central heating combi boiler

The Differences Between Boiler Types

The Differences Between Boiler Types

If your existing boiler has broken down, or you would like to upgrade your system, you might be confused about the right option for your needs. As there are various boiler types available, you must pick an option to match your specific needs and budget. Here at GJS Plumbing & Heating Services, we are breaking down the differences between boiler types, which could help you make an informed choice.

Combi Boilers

A combi boiler is the most common option in homes across the UK. It is both a central heating unit and a water heater, as it can heat hot water in an instant by burning fuels like oil or gas. Unlike regular boilers, a combi boiler doesn’t require separate hot water storage tanks, as it can heat water from a single unit. Also, the boiler doesn’t require cold water, and you will not need to install a feed and water tank in your loft. It’s a wise choice for smaller families, as you can only use hot water from a combi boiler for one task. For instance, you could provide a loved one with a cold shower if you decide to clean dirty dishes in the kitchen sink. If this sounds like a perfect option for your household, reach out to our boiler engineer Essex team today for an installation.

Regular Boilers

A regular boiler, also known as a heat-only boiler, is the most traditional system and features three primary components:
  • The boiler
  • A cold-water storage tank
  • A hot water storage cylinder
It works by the boiler providing hot water to both the central heating or hot water storage cylinder. This type of boiler is a smart choice for large families, as it will allow people to use hot water at the same time in the home, and it is ideal for low water pressure areas. However, you will need room in the loft to install a cold-water feed tank. Also, you will need to wait to heat water after flipping a switch, and you may need to wait for hot water again after running a bath or shower.

System Boilers

System boilers are an advanced alternative to regular boilers, as they can provide hot water and radiator heating on demand. Often referred to as closed vent boilers, they are a perfect choice for homeowners who want a regular boiler without excess components, as they are built into the boiler. It’s an ideal option for homeowners who live in areas with low mains water pressure or large families that frequently use hot water. Yet, you will need to wait for the hot water cylinder to heat up again once it has run out. While it is often more expensive than the alternative options, it provides greater flexibility in the home and requires less space than regular boilers.

UK Law for Boilers

Regardless of the option you choose, UK law requires all homeowners to own condensing boilers, as they are 90% energy efficient, better for the environment, use excess energy for heating, and they can even reduce heating bills. If you have any questions regarding boiler installations or would like to organise a gas boiler service Essex team to come and expand its lifespan, don’t hesitate to contact GJS Plumbing & Heating Services.
Heating Services in Essex

The Importance of Bleeding Your Radiators

The Importance of Bleeding Your Radiators

META: Bleeding your radiators is key for an effective central heating system in your home. Here, we discuss the benefits and how to maintain your radiators. There are many household maintenance tasks that can be neglected or forgotten, and regularly bleeding your radiators might be one of them. With a lot of focus put on your central heating and your boiler itself, it’s easy to forget to check up on the actual radiators themselves around your home. Bleeding your radiators is important for an optimised heating system and can also help save money by more effectively producing heat in your home.

What Does it Mean to Bleed a Radiator?

It’s always possible for air to become trapped inside your radiators. This means that your heating system cannot work as effectively as it should to circulate the heat. Bleeding a radiator means this air escapes so that your radiator can work more efficiently.

Why Do You Need to Bleed Your Radiators?

This trapped air in a radiator can prevent heat from spreading throughout the radiator, meaning less effective heating in your home. It can also cost you more money in heating bills due to your heating system failing to warm up your home as easily as it should.

Signs Your Radiator Might Need Bleeding

There are some key signs that your radiator might need bleeding. These include:
  • Your radiator is warm at the bottom but cold at the top, or you can feel various cold spots
  • You can hear gurgling in hot water radiators when first turned on
  • You’re noticing your home is struggling to be heated

How Often Should You Bleed Your Radiators?

It’s good practice to bleed your radiators once a year, even if you feel they are working properly. If you’re ever in doubt or run into problems with your system, you can consult with plumbing services to help.

How to Bleed Your Radiators: A Step-by-Step Guide

Bleeding your radiators doesn’t have to be a stressful job, and is quite easy to do. If you know your radiators need bleeding, it’s important to fix the problem as soon as possible. To bleed your radiators, you will need:
  • A radiator key
  • A cloth to catch the drip, or anything to catch water in
If you’re missing a radiator key, you can find one at your local hardware store. Here are the steps to take to bleed your radiators:
  • Make sure to turn the heating off first
  • It’s a good idea to set up your cloth or container ready to catch any water
  • Find where the radiator bleed plug is located. Open the valve using your radiator key
  • Turn the valve in an anti-clockwise direction until you hear a hissing sound
  • Wait until the hissing sound stops, and then close the valve
  • Do this for all radiators in your home
  • When complete, turn your heating system back on and check the pressure using the gauge on your boiler
  • If, after doing this, you have any problems relating to your pressure, boiler, radiators or hot water, you can find boiler servicing and professional assistance.
boiler service

The Importance Of Having An Annual Boiler Service

The Importance Of Having An Annual Boiler Service

It can be argued at great length that your boiler is the most vital component within your home. Depended on to provide both hot water and central heating, with how important the boiler is, it’s critical that you keep it in good condition to ensure that it keeps ticking away.

The issue is that many homeowners don’t do even the bare minimum of keeping their boilers healthy, and this is an annual service. There are many benefits of having an annual boiler repair and service, particularly for gas boilers. Here’s a look at why it’s a good idea to get your boiler looked at every 12 months.

It can diagnose problems early

Perhaps the best thing about getting annual boiler servicing is that these allow trained engineers to spot potential issues and stop them from becoming a huge problem. This means that instead of having to fork out a lot of cash for an emergency repair, you can pay less to have the fault amended before it becomes a huge issue, and this can help you save money. Regularly servicing your boiler can ensure that it’s in a constant state of good repair, which can boost performance and make your water pressure and heating more effective.

Common boiler problems that can be detected and fixed easily with boiler maintenance provided by an annual service includes:

  • Leaking
  • Low pressure
  • Radiator faults
  • Banging or whistling noises


boiler service

It can make your boiler far safer

Carbon monoxide is a dangerous gas that is particularly nasty because it can’t be smelt or seen, meaning that it is regularly dubbed the invisible killer. Carbon monoxide poisoning kills plenty of people in the UK, and hospitalises many more, and is something to take seriously. A boiler service will make sure that your boiler isn’t at risk of gas leaks and will also install a carbon monoxide monitor on your property if you haven’t got one already.

Furthermore, some faulty boilers can overheat to unbearable temperatures, which can leave your heating system and pipes scolding to the touch. A service can fix this problem and ensure that things are a lot safer to be around. Even simple issues like a hot tap that is too warm can be altered by a service to make it more bearable for daily use.

It can save money

If you seem to be paying a lot for your gas heating, before you look for other providers, it’s a good idea to ensure that your boiler isn’t the source of the problem. Faulty boilers don’t work as well as they should, needing more energy to produce the same amount of heat as an optimal boiler. A service can get your boiler working to a good standard, or, if it’s beyond repair, heating engineers can provide a new boiler installation which can make your energy expenses a lot cheaper in the future, reducing your annual gas bills.

This means you can keep the chills of the winter months away for less, meaning that an annual service every 12 months can be beneficial throughout the entire year.

central heating combi boiler

What’s The Best Way To Clean Your Boiler

What's The Best Way To Clean Your Boiler

Over the winter months, it becomes clear how essential our boiler is in keeping us comfortable and safe at home. Providing heating and hot water makes the boiler one of, if not the most essential piece of equipment inside the home, and those who have seen their boiler fail on them recently have felt how difficult home life can become without a functioning boiler.

With it being such a focal point to secure home living, it’s important to do what you can to look after it and ensure that it says in top condition. Like your car, computer, and other pieces of equipment, continuous use can start to wear your boiler down, and it’s when it starts to deteriorate that issues can arise. A simple way to prevent boiler breakdowns and other problems is to clean it every now and again, and doing so isn’t too difficult.

There are plenty of different options in how you can clean your boiler. However, the most traditional and most trusted method is through a central heating power flush.

What is a Power Flush?

A central heating power flush is a process that uses a solution of chemicals that travels through the pipes within your central heating system to remove debris, dirt, rust, and any other unwanted waste materials that may be hiding within them. This cleaning of the lines can make your boiler way more efficient and perform at a higher level. This process doesn’t have to be done too often to ensure that it’s in good condition, as it’s recommended that you complete this task once every six to eight years or so. It is important to understand that if your boiler hasn’t been cleaned in a very long time, then there’s a chance that a flush might not clear all the debris and that your boiler will remain faulty. If this is the case, it may be more effective to get a new boiler installed, as this will be a more updated model and could revolutionise your home’s central heating.

How To Perform A Power Flush

Simply, you don’t. Power flushes utilise dangerous chemicals and require the skills of an experienced engineer to perform, so if you’re looking to get a power flush done, call the professionals.

Make sure that you time your flush so that it suits your schedule, as the flush can take anything between five to ten hours, and you’ll have no hot water or heating during that time. That’s why it’s a good idea to do this during the warmer summer months, ideally when the family doesn’t need to be home.

When conducting a power flush, the engineer will connect a pump to your central heating system to push the chemical solution through your pipes. This chemical not only cleans the pipes but will also include a descaling agent, which should prevent rust from forming in the future. As this task takes such a long time, a good engineer like the ones at GJS will get to work on other tasks, looking and fixing other potential issues such as blockages or replacing and updating components.

power flushing a central heating system
radiator thermostat

3 Tips for Saving Money on Your Heating Bills

3 Tips for Saving Money on Your Heating Bills

From the common cold to pneumonia, you and your family will be liable to face all manner of health complications if you fail to keep your home warm. It is for this reason why you must invest in a proficient level of indoor heating.

Worried that you don’t have the financial capacity to stay on top of your home’s heating demands? There are many things you can do to lower your bills in this instance.

Want to find out more about what you can do to save money on your energy expenses? If so, be sure to read on

Get to grips with your heating system

Getting to grips with your heating system is the first step that you must take in your quest to lower the cost of your energy bills. Once you garner a better understanding of this utility, you will be better positioned to use it in a far more efficient, effective, and ultimately optimised fashion going forward.

Quite simply, taking some time to understand how your heating system operates is one of the essential tasks that you face as a homeowner. When you decide to take on the crucial challenge, be sure to ask yourself the following questions:

  1. How long does your home take to heat up/cool down? How does this impact when you need to switch your heating system on/off?
  2. Is your thermostat positioned in a well-ventilated area? Is it allowed to sense the true temperature of your house, or does furniture block your property’s free flow of air?
  3. Do you have the same temperature routine every day, or do you require flexibility about when your heating system switches on? For the former, consider investing in a mechanical timer; for the latter, consider purchasing either a programmer or a smart thermostat.

smart heating thermostat

Invest in an efficient boiler

Regardless of which pieces of the above advice you choose to heed, you’re never truly going to save money on your utilities until you invest in an efficient boiler. With a modern heating system in place, you won’t have to worry about your boiler losing the heat that it generates, simply because it won’t be forced to transport air through vents or ducts. Ultimately, this will save you from consuming an excessive amount of energy, which in turn will have a profound positive impact on your monthly heating bills.

If you want to keep your brand-new energy-efficient heater in tip-top condition, it’s essential that you invest in a quality maintenance service. With our dedicated team of engineers by your side, your boiler will have the capacity to operate in an optimised fashion over a sustained period of time.

Want to find out more about the expert installation, repair, and maintenance services that we provide? If so, be sure to get your free personalised boiler servicing quote today.

Refrain from drying clothes on radiators

As tempting as it might be to drape wet clothes on warm radiators during the winter season… don’t! This might be a quick, easy, and practical drying route to take, but it will be sure to lower the quality of the heat that your radiators release before too long. This will force your boiler to run longer to reach a normal room temperature, which will result in you using up more energy overall.

You don’t necessarily need to be held to ransom by your heating bills. If you put the above advice into practice, you will be sure to significantly reduce your utility costs.



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