From basic functionality to maintenance and energy efficiency, there is so much to know about central heating. It is best to seek professional advice on all required information but independent learning is also a good thing. Check out these 5 top questions asked by UK homeowners about central heating—maybe you’ll learn something you didn’t already know!

How does central heating work?

Central heating systems work by heating water or air in a central location and then distributing that warmth throughout the house via pipes or ducts. In the UK, most homes use a gas boiler to heat water, which is then circulated through radiators or underfloor heating.

How can I improve the efficiency of my central heating system?

Regular maintenance, such as bleeding radiators, checking and adjusting boiler pressure, and scheduling annual servicing, can enhance efficiency. Additionally, installing a programmable thermostat and ensuring proper insulation in your home can contribute to energy savings.

What should I do if my central heating is not working?

Check the thermostat settings, ensure the boiler is powered on, and examine the pressure gauge. If these are in order, consider bleeding radiators to release trapped air. If issues persist, it’s advisable to contact a qualified heating engineer for a professional assessment.

Are there government grants or incentives for upgrading central heating systems?

Yes, various government schemes in the UK offer incentives for upgrading to more energy-efficient central heating systems. These may include the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) or other local initiatives. It’s recommended to check current programs for eligibility and details. Visit gov.uk for more information.

What size boiler do I need for my home?

The size of the boiler depends on factors such as the size of your home, the number of radiators, and your hot water usage. A heating engineer can perform a heat load calculation to determine the appropriate boiler size for your specific requirements. Oversizing or under-sizing a boiler can lead to inefficiency and increased energy costs.

For all your energy-related needs, contact the team at AACooper on 01689 485007 or info@aacooper.co.uk

The most efficient heating system for a house depends on multiple factors, including the size of the house, insulation, energy costs, and personal preference. Here are some common heating systems used in the UK:

Gas Central Heating:

Pros: Gas central heating is common in the UK and generally considered cost-effective. Gas boilers are efficient, and there’s an extensive gas infrastructure in the country.

Cons: Gas is a fossil fuel, and while modern boilers are more efficient, they still contribute to carbon emissions. Gas prices can also fluctuate.

Electric Heating:

Pros: Electric heating systems, such as electric radiators or underfloor heating, are easy to install and may be suitable for smaller spaces.

Cons: Electric heating can be more expensive than gas, especially if electricity prices are high. It may not be the most environmentally friendly option, depending on the energy mix.

Heat Pumps:

Pros: Air source heat pumps (ASHP) and ground source heat pumps (GSHP) are more environmentally friendly as they extract heat from the air or ground. They can be highly efficient.

Cons: Initial installation costs can be high but there are government incentives and savings on running costs over time.

Biomass Boilers:

Pros: Biomass boilers use organic materials like wood pellets, reducing reliance on fossil fuels. They can be cost-effective in certain situations.

Cons: Biomass systems require storage for fuel, and the sourcing of sustainable biomass is crucial. They may also require more maintenance.

Solar Thermal Systems:

Pros: Solar thermal systems use sunlight to heat water for domestic use and sometimes space heating.

Cons: Their effectiveness is weather-dependent, and they may need a backup system for periods of low sunlight.

District Heating:

Pros: District heating involves a centralised boiler providing heat to multiple buildings. It can be efficient and reduce individual system maintenance.

Cons: Availability is limited to areas with district heating infrastructure, and the initial setup can be expensive.

When considering a heating system, it’s essential to evaluate the upfront costs, running costs, environmental impact, and compatibility with your home’s characteristics. Additionally, government incentives, such as grants or subsidies for certain systems, can influence your decision.

Consulting with a heating professional can help you determine the most suitable option for your specific circumstances. For all your energy-related needs, contact the team at AACooper on 01689 485007 or info@aacooper.co.uk

More than a quarter of UK homes suffer from damp and mould, according to new research by University College London (UCL). Experts say that six and a half million homes (approximately 27% of the total) are not being properly heated, and with the ongoing cost of living crisis many are choosing to reduce ventilation and heating to save money. Preventing damp in the home is, however, crucial to maintaining a healthy and comfortable living environment.

Here are ten top tips to help you avoid damp issues (in warmer and colder months):

Insulate Properly: Ensure your home is adequately insulated. Proper insulation not only helps regulate temperature but also prevents condensation on walls and ceilings.

Control Indoor Temperature: Maintain a consistent indoor temperature. Sudden changes in temperature can cause condensation, leading to dampness. Use heating during colder months to keep the home warm.

Seal Windows and Doors: Check and seal any gaps or cracks around windows and doors. This helps prevent cold air from entering, reducing the likelihood of condensation on surfaces.

Use Moisture-Resistant Paint: Consider using moisture-resistant or anti-mould paint in areas prone to dampness, such as bathrooms and kitchens. This type of paint helps inhibit mould growth.

Keep Furniture Away from Walls: Allow air to circulate around furniture by keeping it slightly away from the walls. This helps prevent the trapping of moisture between furniture and walls.

Use Humidity Monitors: Invest in a humidity monitor (hygrometer) to keep track of indoor humidity levels. Ideally, maintain humidity levels between 30-50%. High humidity can contribute to damp conditions.

Proper Ventilation: Ensure good ventilation in your home by using extractor fans in kitchens and bathrooms. Additionally, open windows regularly to allow fresh air to circulate and moisture to escape.

Use Dehumidifiers: Invest in a dehumidifier to remove excess moisture from the air. This is especially important in areas prone to dampness, such as basements and attics.

Repair Leaks Promptly: Fix any leaks in the roof, walls, or plumbing as soon as they are detected. Leaks can contribute to dampness and provide an environment for mould growth.

Regularly Clean and Ventilate: Regularly clean your home to prevent dust and mould buildup. Ensure that air vents are not blocked and that air can circulate freely throughout the house.

For all your plumbing and installation needs, or energy-related queries, feel free to contact the team on 01689 485007 or info@aacooper.co.uk – we’re happy to help.

A new survey by water supplier Affinity Water has found that the UK is potentially wasting £697 million on water bills annually due to leaks within homes. This amounts to 900 million litres of clean drinking water daily – equivalent to filling Wembley stadium, or supplying water to another one million people a week.

The survey also found that one in five people leave home leaks for four weeks or more before getting them fixed. Almost one third (32%) of those with a leak have put off fixing it due to how much they think it will cost to repair them, while 33% had other home repair jobs they deemed more critical, and 28% didn’t know a reliable plumber to ask for help.

Over two thirds (68%) of the nation have had a leak in their home, but the majority (55%) don’t know how to check their toilet or tanks for leaks, which are responsible for the biggest water loss.

To help us save money and reduce waste, Affinity Water has offered five top tips on how to identify leaks in the home and when to call in the experts:

  • Look out for damp patches, changes in water pressure, limescale build up, and changes to your plaster or wallpaper.
  • If you have a water meter, turn off all water using appliances in the home, and check the meter to see if it is still moving. If the meter is moving, you may have a leak.
  • Listen as well as look for signs when identifying a hidden leak. Noisy pipework, whether that’s in your tank or around your home, can be a sign. Try listening at night when your home is quiet.
  • If you suspect a leak in your home, or have identified one, it’s important to get it sorted quickly. Don’t try fix it yourself if you don’t know how. Call in a plumber to make sure it’s fixed properly.
  • If the leak is big, turn off the internal stop tap, which will stop water running within your home and prevent any further damage until the plumber arrives.

For all your plumbing and installation needs, feel free to contact the team at AACooper on 01689 485007 or info@aacooper.co.uk – we’re happy to help.

Saving energy in your kitchen is not only good for the environment but can also reduce your utility bills. Here are some tips on how to save energy in your kitchen:

Use Energy-Efficient Appliances:

When purchasing kitchen appliances such as refrigerators, stoves, and dishwashers, look for the Energy Rating label, which indicates that the appliance meets specific energy efficiency standards.

Cook Efficiently:

Use the right-sized pots and pans for your cooking needs. Using a smaller pot on a smaller element/hob can save energy compared to using a larger pot on a larger element/hob.

Cover pots and pans with lids while cooking to retain heat and cook food faster.

Use a pressure cooker or slow cooker for cooking when appropriate. These appliances can be more energy-efficient than conventional stovetop cooking.

Thaw frozen foods in the refrigerator instead of in running water.

Optimise Oven Use:

Preheat your oven only when necessary. Most dishes do not require preheating.

Avoid opening the oven door frequently while baking, as this lets heat escape and requires the oven to work harder to maintain the temperature.

Use Microwave for Reheating:

Microwaves are generally more energy-efficient than ovens for reheating small portions of food.

Maintain and Clean Appliances:

Keep your refrigerator coils clean and well-maintained to ensure it operates efficiently.

Clean the lint trap in your dryer after each use to improve drying efficiency.

Regularly clean and maintain your dishwasher to ensure it cleans effectively.

Switch to LED Lighting:

Replace incandescent or CFL bulbs with energy-efficient LED lighting in your kitchen. LEDs use significantly less energy and last longer.

Use Energy-Saving Settings:

If your appliances have energy-saving settings, such as “eco” or “power-saving” modes, consider using them.

Turn Off Lights and Appliances:

When you’re not using lights, appliances, or chargers, make sure to turn them off or unplug them to prevent “phantom” energy usage.

Seal Leaks and Insulate:

Check for drafts around windows and doors in your kitchen and seal any leaks to prevent heat loss in the winter and cool air loss in the summer.

Ensure your kitchen is well-insulated to maintain a stable temperature.

Cook in Batches:

When possible, cook in larger batches and freeze the extra portions. This reduces the need to cook daily and can save energy over time.

Utilise Solar Energy (if possible):

If you have access to solar panels, consider using solar energy to power your kitchen appliances during the day.

By following these tips and being mindful of your energy usage in the kitchen, you can reduce your energy consumption, lower your utility bills, and contribute to a more sustainable household.

There are some fairly obvious factors that have been (and continue to be) priority for house buyers, like location, local amenities, employment opportunities and property specifics. There are, however, some new and interesting ‘must haves’ creeping onto the list.

Prospective homeowners have always wanted to know that they have easy access to transport routes that will enable a convenient commute. Important amenities include gyms, shops, bars, restaurants and, for young families, schools! Also important is the quality of the neighbourhood.

Whether prospective homeowners are looking for a fixer-upper or a minimum maintenance property, the size and design of a property (number of bedrooms, bathrooms, en-suites, a good-sized kitchen, gardens, off-street parking) have huge impact on a decision to buy but something that house buyers are adding onto their wish list is energy efficiency.
New research by YouGov has revealed that 64% of house hunters want solar panels to be fitted as standard to a new home. Forty-two per cent said EV charging points in homes are a must-have and 35% said an air source heat pump was top of their list.

In addition, a massive 71% surveyed felt that high-quality insulation was a deciding factor when looking for a new home.

Rising energy costs and an increased awareness of climate change are likely to change the landscape of the property market. If you’re thinking about home improvements (plumbing, energy or installations), feel free to contact the team on 01689 485007 or info@aacooper.co.uk – we’re happy to help.

If you are the owner (or user) of a small bathroom, do not despair! Check out these ten top space optimising hacks that will allow for improved functionality in your small space:

  • Wall-mounted storage: Utilise vertical space by installing shelves, cabinets or floating shelves on the walls. This keeps the floor clear and provides additional storage for toiletries and towels.
  • Over-the-door organisers: Use over-the-door hooks or organisers to hang towels, robes or other frequently used items behind the bathroom door.
  • Under-sink organisation: Make use of the space under the sink by adding storage solutions like drawers, baskets or stackable containers. This helps keep cleaning supplies and toiletries neat and easily accessible.
  • Corner shelves or cabinets: Corners are often underutilised. Install corner shelves or a corner cabinet to maximise storage without taking up too much floor space.
  • Mirrored cabinets: Opt for a mirrored medicine cabinet or a mirrored cabinet above the sink. It serves a dual purpose: storage and a mirror, which helps create an illusion of more space.
  • Slim or compact fixtures: Choose compact fixtures like narrow vanities, small sinks and slim-profile toilets to free up more floor space.
  • Towel bars and hooks: Install multiple towel bars or hooks on the back of the bathroom door or on the walls to hang towels and washcloths, saving space on towel racks.
  • Hidden storage: Consider using furniture or accessories that double as storage, such as ottomans or storage benches.
  • Utilise vertical towel racks: Instead of traditional horizontal towel racks, choose vertical towel racks that take up less wall space.
  • Use recessed storage: If you’re remodelling or building from scratch, consider incorporating recessed shelves or niches in the shower or walls to save space.

Often, all it takes is some lateral thinking.

For all your plumbing and installation needs, feel free to contact the team at AACooper on 01689 485007 or info@aacooper.co.uk – we’re happy to help.

Does it surprise you that women tend to be more frustrated by bad bathroom habits at home than men? A survey conducted by Mira Showers has not only revealed some of the most common bathroom pet peeves among people but also, that men are more tolerant.

  1. Not flushing the toilet after going
  2. Leaving urine on the toilet seat
  3. Leaving stains in the toilet
  4. Forgetting to replace the toilet roll or soap
  5. Leaving wet towels on the floor
  6. Never cleaning the bathroom or shower themselves
  7. Clogging the shower drain with hair and never cleaning it out
  8. Leaving the toilet seat up
  9. Causing a mess in the bath or shower with bathing products (i.e. spillage or leaving remnants behind)
  10. Not turning the shower or tap off properly.

Twelve per cent of women said their biggest pet peeve are people who use up all the hot water.  Women are more likely to clean unpleasant stains off a friend or family member’s toilet (26%) than men (19%). Twenty-five per cent of women would never take a number two in a friend or family member’s toilet unless they absolutely had to, whereas only 18% of men said the same.

Fifty-seven per cent of those aged between 44-54 and 67% of those over 55 would always wash their hands in their personal bathroom, compared to just 23% of 16-24-year-olds and 30% of 25-34s.

Another juicy fact from the survey is that over a quarter of all respondents (27 per cent) said their own bad bathroom habits have improved since lockdown was first introduced. Hopefully it won’t always take a pandemic for us to remember to pick up our wet towels and flush the toilet!

For all your plumbing and installation needs, feel free to contact the team on 01689 485007 or info@aacooper.co.uk – we’re happy to help.

How can you create and energy efficient bathroom that reduces water and electricity usage, saving both money and valuable resources? Check out these 10 top tips:

  1. Install LED lighting: replace traditional incandescent bulbs with energy-efficient LED lights. LEDs consume less energy and last longer, reducing electricity usage and the frequency of bulb replacements.
  2. Use natural light: maximise natural light by incorporating larger windows or skylights in your bathroom design. This reduces the need for artificial lighting during the day.
  3. Optimise ventilation: proper ventilation is essential to prevent mould and moisture build-up. Install an energy-efficient exhaust fan with a timer or humidity sensor to automatically turn it off when not needed.
  4. Upgrade to water-efficient fixtures: replace old faucets, showerheads, and toilets with water-efficient models. Look for fixtures with a WaterSense label, which indicates they meet EPA standards for water efficiency.
  5. Fix leaks: leaking faucets or toilets waste a significant amount of water. Repair any leaks promptly to avoid unnecessary water consumption.
  6. Insulate pipes: insulate hot water pipes to reduce heat loss and minimize the time it takes for hot water to reach the faucets, thereby saving energy and water.
  7. Install low-flow showerheads: switching to low-flow showerheads can significantly reduce water usage without sacrificing water pressure or shower experience.
  8. Choose water-efficient appliances: when it’s time to replace bathroom appliances like washing machines or dishwashers, choose models that have high energy and water efficiency ratings.
  9. Install a dual-flush toilet: dual-flush toilets offer the option to use less water for liquid waste and more water for solid waste. This allows you to conserve water based on your needs.
  10. Use energy-efficient heating: consider installing an energy-efficient heating system, such as a programmable thermostat or radiant floor heating, to efficiently heat your bathroom and reduce energy consumption.

It may not be possible to do optimise your bathroom in one go but even a little bit at a time will make a difference!

For all your plumbing and installation needs, feel free to contact the team on 01689 485007 or info@aacooper.co.uk – we’re happy to help.

Did you know that the UK’s residential sector accounts for 16% of total greenhouse gas emissions, with space and water heating being the predominant sources of energy consumption and emissions.

For the UK to mitigate the effects of global warming, the residential sector must reduce its green house has emissions.

One way to do this is to use heat pumps instead of traditional heating systems, such as furnaces or boilers, which burn fossil fuels (like oil or gas) that release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Heat pumps, on the other hand, use electricity to move heat, making them much more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly.

However, a new study by a University of Glasgow led research centre has found that the UK housing sector is lagging over 30% behind neighbouring countries when it comes to the adoption of heat pumps, despite their enormous potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and provide cost savings for households.

Barriers to adopting heat pumps as a key renewable source for space and water heating in UK homes include: higher capital costs compared to conventional heating systems, mistargeted deployment, and competing economic interests among stakeholders.

What needs to happen to encourage homeowners to install heat pumps in place of traditional heating methods? Dr Sohail Ahmad, lead author of the study, has three key ideas, namely:

  1. Enhancing financial incentives
  2. Increasing demonstrator projects
  3. Targeting the right segments of households who are potential innovators and early adopters.

What do you think? Would you consider adopting heat pump technology in your home?

To find out more about the use of heat pumps in your home, feel free to contact the team on 01689 485007 or info@aacooper.co.uk – we’re happy to help.

Source: Phamnews.co.uk