pile of coins from different countries

Are Heating Costs Going to Rise in 2022?

Are Heating Costs Going to Rise in 2022?

pile of coins from different countries

Heating costs skyrocketed at the start of April 2022, leaving many people confused, anxious and dismayed at the rising cost of living.

These price rises are indicative of a wider energy crisis experienced across much of the world, and it begs an important and frightening question: are the bills going to keep increasing?

If you’re one of the many affected by the price hike, it’s worth familiarising yourself with the reasons that led to it in the first place, and of course, what you can do to prepare yourself for the future.

An Increase in Wholesale Gas Prices

Wholesale gas prices have risen, contributing to a large part of the overall increase in energy bills, and it’s happened for several reasons, not least the diminishing gas storage levels (partly due to uncharacteristically colder temperatures, partly to reduced pipeline deliveries from Europe).

Increasing demand in other parts of the world has also resulted in a wholesale gas price increase, as this means the frequency of shipments to the UK has dipped.

World Events

The price of energy is consistently altered by world events, and while the market is prone to regular changes, recent conflicts in Ukraine have had a major knock-on effect on these changes, largely due to Europe’s reliance on Russian resources.

The Environment

The world’s natural resources are depleting, which is another huge burden on the price of acquiring fuel.

As the reserves diminish, the overall prices tend to rise because, naturally, demand is much higher than it ever was before.

The Pandemic

The various lockdowns throughout the COVID pandemic led to much of the population spending more time at home, generating larger gas and electricity bills in the process.

Many people struggled to pay these bills and therefore accumulated bad debt that put extra pressure on energy suppliers.

According to the Times, 29 energy providers have gone bust as of April 2nd, 2022.

The Price Cap

The price cap gets reviewed every six months, and according to INews, the costs look ready to rise again in the winter.

Preparing Yourself for the Future

To combat the current cost of living crisis, the government has offered households £350 relief in the form of tax rebates and money off their energy bills.

It’s certainly worth keeping a close eye on whether or not you can benefit from this personally, as it may go some way towards helping you deal with the cap rise.

You could also speak to your supplier and try and work out a payment plan that suits your needs.

It’s also worth trying to save energy around the home by turning off appliances when you aren’t using them, and you could also think about switching to more energy-efficient devices if possible. Fuel poverty can be highly stressful to deal with, so it’s important to make sure you’re doing what you can to take a pre-emptive approach to rising costs.

You might want to get a more energy-efficient boiler too. Since there’s an upcoming gas boiler ban, now might be the perfect time to consider a greener alternative for your home.

We can help you with this, so if you need any advice at all in this area, don’t hesitate to reach out to your friendly local heating engineer Thurrock. We’re here to help.

walking on heated hardwood flooring

What Boiler is Best for Underfloor Heating?

What Boiler is Best for Underfloor Heating?

walking on heated hardwood flooring

Underfloor heating does far more than just keep your feet nice and toasty, although it does do that exceptionally well, it provides your home with a wealth of potentially surprising benefits.

For your floor to heat up in the first place, you’re going to need the right set up and, of course, the right boiler to put the legwork in.

If you’re hoping to heat your feet anytime soon and you need to make the proper preparations, check out these points.

How Does it Work?

While it’s true that underfloor heating works perfectly fine with all different kinds of boilers, some types provide their own list of unique benefits, like the condensing boiler, for instance.

A wet underfloor heating system works like a radiator, a massive underground one that relies on a flow of warm water travelling through pipes to heat up your floor.

One of the quickest ways to install it is to connect it to your current radiators, allowing it to flow seamlessly with your existing central heating system. These pipes are plumbed into your boiler, and a thermostat provides the heating controls. 

It’s an energy efficient way of heating the room, but it can be very expensive to install initially.

Dry underfloor heating, aka electric underfloor heating, on the other hand, is made possible by a system up wires that heat up evenly. This is generally more expensive to run but cheaper to install.

You shouldn’t try installing it yourself either, but thankfully, your heating engineer Thurrock is here to help, so don’t hesitate to get in contact, we’d be happy to help.

Combi Boilers

A combi boiler can certainly get the job done, but if you currently have one installed, you may need to make some alterations to properly link it up to the heated floor.

This may involve getting a qualified boiler engineer to install a two-port valve in order for your central heating system to work with your underfloor heating.

You may also need to consider the size and the kilowatts of your current boiler. If you want to heat an exceptionally large space, you’ll need more power.

If you are thinking about going for a big overhaul, it might be worth considering replacing your boiler and system entirely in favour of a more energy efficient model. There’s a gas boiler ban coming to the UK in 2025, and while it doesn’t mean you need to chuck away your gas boiler if you have one, it does mean you should start thinking about making a change in the future; perhaps your underfloor heating upgrade could be the perfect time?

System Boilers

A system boiler is typically larger than its combi counterpart, and it can meet a higher demand in most cases, meaning it’s commonly found in bigger properties.

It may be able to take on a larger work rate, making it ideal for a bigger underfloor heating project that spans multiple rooms.

If you need some expert advice about your boiler, you can always contact us at boiler engineers Essex, we’re here to help.

Condenser Boilers

A condenser boiler is great for underfloor heating as it’s superbly talented at recycling excess heat. This lends itself to the heated flooring as opposed to the traditional radiators.

Ultimately, most modern boilers are highly effective at making underfloor heating work properly, so you shouldn’t go far wrong if you opt for a new model.

gas central heating boiler

What is the best room for a boiler to be fitted in?

What is the best room for a boiler to be fitted in?

gas central heating boiler

Boilers are most commonly found in dedicated utility rooms, cellars, and lofts, but there isn’t much to stop you from branching out and installing one wherever you’d like, provided you can meet the right conditions.

Space and storage can be a big issue for many, and not everyone has the luxury of a spare room with an airing cupboard to hide a boiler inside.

Thankfully, many modern boilers are incredibly compact and produce fairly little noise, rendering them quite versatile in terms of installation options.

If you need to install a new boiler anytime soon, it’s worth thinking about which room in the house is the best contender.

The Kitchen

Kitchens tend to be hubs of noisy activity and already the home to plenty of appliances. In many ways, it makes sense for a boiler to live there too. You would likely not have to worry about any noise disturbing you since the environment would mask the sound anyway.

As long as you make sure there is adequate lighting and it’s fire-safe, you can even think about neatly concealing the boiler inside a cupboard.

The Bedroom

It’s not the most popular option by any stretch of the imagination, but storing the boiler in your bedroom could be a necessity if you lack space or if you have the perfect nook in which to hide it.

Even with the lower noise levels emitted by modern combi boilers, it could be difficult to sleep next to, so it’s worth thinking about whether or not you can sound-proof your space.

The boiler must have a suitable waste pipe in order to remain safe, and you should install a carbon monoxide alarm if you haven’t already. 

You can install a gas boiler in your bedroom as long as it is room sealed, which means that the boiler takes air from the outside and any waste gases are sent back outside rather than into the bedroom..

If you need some more advice on whether you should or shouldn’t opt for the bedroom boiler, or you need any help with your boiler whatsoever, don’t hesitate to contact your trusted boiler engineers Essex for support.

Bathroom

Your bathroom could be a decent place to install your new boiler as it’ll be close to your bathroom fixtures.

This, in turn, could allow your showers and taps to heat up quicker, so no more waiting around in the morning!

As usual, the boiler still needs to comply with health and safety regulations, but a gas safe registered heating engineer Thurrock can help you out with this.

The Airing Cupboard

The airing cupboard is a tried-and-true classic location for your boiler, as it can essentially act as a drying room for your clothes at the same time.

Combi boilers won’t have the same effect, as they don’t have a hot water cylinder, but you could always install a small radiator if you want to keep the traditional airing cupboard temperature.

Thanks again to advancements in modern technology, boilers no longer have to be the clunky machine mountain they once were – you may have more freedom than you think when it comes to your installation.

uk 2025 gas boiler ban

Everything You Need to Know About the 2025 UK Gas Boiler Ban

Everything You Need to Know About the 2025 UK Gas Boiler Ban

uk 2025 gas boiler ban

In an effort to commit to its goal of zero emissions by 2050, the UK government has made some fairly animated moves, particularly in the last few years with the proposal of a gas boiler ban by 2025.

There’s no need to panic just yet, as this rule currently only applies to building new houses, meaning you don’t need to throw out your old faithful model anytime soon.

However, it is worth thinking about the many environmental benefits of swapping to an eco-friendlier central heating system, as eventually, it might become mandatory.

What exactly does the boiler ban represent for the future of heating in British homes? How does it affect you exactly? Read on to find out.

Existing Homes

While gas boiler systems are not going to be terminated in existing homes, there are some incentives in place to help convince people to make the switch.

These incentives will take the form of grants through the government’s boiler upgrade scheme, a scheme in which the government will endeavour to work with providers and manufacturers to reduce the costs of the gas alternative.

If you happen to be curious about replacing your old heating system in favour of the more modern and sustainable option, don’t hesitate to check out heating engineer Thurrock for some expert advice and guidance on the matter.

The Future of Heating

As the gargantuan world-ending threat of global warming looms loudly overhead, new solutions to old problems are required to reverse some of the damage, or at the very least, slow it down.

The future homes standard is a set of regulations and building requirements that will help tackle this ever-present threat.

It will aim to help new properties produce up to 80% fewer carbon emissions by ensuring that new builds are constructed with environmental sustainability as a main concern.

Saving You Money

Energy-efficient heating technologies can very realistically save you a great deal of money if you decide to make the switch, as it not only helps you cut back on wastage, but it can shave precious pounds off the bill at the end of each month.

This can be done with the help of smart meters, even smarter hybrid heating systems, or perhaps even solar panels or biomass boilers.

You will not be required to remove your existing gas boiler from your property, but if you want to get ahead of the game, take a look at boiler engineers Essex for some direction when moving forward.

A Departure from Fossil Fuels

The ban aims to reduce the harmful effects of using natural gas to heat homes, a fossil fuel that can cause countless health problems and environmental concerns when used in excess.

A departure from these traditional methods of heating homes could allow air pollution to fall substantially over time.

As of right now, there are no fines in place for sticking with your classic gas boiler, nor do you have to replace it as soon as you can, but this is not to say that new measures will not be put in place in the future.

warm home feet up reading

5 Ways To Keep Your House Warm This Winter

5 Ways To Keep Your House Warm This Winter

warm home feet up reading

As we move well into the colder months of the year, you certainly want your home to be a place that you can go back to that is invitingly warm with hot air. There are plenty of different methods of making sure that you keep your house warm, and the following blog post is going to focus on a few of these in a higher level of detail. So, let’s go into further detail.

Ensure Your Radiators Work Properly

One of the most obvious ways to heat your home is to ensure that all of your radiators are in good working order. So, if you are worried that your radiators are not giving out the right amount of heat, it is vital that you call in a heating engineer Thurrock. Even if your radiators are working properly, you need to ensure that they are not being blocked up by large pieces of furniture or damp clothing that are absorbing all the heat.

Get Your Boiler Serviced

The nightmare scenario that you can end up in is when the winter months roll around and your boiler breaks down. Therefore, you certainly want to have your heating systems serviced sooner rather than later, so you can check out gas boiler engineers Essex to get this done.

Close Up Any Drafts

You certainly do not want heat escape to occur in your home, so you should ensure that all of the drafts are properly closed off. One of the best ways that you can do this is with a draft excluder or two wherever the issues are occurring. Obviously, these tend to be around the doors and the windows, as these are the most likely places where drafts can occur.

Use Your Curtains Wisely

Even though it may seem to only make a small difference, when it comes to the winter months of the year, every little helps. So, you want to keep in the warm air in any way that you can. Obviously, the thicker the curtains, the more of an effect that they are going to have in terms of keeping in the heat. You should certainly keep them closed at night when there is no chance that there will be any warmth from the sun.

Shut Doors in Unused Rooms

When you are not using rooms, you should keep the doors closed to ensure that air is not flowing freely through the house and cooling things down for no reason whatsoever.

Put Down a Rug

Another seemingly small step that you can take is to put down a rug on any bare wooden floors that you have. This will help with the amount of heat that is being lost through the floor. You will also certainly notice the difference when you walk barefoot in the room!

Taking a combination of all of these different steps will certainly help out a great deal when it comes to ensuring that your home is kept warm during the winter months.

pressure guage

Why Does Boiler Pressure Drop?

Why Does Boiler Pressure Drop?

Does your boiler keep losing pressure? If yes, then you need to find out why as soon as possible. Low boiler pressure is one of the most common causes of boiler problems and can be a sign of leaks and faults. Find out below why your boiler pressure has dropped and how you can fix it to avoid costly repairs later down the line.

What exactly is boiler pressure?

While all central heating systems carry a volume of water, new boilers do not use storage tanks and instead use an expansion vessel. As the water volume increases and decreases with temperature, this expansion vessel does the job of absorbing any pressure changes when your water is heated up.

Naturally, you want your boiler to work at its very best, so it needs to operate within a pressure range of 0.7 bar and 2.5 bar. If the pressure falls below this range, then it can typically be topped up using a filling valve.

How you can check if your boiler pressure is low

If you think that your boiler pressure is too low, your first port of call should be your boiler manual, as this will be able to tell you how to check your boiler pressure. Modern boilers, i.e., combi boilers, often have a screen on them that will flash with an error code to show that they have low boiler pressure.

You should also be able to check the pressure gauge, which will indicate if your water pressure is low, adequate, or high.

Common signs that your boiler pressure is low are:

  • You only have access to cold water
  • Your boiler heats water very slowly
  • Your radiators aren’t warming up properly
  • The pressure gauge on your boiler has fallen

Why is my boiler pressure low?

There are several reasons why your boiler has lost pressure, including:

  • There is a leak from the appliance or on the heating system. This is typically from radiator valves or system components.
  • You have recently bled a radiator, and air or water has been released from it.
  • Your pipes and radiators have corroded or loosened over time.
  • You have a boiler leak.
  • You have a faulty boiler part.

If you suspect that the problem is with the boiler itself, you should call a professional immediately. Look for a Gas Safety Registered heating engineer Thurrock based or one in your local area. Do not try to undertake boiler repairs yourself, as this can be extremely dangerous.

How do I fix low boiler pressure?

If there is no leak or fault with your boiler, you may be able to increase low boiler pressure yourself. You need to locate the filling loop that is attached to your boiler. This is usually made of silver and features a handle valve and an isolation valve on each end of a pipe connection.

Using a flat-head screwdriver, turn the isolation valve anti-clockwise until the line on the valve is in line with the pipe. Then turn the handle valve anti-clockwise to enable water to enter the system. Keep an eye on the pressure gauge until it has returned to normal levels. Finish by closing both the valves. When your boiler pressure is back to where it should be, the error code on your boiler should disappear, and your boiler should function at its best again.

Does your boiler need repairs? Or perhaps you need a new boiler installed? Our gas boiler engineers Essex team is standing by to help you heat your home without breaking the bank.

gas boiler

Is It Safe to Turn Boiler Off At the Mains?

Is It Safe to Turn Boiler Off At the Mains?

Heating your home has never been more expensive, so you may be looking for ways to cut the cost of your energy bills. From adding more insulation to switching from baths to showers, there are many ways that you can save money on running your home.

You may also be thinking about switching off your boiler at times when it is not needed, such as when you go on holiday, overnight, or when it’s not that cold. However, is it safe to turn your boiler off at the mains? And will it save you money?

Let’s take a closer look.

Will turning my boiler off cause problems?

Money aside, the most important thing to consider when switching off your boiler at the mains is the safety of your family. Fortunately, switching off your boiler at the mains is perfectly safe.

That being said, depending on the type of heating system that you have and how old it is, switching it off for long periods of time could trigger an issue with your central heating. For example, it could cause elements such as the pump or valve to seize up.

Therefore, if you are thinking about turning off your boiler at the mains, you should make sure you book in a boiler service first to check for any issues. If you are looking for a heating engineer Thurrock based, we can help you.

Will turning off my boiler save me money?

Whether or not it is worthwhile to turn your boiler off depends on when and why you are planning to turn it off.

Turning your boiler off to go on holiday

If you are going on holiday, it can be cost-effective to turn off your boiler because you will not need a hot water supply when you are away. However, it is worth noting that if you are going away during the winter months, you risk freezing your pipes if you turn off your boiler completely.

Turning off your boiler overnight

You may be tempted to turn off your boiler overnight, seeing as you are all warm and cosy in bed. However, it can be more cost-effective to use a room thermostat to lower the heat in your bedrooms if less heat is needed. You may also want to turn off the radiators in rooms that are not in use.

Turning off your boiler in the summer

Although you may not need your heating on in the summer, you do still need access to hot water, so it is not a good idea to turn your boiler off during the milder months. Unless, of course, you are happy to only use cold water during the summer. Instead, you may want to switch your boiler to “hot-water only” mode so that it still heats water.

Turning off your boiler when not in use

If you have a combi boiler, there is no need to switch your hot water on and off as this type of system works on demand anyway. They are also fitted with two heat exchangers rather than just one, which makes the boiler more efficient. However, if you have a system boiler that comes with storage tanks, you will either need to leave it on constantly or predict when you are going to need hot water.

If your boiler is due a service or you need a new boiler installed, we have the best gas boiler engineers Essex has to offer, so why not give us a call?

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.