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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

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.