Tag Archive for: Heating

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.

With energy prices set to rise in January 2023, heating our homes without spending a fortune is on everyone’s minds as we move into the new year. As far as gas or electric heating, what’s the best option? Let’s have a look:

The difference between gas and electric heating

A gas system consists of a single boiler that heats up water and then pumps it through pipes to radiators throughout the property. It also provides hot water to the kitchen and bathrooms.

Electric heaters don’t require flue or pipework, only a connection to the electric circuit. They don’t burn fuel to generate heat and can be used for both air and water products.

Pros and cons

Gas heating – pros

  • Quick to reach temperature – as long as your system is well-maintained.
  • Easy to repair – the most commonly used system in the UK, with many professionals familiar with systems and expertise to sort our problems.
  • Low ongoing costs – a cheaper energy source than electricity.
  • Tailor to property – large choice when it comes to styles, finishes and colours.

Gas heating – cons

  • High initial cost – a brand new heating system (boilers, multiple radiators, copper piping etc.) plus installation is expensive.
  • Annual maintenance – a boiler and its components need to be checked and maintained by a Gas Safe Registered engineer every 12 months.
  • Less efficient – up to 50% of the heat produced by a boiler can be lost through the pipes.
  • Shorter lifespan – a gas boiler lasts around 15 years before it requires replacing.

Electric heating – pros

  • Easy to install – simple connection to power supply.
  • Low initial cost – no complicated installation work required.
  • Easy to maintain – minimal components to go wrong and you don’t need an annual system check.
  • Highly efficient –100% efficient; every watt of energy used by the heater is converted into heat.
  • Longer life span – expected to last longer than gas heaters.

Electric heating – cons

  • Slow to reach temperature – think about how much quicker water boils on a gas hob as opposed to an electric ring.
  • High ongoing cost – a unit of electricity costs more than a unit of gas.


Prices are in flux but according to Ofgem Energy Price Guarantee (https://www.checkatrade.com/blog/cost-guides/gas-vs-electric-heat-cost-which-is-cheaper/) that came in on 1 October 2022:


  • Gas heating: 10p/unit
  • Electric heating: 34p/unit


  • Gas heating: low range – £4,500, high range – £6,000, average – £5,250
  • Electric heating: low range – £3,230, high range – £4,350, average – £3,790


*The cost of the installation will depend on the complexity of the size of the property.

For more detailed information about costing and the differences between gas and electric heating, visit Checkatrade.com and traderaradiators.com, and for all your energy-related needs, contact the team at AACooper on 01689 485007 or info@aacooper.co.uk

Many of us will be on a mission to keep warm on a budget this winter. Research suggests that there are six areas where you are likely to lose the most heat in your home:

  • Cracks in the walls, windows and doors (38% of heat is lost)
  • Basement walls and floors (21%)
  • Framed walls (17%)
  • Poorly insulated windows (16%)
  • Ceilings (5%)
  • Exterior doors (3%).

With this in mind, there are some practical, cost-effective ways to limit drafts and cold from getting into our homes without investing in massive renovations, like new windows, doors and floors.

  • Block your chimney – there are various draught excluders that do this or you could use a waterproof pillow, or inflatable chimney balloon.
  • Purchase a door snake – these come in all shapes and sizes and are great for keeping draughts from coming in under your door.
  • Insulate your letterbox – try insulating film to trap the heat inside.
  • Rearrange your furniture – so as not to block any radiators when you do have the heating on. Place sofas and beds near radiators (to get maximum benefit) but with enough space for heat to circulate through the room.
  • Draught-proof your windows – with self-adhesive foam tape.
  • Keep doors and windows closed – to prevent heat from escaping.
  • Close curtains at 3pm (before sunset) – to keep heat inside. Keep your curtains open during the day to allow the sun to warm up your home.
  • Heavyweight curtains – will help keep the heat inside.
  • Candles – might not heat up an entire room but they will certainly do their bit to making it feel warmer.
  • Hot water bottles – will heat up your bed and even sitting with one during the day will keep you warm!
  • Cover the keyholes – especially on doors that you don’t typically lock/unlock.
  • Layer up – blankets and jumpers will help to keep you warm indoors.

When you are using your heating this winter, make sure you are getting the best value for your money! Choose your ideal temperature, set timers and make sure your boiler has been serviced (this should happen every 12 months). Defective boilers can increase your heating bill as they need to work harder to get your home to optimum temperature.

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

The BBC recently reported that about 15 million households have seen their energy bills rise by 12% since the beginning of October, 2021. Why? There’s been a worldwide squeeze on gas and energy supplies, so: high demand, low supply, which means an increase in price.

Energy regulator Ofgem has allowed a rise in energy price cap, which means that suppliers can charge domestic customers more. And the cap is set to rise again in April.

It’s tough to get a competitive energy deal at the moment as prices are high across the board but there are things we can do to save on bills. Most of us will quickly thing of energy-saving bulbs, closing curtains to keep warmth in and draught-proofing doors, windows and cracks but here are ten other heating hacks that you might not have thought of:

  1. Radiator panels reflect heat from your radiator away from the walls and back into the room. Typically, they’re cheap and easy to install.
  2. Time your heating – programming your boiler to turn the heating on a little earlier – such as 30 minutes before you get up in the morning – but at a lower temperature is cheaper than turning it on just as you need it at a higher temperature.
  3. Do not obstruct radiators with sofas, tables, chairs, curtains or clothing because this stops warm air from circulating in your home.
  4. One less wash a week (dishwasher or washing machine) can save you money. Don’t do half-loads, wait for a full load!
  5. Turning your thermostat down a degree could cut your heating bill by 10%, according to research.
  6. Carpets – the National Energy Foundation, floors account for as much as 10% of heat loss if they’re not insulated.
  7. A chimney balloon limits heat being lost up the chimney in decorative fireplaces. The balloons are made from a special laminate and can be bought from DIY shops.
  8. A floating shelf above a radiator will help deflect heat around the room and stop is rising up the ceiling where it will be wasted.
  9. Cover keyholes with purpose-made discs (for example) to prevent draughts.
  10. Service your boiler – not necessarily a hack BUT an old boiler is likely to be an inefficient boiler if it is not serviced or updated, even.

Remember, all the small bits add up when you’re saving.

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

Centre for Sustainable Energy
Federation of Master Builders

Your pipes are creaking, your tap’s leaking and your toilet won’t flush – but we’re living in a pandemic and you don’t really want to ask for help if you can fix it yourself.

The good news is: 24% of plumbers and heating specialist are starting to use technology to diagnose issues remotely (mobile app, video, photos), according to a new survey by Eurekasear.co.uk. This might sound like a small number but considering the current climate, it’s likely to grow.

It’s best not to DIY your plumbing problems if you are not sure what you’re dealing with and how to fix it – it’s not safe and you run the risk of a botch job that is likely to need fixing again anyway. If you’ve managed to organise a diagnosis via app etc. and feel confident that you can fix the problem – great! If not, nearly 4 in 10 installers are now considering quoting for jobs using remote technology.

If it is essential that a plumber or heating technician enter your house to do repair work, businesses have indeed changed their working policies to accommodate government guidance, which includes:

  • maintaining a 2-metre social distance from other people around me on a job
  • ensuring homeowners stay in a different part of the property
  • only using click and collect merchant services (or phone ahead)
  • wearing gloves at all times (when previously I didn’t)
  • wiping down where I have worked with anti-bac spray/ wipes
  • wearing a mask

And whilst the plumbing and heating sector are not likely to respond to an emergency call to fix householder’s DIY mistakes (with many businesses being hit hard by the corona-recession), many are operating a ‘normal’ emergency response service for issues relating to the following:

  • Boiler/ heating
  • Leaks/ burst pipes
  • Quick & easy repairs
  • Toilet issues

Be confident that there is help available if you need it. Equally, trust your common sense to made a safe, savvy decision – there’s no harm in calling an expert!

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.

Christmas is poking its festive head around the corner and amidst all the fun and excitement is the perhaps slim but nonetheless present possibility of your heating or plumbing giving in at the very last, inconvenient second – especially if you have a house full of guests and Christmas lunch to prepare.

There are some things you can do to do avoid any problems to do with heating, hot water or drainage! Have a look:


  • Check your boiler. British Gas has revealed that more than a third of households have not checked that their central heating is working properly, and four in ten have not had their boiler serviced in preparation for winter. Maintaining your boiler is the first ad best way to avoid heating problems.
  • Bleed your radiators. This will ensure they are working properly. If your radiators have cold spots at the top, this means you have air in the system; bleeding them will return them to good working order.
  • Seal your home by making sure all of your windows and doors seal properly to stop warm air escaping. Most DIY stores will sell ‘draught exterminators’ if you’re having problems keeping cold air out.
  • Wrap your water tank to conserve hot water; materials can be purchased from most DIY stores and help to conserve heat and save you money.
  • Insulate your pipes. This will stop them from bursting; a very real treat in freezing temperatures. Use lagging, which can be bought cheaply from most DIY shops.


  • Check your drains. Clear your drains of debris at the point at which they enter the ground. This involves checking your gullies for autumnal leaves and twigs in order to ensure that they don’t restrict water flow at any point.
  • Wait ten to 15 minutes between showers (especially applicable if you have a house full of guests). This gives your drains a bit of breathing space to clear properly, and helps avoid any cumulative backing up. It’ll also help your boiler maintain water temperature.
  • Fit strainers to your sink and shower plugholes. They’ll help catch a lot of the soap, hair, food debris and other muck that would otherwise go into your drains and potentially cause build-ups and blockages there.
  • Don’t flush things like disposable wipes, sanitary products, cotton buds or dental floss down the loo. These kinds of objects don’t disintegrate or dissolve like loo paper, and are a major cause of blocked and clogged drains, both at home and in the wider sewerage network.
  • Avoid pouring cooking oil, fat, and other food grease down your kitchen sink. Oils, fat and grease, although liquid while hot, cool and congeal quickly, and can clog your drains and slow the rate of drainage significantly.

For more hints and tips on how to avoid disturbing your plumber or heating engineer during his Christmas dinner, read “Avoid Christmas heating disasters at home with these top tips” on Idealhome.co.uk, and “Avoid plumbing problems and heating headaches this Christmas!” on Xpplumbers.com.

And have a very merry Christmas…from the team at AA Cooper!

For more information on all your plumbing needs, contact the team at AACooper on 01689 485007 or info@aacooper.co.uk.

It’s a new year; a great time to get those travel plans in the diary – and also, make sure that our heating and plumbing needs are attended while we’re traversing the globe. The practicalities of travel are perhaps less attractive but always necessary; no one wants to be stuck with a bill for thousands after a fun holiday.

Cold weather is the most likely to induce heating or plumbing damage, especially if temperatures are likely to plummet below zero. The Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering (CIPHE) has some good advice for anyone travelling during winter months:

  1. A week or so before you go, have a quick check round of any exposed pipework, including outdoor taps, overflow pipes and pipes in your loft space. If your pipes could do with a bit of thermal help, take a quick trip down to your local plumbing or DIY merchant for some lagging. It’s cheap, easy to fit and something you can do yourself or call your favourite plumber if you’d rather leave it to the professionals!
  2. If your plumbing system incorporates a cold water tank (normally found in the loft space) this should be adequately insulated too. Again, you can insulate this yourself but might prefer a pro service.
  3. On the day you leave, turn off your water supply at the main stop valve (sometimes called a stop cock). If a very cold snap is forecast you may wish to drain down water in the system to prevent the pipes freezing. This can be done by opening the cold taps / flushing the toilet until the system runs dry. Make sure you remember to close the cold taps after.
  4. If you have pipework/cold water storage tank in the loft space, open the loft hatch a little so that warmer air within the house can rise.
  5. Central heating systems can normally be set to a ‘frost’ setting, which will keep the heating system ticking over at a temperature low enough to not hit you hard on the heating bills, but high enough to stop your home from going below freezing.
  6. Double check the small print on your house insurance policy too. They may require you to take the steps above to prevent water damage. If the worst did happen, you don’t want to find out your insurance policy is void.

For more information on all your plumbing needs, contact the AACooper on 01689 485007 or info@aacooper.co.uk

Source: ciphe.org.uk – “Going away for the festivities?”