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Is your home energy efficient?

No one can deny that the cost of home heating has sky rocketed. The cost did not really rise gradually it seems that from one season to the next the cost has really gotten out of control. Keeping costs down can be easy if you have an efficient heating system in your home.

You do not necessarily have to buy a new heating system (although you likely would save a lot more if you did) you can simply make sure that your system is working top notch to the best of its ability. Of course everyone knows that sealing up drafts is important but it is by means the only way to save on costly heating bills.

A Home Heating Maintenance Plan

Making sure that your heating system does not have to work overtime to keep the interior climate of your home comfortable is one of the key ways to keep the bills down. You can have a professional come in and evaluate your system to make sure that it is working at its top capability.

When a heating system has to work harder to pump out the heat than you are burning energy that you do not need to be burning to keep your home comfortable. A professional plumber can take a look at your system and make suggestions for repairs and maintenance that will help you to keep costs down.

If You Have to  Replace Your System

Sometimes to really keep things efficient you simply have to replace the system that you have. There is no other way to get the efficiency out of older heating systems. Older systems were not really built with conserving energy in mind.

You can have a professional come out and take a look at your current heating system and give you an honest estimation of whether the system can be salvaged or if it should be replaced.  Having a professional give you the advice that you need to make an informed decision is well worth the call.

Replacing an old faulty heating system can sometimes be the best way to start cutting back on energy costs. The point is that you can have your options given to you by a professional that will have your best interest first.

You should never pay more than you have to, to heat your home. If your energy bills are out of control consult with a professional about what you can do to get those bills under control.

5 Energy (and Money) Saving Tips

Do you feel a sudden pain in your wallet when you get your home heating bills? Well you certainly are not alone. Those bills are out of control for many reasons that you can not control but there are things that you can do right now to save energy and ultimately pay less for your home heating.

Some of the tips are very simple. You may have attempted some of them but you should be doing all of them to really see a difference in those bills.

Tip #1

There is not enough that can be said for energy efficient equipment that is working at the top of its ability. Whether you have an older system of a brand new system you do need to make sure that it is properly maintained. It is important to have professional maintenance at least annually to get the most efficiency out of your home heating equipment.

It is far better to have a professional come and check out your heating system and to follow their recommendations instead of trying to go through a season without having your heating system checked.

Tip #2

Close off areas of the home that you do not use. If you have a guest suite and no one is using it shut the heating source in those rooms, close the doors tight and don’t open them. Heating a smaller space is always going to be more cost effective.

Tip #3

Seal off drafts around doors and windows. If you live in an older space this is a very important step to take because you do not want to pay to heat the outside of your home and if you do not seal up drafts your heat will literally go out the window.

Tip #4

When you are not going to be home during the day set the thermostat a bit lower. If you are not there to worry about the comfort level set your heating system to the lowest possible level during the day that wold be tolerable for pets or for your pipes but that will be low enough to save some money.

Tip #5

Back to the professional help. If your heating system is 10-15 years old you may want to talk with a professional about potentially replacing the system with a more energy efficient system that would pay for itself with the savings you would realize in a few short years.

When you Need Emergency Plumbing Services

It does seem that if something is going to happen with your plumbing it is very likely to happen at the worst possible time like when you have out of town guests visiting. It is always imperative that you address any plumbing issues as soon as they become apparent.

Plumbing problems unfortunately do not just disappear they have to be repaired. The longer you wait to have a plumbing problem fixed usually the worst the problem becomes. Clearly having a leaky faucet is a nuisance but not being able to use the commode is an absolute emergency.

When You Have an Emergency

A plumbing emergency can reach the full spectrum of problems. Many people do not realize that plumbers are also the folks you call when you have a heating or air conditioning problem. No one wants to live in a space where they are freezing from a faulty heater or where flushing the commode is not an option.

Those two things are absolute emergencies that have to be addressed immediately. You can not wait to call in a professional especially when it is anything involving sewage. Sometimes you have to call for emergency services on the weekend or holidays.

The Cost

No one wants to have a plumbing emergency but oddly enough while the charges are higher for making an emergency call for plumbing services they are not exorbitent. They can actually be quite affordable when you call the right professional in.

Like mentioned earlier a leaky faucet is a little more than a nuisance but other issues that threaten health are emergencies and need to be dealt with right away.

The Time To Call

The time to call when you have a plumbing emergency is immediately. You have to call right away so that you can get service as soon as possible. In many cases the problem will get progressively worse and almost never simply repairs itself.

Waiting is not the answer! The longer you wait to call the worse the problem will become. Call immediately to minimize damage to your plumbing system and to your home. Certainly do not wait until you are bailing backed up sewage out of your bathtub (yes it can happen).

You do not have to wait and deal with a plumbing emergency on your own. There is professional help available so you can get back to your life without worry about your plumbing system.

Home Heating Maintenance – Avoid the Issues

The worst time to have a home heating issue is of course during the cold winter. Of course this does seem to be the time that something will go wrong. Trying to get some help during the worst of the winter can be an issue in and of itself because it is the height of the plumbing repair season.

Many people do not realize that by taking one very simple step they can avoid the majority of the home heating issues that crop up when the heater is being used regularly in the winter months. Preparing your heating system for the heavy use of the winter months will save you time and aggravation.

The Maintenance

Unfortunately many property owners ignore regular suggested maintenance for their heating systems and find themselves in a bind when their system brakes down. Your heating system needs regular yearly maintenance the ideal time to have your heating system checked out is before the heating season begins.

It is far more cost effective to have your heating system maintained than it is to try to get it fixed once it is broken down. Not only will you save money when have your heating system properly maintained but you will also not have to deal with a broken system in the dead of winter.

Getting Service

Of course if it is too late for this go round and you need help with your heating system. Call as soon as you notice that something is not quite right. Usually before a system goes completely down you may notice unusual noise coming from it or it may not be blowing out warm air.

You can keep from further damaging your system by calling in an expert that specializes in property heating and cooling to come out and take a look for you.  It is strongly recommended that once you realize that something is amiss that you shut down the system so you can avoid any continued damages.

Hopefully you will have an alternate heating method but if you do not just make the call as soon as you know there is something wrong and help will be on the way. Than remember that next season before the heating season begins you should have your heating system checked and have necessary maintenance performed to avoid any issues. It is the easiest way to go about things.

The Best Ways To Conserve Water In Your Home

Are you aware that most of the water you use comes from the bathroom? Some of the highest water using activities take place in the bathroom like using the sink, having a shower or bath, brushing your teeth, and even flushing the toilet.

Even toilets are sometimes known to account for one-third of the water use in your home. Preventative measures are the best way to lower your bills and water usage in your home. Here’s are the best ways to conserve water in your home.

One of the most-efficient and easiest ways to start conserving water is by replacing the appliances where water is most heavily used. This would mean replacing the toilet, sink, and shower-head with economically and environmentally friendly versions.

While some of these appliances will be expensive to purchase or install upfront, the savings in the long-run very much outweigh the short-term pain you might feel.

Such upgrades like a new water-efficient toilet can save you up to 15% on your water bill. In the UK there are government rebates and even local companies which will give you a discount or provide a unique service if you install a better toilet or other water-using appliance.

Adding a low-flow aerator is another great way to conserve water and lower your water usage and bill. An aerator is the piece at the end of the faucet that you screw on where water comes out of. They are used to control the flow of water and restricting the flow can have positive benefits. One of the hidden benefits to using the aerator is that it will limit the flow of water while using less and will provide stronger pressure.

Other additions such as a low-flow shower-head are a great idea. These are affordable options that average homeowners can install themselves and see immediate results. Not only are you saving money but you’re doing something good for the environment as well.

Along with low-flow shower-heads you can also install a dual-flush toilet. These come with two options – low flush and high flush depending on the contents of the bowl. Flushing only when necessary is a great technique to practice and works to passively restrict your water usage.

While some of these installations and additions can be done by yourself you want to make sure they are done properly and that you’re going about it in the right fashion. If you need help with any plumbing installations or any general plumbing help, feel free to contact us.

Stoves are making a Comeback

A few decades ago, before the advent of low cost central heating and other contemporary home heating solutions, nearly every home in the UK had a stove. However, as time moved on these forms of heating became outdated and were often tagged as being less than energy efficient, as well as helping to pollute the enviroment.

Nevertheless, despite this being the 21st century, stoves are undergoing something of a renaissance in the past few years, as people hark back to a time when home heating had character.

Types of Stove

When it comes to choosing a stove for your home, there are a number of choices. If your home has a working chimney then you may want to consider a stove that burns solid fuel. Stoves in this category are usually the type that will need a constant supply of coal or logs or some of the more modern ‘smokeless’ fuels. These stoves are a lot more technical than their predecessors, something that makes them more efficient, as well as helping to reduce carbon emissions and smoke.

If you do not have a chimney in your home, then you can still own a stove, as you can opt for an electric or gas, log effect stove. A lot of people often opt for this type of stove to compliment their home, to add to the decor and the ambience of their living space.

The Benefits of Wood Burning Stoves

Despite the fact that burning wood is seen as being bad for the environment, it is in fact quite the opposite, and it is often classed as being carbon neutral.

This is due to the fact that when burning wood, the amount of carbon dioxide emissions that are released into the air is offset by the same amount that is absorbed by a tree as it grows.

Stove Construction

In the beginning, the majority of stoves were constructed using cast iron as its primary material, and even today, cast iron is still the material of choice for manufacturers of quality stoves.

One of the benefits of using cast iron is the fact that it manages to diffuse the heat for a longer period of time, so you get more heat from your fuel supply.

Also, cast iron is a good stove making material due to the fact that can be cast thicker in areas that require more strength.

Are Gas Water Heaters Dangerous?

The question in regards to whether or not gas water heaters are a danger is one that crops up quite often. Compared to an electric heater, gas heaters may carry a higher risk of things going wrong, however, for the most part; the only dangers typically come as a result of poor installation, or lack of maintenance.

In this article, we will take a look at a couple of the more common, but nevertheless, rare problems that can crop up with a gas water heater.

Health Dangers

One of the biggest problems to face people with gas water heaters is the health problems associated with carbon monoxide poisoning.

Carbon monoxide poisoning takes place when the waste gases from the water heater enter the inside of a building, rather than escaping through the flue to the outside. Problems can quickly arise as the carbon monoxide fumes rapidly replace the oxygen supply, and this can lead to illness and even death if not treated soon enough.

All gas powered water heaters are expected to be properly ventilated and maintained, in order to reduce the risk of exposure to carbon monoxide and other noxious gases.

Gas Leaks

The other major problem is the leaking of the gas that enters the water heater. This is the gas that is burned in order to heat the water to the right temperature, and it is the gas you pay the utility companies for.

If the gas is leaking, there is a much greater risk of this excess gas causing an explosion when it comes into contact with a source of ignition. Thankfully, a gas leak is fairly easy to spot, as the gas companies add a smell to the gas so that a leak can be detected and dealt with at source.

In Conclusion

As you can see, there is one or two problems that owning a gas powered water heater could cause you, which an electric powered one would not, however, that being said, if gas powered water heaters were considered dangerous on a consistent basis, then they would probably be banned.

So long as the water heater is manufactured by a reputable company, and so long as it is installed by an experienced professional, and is also maintained on a regular basis, there is no reason why you cannot get years of trouble free service from a gas powered water heater.

What to Do If You Have a Gas Leak In Your Home

There are two types of gas leak that could affect your home. The first is carbon monoxide gas. Carbon monoxide gas is what your boiler expels when it burns the natural gas it needs to heat your water.

It is a gas that is very difficult to detect, as it is odourless and cannot be seen with the human eye. The second type of gas is the natural gas that supplies your boiler or water heater.

This is also odourless, however, for safety reasons; the gas supply companies add a rather unpleasant smell to it so that a leak can be detected. A leak of both gases is dangerous, however, a natural gas leak has the potential to do a lot of damage to a wide area and should not be ignored.

If you Suspect a Natural Gas Leak

So, there is a rather unpleasant smell emanating from somewhere in your home or the periphery. This smell is likely to be caused by a natural gas leak, and should be reported to the relevant authorities and emergency services as soon as possible. In order to minimize the risk of ignition of this gas, there are a few things that you need to do.

If the leak is in your home, it is important to avoid causing sparks or other sources of ignition. Therefore, do not turn on any lights, and under no circumstances should you attempt to light a cigarette.

In order to help to dissipate the gas in your home, open as many exterior doors and windows that you can, also try and shut off the main gas valve to your home if you can find it.

Once you have done as much as you can, get out of the property (if there are other people or pets in the property, you should evacuate them at the earliest opportunity) and wait for the authorities.

Dealing with a Carbon Monoxide Leak

A leak of carbon monoxide will not cause an explosion, however, it can cause serious illness and even death. Unfortunately, there is no odour to detect a carbon monoxide leak, nevertheless, there is one thing that you can do in order to lower the risk to your health.

And that is, to buy a carbon monoxide detector with an audible alarm, as this is the best way to detect a leak, and possibly save your life.

5 Shower Efficiency Tips

There is nothing like a nice shower to start the day or to wash away the stress of a long day at work. However, despite the fact that a shower uses a lot less water than a bath, standing under that fast flowing water for any length of time is something that might not be as efficient as you might have thought.

Do not Leave the Water Running whilst Unattended

As tempting as it is to run the shower and to go off and do something else whilst you are waiting for the water to heat up, what you are actually doing is wasting water and energy.

Make sure that you are undressed and ready to get into the shower as soon as the water hits the right temperature.

Don’t take too long

Limiting your shower time to around the 5 minute mark is a good way to shower more efficiently.

5 minutes might not sound like much time, however, if the normal amount of time that you are in the shower for is ten minutes, you are halving the amount of water and energy that you use.

Change to a Low Flow Showerhead

If you have a power shower, you may actually be using more water during a 5 to 10 minute shower than you would if you were filling a bath, so quick is the flow of water.

In order to be more energy efficient and to preserve water, why not try replacing your standard shower head with a more efficient one.

Try to Shower just Once Per Day

As tempting as it is to freshen yourself up with multiple daily showers – especially during the summer months – it is not going to be an energy or water efficient way to keep clean.

Therefore it is a good idea to keep showers to a minimum by only showering once per day.

There is nothing wrong with Skipping a day

On days when you are just going to be kicking around the house not doing much or with any plans to go out, it is ok to skip having a shower. So why not try and just have a wash instead?

You can still be clean, but you will be using just a sink full of water rather than spending 5 to 10 minutes under a shower.

4 Signs It’s Time to Replace Your Toilet

A common problem, which a lot of people will experience at some point, is a non-functioning toilet, a situation which is never pleasant and one than can quickly become a major headache if not handled correctly.

In this article, we will take a closer look at the 4 tell-tale signs that you should replace your old toilet with a new one.

It Keeps Getting Blocked

When you notice the water rising in the bowl whenever you flush the toilet, this is a sure sign that there is a problem and a blockage somewhere. In a lot of cases, so long as nothing untoward has been flushed down the toilet, the blockage may just be merely toilet paper and human waste that has lodged itself in a bend in the pipes.

If this is the case, then leaving the matter to dissolve over time could help to clear the blockage without the need for any further action. Try flushing the toilet after a few hours, although only if the level of standing water in the bowl has subsided sufficiently to prevent the toilet from overflowing.

It Keeps Leaking

Another sure sign that it is time to get a new toilet installed in your bathroom or water closet is the problem with constant leaks.

The source of leaks can either be from the fresh water supply coming into the cistern, or worse, it could be coming from the U-bend, which means you could have dirty and contaminated waste water leaking onto your flooring.

Even though some leaks can be patched up and fixed, for permanent peace of mind it is more advisable to install a completely new toilet.

It’s Noisy

Sometimes, problems with water and air mixing together can cause a toilet to be noisy, and this is a scenario that is quite common with older toilets, especially those where the cistern is situated quite away from the bowl.

Faulty valves and ballcock’s can be the cause of the problem, and this can cause the toilet to be very noisy when flushed.

It’s Avocado Coloured

This may have been de rigueur in 1982, but an avocado coloured toilet or bathroom suite is going to look seriously dated now, in fact most coloured suites look poor. When it comes to choosing a toilet as part of a bathroom suite, you really cannot go wrong with white.

Where we go

Speedy Gas covers all of North London, NW, East London & Central London and surrounding districts. We can provide references from clients across London who we have provided boiler installations and heating / plumbing services to in the last year.

Get in Touch Today!

Mob: 078 1728 8668
Email: info@speedygaslondon.co.uk