas a new boiler can run into the thousands. A boiler service is intended to keep your boiler running properly and to pick up on any minor issues. They ensure these small problems are picked up quickly before they grow into problems big enough to require a new boiler.

A well-maintained boiler should last longer than one that is not regularly services, so you are limiting the risk of prematurely needing a new boiler.

4.    You can rest easy knowing your boiler is safe.

Getting a boiler service means checking your boiler is running safely. Around 4,000 people go to A&E for Carbon Monoxide poisoning every year because of leaking boilers. Carbon Monoxide poisoning is so dangerous because the symptoms are like those of common illness, including dizziness, headaches, and fatigue, so It can be hard to distinguish between the two.

Having your boiler serviced means you can relax knowing you and your family are safe from harmful fumes.

5.    Keeping your warranty valid.

Most boilers only remain under their warranty if they are serviced annually. Most warranties and maintenance agreements require your boiler to be serviced every year for the above reasons. Failure to do so can result in your warranty being negated. This means that if your boiler does break down you won’t be covered, costing you a lot more money.

6.    It can cut your carbon footprint.

Just like getting your boiler serviced can save you money, it can also help reduce your carbon footprint. Depending on its age, a serviced boiler will run at its optimum energy efficiency because it isn’t overcompensating for any problems the boiler may have. When a boiler is running at its peak efficiency it means it requires less energy, thus less fuel, saving both the planet and your bank balance.

7.    For landlords and businesses, it is compulsory.

Every tenanted property and business must receive a gas safety certificate that needs to be renewed every year. The only way to receive the certificate is to have all the gas appliances on the property serviced properly by a gas safe engineer. This includes boilers but also other gas appliances such as gas stoves and fires. Abbey boilers offer Gas safety checks from just £65.45.

Has your boiler been serviced in the last 12 months?

Abbey boilers services Oil, Gas and LPG boilers and AGA cookers. Click here to see our other services.

To get in contact please click here. 

New Website but still the great quality service from Abbey Boilers

We wish to introduce our new Website which went live today, our old site was getting a bit dated, we now have a website which puts across all the great services we provide for our customers in West Sussex and the surrounding area. A full list of our service area can be found HERE.  Our new site now has clear information on :

  • Gas system install, maintenance and service packages we provide
  • Oil  system install, maintenance and service packages we provide
  • LPG system install, maintenance and service packages we provide
  • Rage cooke install, maintenance and service packages we provide
  • Underfloor heating  install, maintenance and service packages we provide
  • Our Certification for our residential and landlord customers.

If you have any enquiries, please feel free to contact our office from our contact page  

We at Abbey boilers would like to thank the guys at Hewro.co.uk  for the great work they have done on our new site.