Households across the United Kingdom are being encouraged to take steps to reduce their energy usage and save money on their fuel bills as part of a nationwide campaign.
Following the cold festive period, households in England and Wales are being reminded to regularly visit vulnerable relatives, neighbours and friends to check they are keeping warm and well.
The warning comes after 50,100 excess winter deaths were recorded in England and Wales during 2017/18*.
Those living in rural parts of England and Wales are more likely to struggle to keep warm during the winter season because their houses tend to be older and less well insulated, making them harder to heat effectively.
People living within these households are often at greater risk of developing health problems, such as respiratory conditions, which are made worse by cold temperatures.
In response OFTEC, which represents the oil heating industry, is encouraging people to regularly check on older relatives and friends to ensure they are taking care of themselves over the colder months.
OFTEC has shared five top tips on things to look out for which could potentially save a life, as part of a free 'Keeping warm this winter’ guide.
A Powerflush is a cleansing process which aims to remove deposits of sludge, rust and any other debris from your central heating system.
These contaminants, if left, can seriously affect the efficiency of a heating system and, in severe cases, a powerflush could be the only option available. Over time the water in your pipes, boiler and radiators deposits unwanted byproducts like rust. This rust (plus other dirt and debris) becomes an unpleasant, mud-like substance that professionals affectionately refer to as ‘sludge’.
Sludge in your heating system can cause to blockages and corrosion which will lead to both inefficiency and / or breakdown. In extreme cases it can be so damaging that a complete boiler replacement is needed.
Households could be missing out on significant fuel bill savings
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:
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.
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.
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.
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