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HOW TO SAVE MONEY ON YOUR HEATING

The winter months and the colder weather is here, the professionals at Heat-Tec have put together some advice on how to save money on your central heating. Our top tips will help you to prepare for the cold months and will also save you some money on your heating too.

As plumbing and heating experts, we frequently deal with problems on a daily basis when it comes to heating. Our heating tips can help you save you a few hours each day or week. So instead of coming in from work and turning the heating on, take a look at our useful information.

6 Things to do Before Turning the Heating On

Should you feel the cold really easily or you’re looking for ways to cut back on costs, why not start with your heating. There’s a number of ways that you can warm your house up, whether it’s little or no cost. To reduce bills and stay warm, here’s 6 things to do before turning the heating on..

    • Close the doors in your home and use draft excluders
    • Blankets, get snug and save money!
    • Wear a fleece or jumper
    • Use a hot water bottle
    • Eat warm meals and drink hot drinks
    • Leave the oven door open after baking

Keep your home warm is by taking a shower with the door open. If no one is in, or you’re comfortable to leave it half open, this is a great way to increase the heat across the house. Not only that, it will allow the steam to spread throughout your home instead of being closed off in one room.

Further Advice

For further advice and information on Heat-Tec’s plumbing and heating services, simply get in touch. Should you have any problems with your heating or require professional advice, our team are more than happy to help. Being experienced heating engineers means that we’re dedicated to helping all of our clients across West Wickham and the surrounding areas. Have one less thing to worry about and choose our team for all of your heating needs. Contact our team today.

Why do I need to get my boiler serviced?

When it comes to your boiler, getting it checked regularly is vital, especially in the winter months. Having your boiler serviced by a professional heating engineer, provides peace of mind as they’ll make sure that it’s working safely and efficiently, as well as detect any possible issues or potential problems that may stop it working properly. Boiler breakdowns can’t be anticipated, but by having an annual boiler service, you can rest assured that your boiler system is in working order.

For more information, take a look at our boiler service checklist.

Boiler checklist

Safety

One of the top requirements reasons when it comes to getting your boiler serviced is to make sure that it’s safe. Having a poorly maintained or faulty boilers could bring serious health risks to you and your family as they can cause carbon monoxide poisoning, which is extremely dangerous.

Efficient system

Boiler systems will go through a series of checks which will determine if the boiler is working to its maximum efficiency. A competent boiler system will run smoothly and the more efficient it runs, the better value for money system.

Save money

A lot of customers notice a decrease in their energy bills after having their boiler serviced. Well running boilers deter hidden costs which can occur from faults and deficiencies.

When’s the best time to book a boiler service?

At Solutions Plumbing and Heating we recommend that you book your boiler service in before the winter months. Having a boiler breakdown in the colder weather isn’t ideal and can be an big inconvenience for all the family, so we encourage you book in for your service as soon as possible!

What happens during the boiler service…

    • Our engineers will inspect your boiler and the controls, making sure they are working safely
    • We’ll also check for corrosion and leaks
    • The boiler casing will be removed and the system will be checked to see if the main components are functioning
    • The gas pressure will be checked to make sure that the boiler is operating at the correct gas pressure
    • A flue test will make sure that no unsafe emissions are being released from the boiler
    • The boiler’s parts will be cleaned as required
    • The boiler will be put back together and properly sealed
    • The engineer will leave a checklist with you which will include all of the relevant information needed about the safety of your system

How long will the boiler service take?

A boiler service can take from as little as 30 minutes to well over an hour, it all depends on the type of boiler system and whether any work needs to be carried out.

How much does a boiler service cost?
Should you choose Heat-Tec to carry out your boiler service, we currently have a range of brilliant special deals and offers. To book or for more information on our boiler services, simply contact our team today who will be more than happy to help!

8 Top Tips for Improving your Home

If you’ve been thinking about changing the way your living room or bedroom looks at home, you might be considering how you can do this. Whether you think your bedroom is too cold, you are sick of the old furniture you have or you aren’t happy with the mattress you are sleeping on, we present you with our top 8 techniques for enhancing your home in unusual and inventive ways.

1. Opt for an alternative heating system

Radiators are just there, usually in every room, and quite often taking up your beloved space that could be used in other ways. When you move into a new home you will generally have to position your furniture around the radiators of the house. They are there, as they always have been, and it doesn’t cross your mind to take them out (because we all need heat, right?). But what if there was an alternative heating system that you could use to spread warmth through your home without taking up so much space?

Well there is; and it comes in the shape of underfloor heating. It fits neatly beneath your flooring, providing heating for your home without the need for ugly radiators. A plumbing or heating engineer will be the right choice of tradesperson here as they will need to seamlessly install the heating below your carpets.

With this type of heating, the temperature is dispersed more evenly than radiators, allowing the heat to move through the whole room, rather than just filling a pocket at one end. Your boilers won’t have to work as hard to heat your house and your home will be the tropical haven you want it to be throughout the chilly winter months.

2. Consider changing the way you store clothing and personal belongings

Clunky wardrobes and chests of drawers can consume a lot of space. Sliding wardrobes, on the other hand, provide a convenient way of storing all clothes and personal belongings in one place. Your clothes can hang neatly on railings, while other storage boxes, shoes and accessories can have their own place to live behind the sliding doors.

Understandably, sliding wardrobes aren’t suitable for every home. You need to check first to see if the doors will fit, finding out if you have the space in your bedroom to introduce them. There are several quick steps you can take to find whether sliding doors can be installed in your bedroom.

Sliding wardrobes can change the dynamic of a bedroom. By removing other storage solutions and utilising sliding wardrobe doors, you can free up a lot of space to decorate your bedroom in new and exciting ways.

3. Try reclaimed furniture as an alternative

For those of you that aren’t sure what reclaimed furniture is, it is furniture made strictly from recycled woods and other materials that have been rescued. Reclaimed wood can come from a number of unusual places where the timber is no longer required. Roof beams, floor boards, joists, roof trusses, railway tracks, whiskey barrels, old boats and malt kilns are just a few of the places where reclaimed wood can come from, helping companies specialising in this type of furniture to get their hands on the parts they need to build.

At this point you might be wondering how reclaimed furniture will improve your bedroom. Not only is reclaimed wood great for the environment (through the recycling of natural materials), it can often be stronger and more stable. Lots of people prefer furniture made from wood that has been reclaimed because they feel it adds character and charm to their homes. Wouldn’t it be great if you could add furniture to your home that has been made from recycled materials, has a story behind it and looks amazing? Well you can, and Heyl Interiors is just one of the many great places where you can purchase such eco-friendly items.

4. Pay attention to your staircase

Staircase neglect is a real thing and homeowners need to wise up to the fact that stair parts don’t last forever. If you have lived in the same house for several decades then chances are your stair parts will look a bit worse for wear – especially households with children!

Your stair spindles may be worn and your handrails will undoubtedly be scratched in one place or another. The wood will probably look a lot different in comparison to how it did when you first moved in and your newel caps might have succumbed to a range of knocks and scrapes from staircase users over the years. In short, the older your stair parts, the more likely it is that they will need replacing.

Replacing your stair parts is a fantastic way to revitalise your staircase, adding a fresh new look to the hallway and landing in your home. UK Stair Parts is one of the leading choices for stair handrails, spindles and baserails, offering a wide range of oak, hemlock and chrome staircase parts to suit a diverse range of homes.

5. Invest in a more comfortable mattress

If you’ve had the same mattress for many years, it might be that you have become so used to it that you don’t want to try something new – this can be a problem though. You might not realise this, but your naïve mattress attachment might actually be holding you back from getting a better, more comfortable night’s sleep in which you wake to feel more rested and revitalised.

Todays mattresses have undergone some serious development and technological changes. Memory foam is just one of the modern-day advancements that has proved to be extremely popular among people that love getting a good night’s sleep. Since then, however, mattresses have jumped even further still, with industry leaders ‘Dormeo’ taking things to the next level with their Octaspring mattresses.

Octaspring mattresses are, essentially, memory foam and springs rolled into one, specifically developed to support your body better and help you get a better nights rest. So if you have found yourself searching for different ways to improve your bedroom, why not invest in a new mattress that will help you to feel better about going to bed at night and waking up in the morning… and we all know how difficult the latter can be!

6. Think about how a rug could make the flooring feel

Quite often, large bedrooms with lots of floor space can feel empty and cold. Even by making the switch from hard flooring to carpets, a large bedroom can be hard to fill. Of course, most of your furniture will be positioned around the room, next to a wall, neatly in a convenient place. But what on earth do you put in the middle of a large bedroom to fill the void and make it feel more homely?

Of course, you could invest in a rodeo bull if have some serious space to work with, but for most of us not living in a mansion, a rug will certainly do the job.

Whether you reside in a modern or traditional home, there are plenty of rug options out there to suit your tastes. Selectarug can help you to find the perfect rug to fill your empty floor space, improving the way your bedroom floor looks and feels.

7. Add a bit of glamour to the bedroom

There are plenty of ways you can add sparkle to your bedroom to make it a bit more glamourous. Replacing your lightshades, introducing new curtains (see below) and purchasing new bedding are just a few of the conventional ways you can add glamour to your room, without spending too much money.

Introducing a new fancy mirror is another increasingly-popular, glitzy way to improve the way your bedroom looks. Hair, make-up and beauty enthusiasts have turned to Hollywood mirrors with lights to brighten up their lives and add glamour to their bedrooms. The lighting isn’t just for show though. Professional use this type of mirror to ensure even the finest details aren’t missed.

If you’re happy with your current mattress or if you already have a beautiful rug, a Hollywood mirror might be exactly what your bedroom is missing. Turn to Reflections of me when you need some more glamour in your life.

8. Replace your curtains

Generally speaking, your curtains will occupy a fair amount of wall/window space throughout each room. When they are open, they will sit delicately either side of your window. Whilst they are drawn, they will protect you from the light outside, enhance your privacy and add colour to your room.

Depending on the theme of your home your curtains can either make or break the mood. They can complement your windows and help you to coordinate with other soft furnishings throughout your home. They can also blend into the walls and go unnoticed for many years if left to do so. If a considerable amount of time has gone by since you last updated your curtains, why not consider a change to brighten up the room or enhance the theme you have going on? Blackout curtains are a popular choice among people that like to sleep in total darkness, while fitted blinds can help to improve your privacy without blocking out all the light completely.

Dolly’s Interiors are one of the leading choices for made to measure fitted curtains, offering a range of solutions to help you find what you are looking for.


So there you have it, 8 inventive ways to improve your home and give it a new lease of life. Whether you are looking for extra heat in the winter, space saving solutions or alternative décor, we hope we have helped to point you in the right direction. If you still aren’t happy with the way your home looks, you could always move house

Do Gas Engineers need to be Gas Safe Registered?

When it comes to gas services in the UK, it’s now extended beyond just fixing gas kitchen appliances. In addition to gas kitchen appliance repair work, some gas engineers today may undertake central heating installation and repair. Central heating work is highest specialised and gas engineers must have a Gas Safe Registration. Gas Safe Registration is an official stamp for gas safety. By law a gas engineer must be on the Gas Safe Register to carry out any work on gas appliances and gas installation across the United Kingdom. This was introduced in April 2009 regarding supplant CORGI registration. CORGI registration is no longer valid, so you can’t legally work without Gas Safe Registration in situations today.

It is designed to protect property owners from unsafe work situation which may occur. To become Gas Safe Registered, an engineer needs to approve capability in gas related assignments in the UK’s recognised assessment centres. The aim of the registration is to maintain records of experienced gas engineers, as many gas heating professionals in the UK offer gas heating services, so it’s important that they should be Gas Safe certified. Only Gas Safe certified engineers are permitted to undertake gas work.

Before hiring a gas engineer for your gas work, you must check what work they are qualified for, you can do this by asking them questions about their qualifications. This can also be verified by a registration, they’ll have been given an ID number, all authentic Gas Safe Registered engineers will carry ID cards. The main points of an authentic Gas Safe car include…

  • Security hologram
  • Full contact details
  • Issue and expiry date
  • The services provided
  • Updated qualifications
  • Areas of work that they are qualified in

The point of this certification is all about your safety, if an unprofessional Gas Safe registered engineer does your gas job, you could be risking the safety of you and your property. Gas leakage can cause irreparable damage to property and lives. If by any chance a gas leakage occurs in a building, only Gas Safe registered engineers can fix the problem. So before hiring an engineer, make sure that they are on the Gas Safe Register. Even when it comes to regular servicing of your central heating radiators, a Gas Safe Engineer can save you money on energy bills.

For more info, simply call the team at Heat-Tec today.

5 Common Plumbing Problems

At Heat-Tec, we provide a range of services and we’re always working on different jobs and problems. Based on our experience, we’ve put together various popular issues that we usually get called out to. Take a look and see if any of your plumbing problems can be prevented.

Plumbing Problems

Over the years, our plumbing services across Bromley have involved us dealing with a number of clients who all require different services. From smaller issues such as a leaking tap, to a complete bathroom installation, at Heat-Tec we’re here to meet all your requirements. Plumbing is an important aspect of any household so no matter how small or urgent the issue is, we’re always on hand to help and make sure that your home is fixed and repaired as soon as possible. When it comes to our most common services, the most frequent jobs we work on include…

  • Leaking taps
  • Shower repairs
  • Troubles with boiler
  • Burst pipes
  • Bathroom installations

With plumbing in your house being vital, at Heat-Tec we take all your services seriously, anything from a small repair to a full installation, we can be there to make sure that your plumbing has been repaired. So should like to benefit from the services that we provide, we ask that you can get in touch today to discuss the next steps of the process.

Contact Heat-Tec for plumbing services

Heat-Tec have years of experience in dealing with clients across Bromley who are experiencing problems with their plumbing or heating. So if you’re looking for an experienced and knowledgeable plumber to come and attend your plumbing needs, Heat-Tec are at your call.

No matter if your require our services during an emergency or at a time that suits you, Heat-Tec will be there to help. Our services are second to none and we will always do our best to ensure that all of your need have been covered. No matter how complex the project may seem, nothing is off limits for Heat-Tec. So what are you waiting for? Get in touch with our team today to discuss your needs and find out more on the benefits of choosing , we look forward to hearing from you soon.

Types of boilers

Deciding which boiler will make an efficient and practical fit into your home and lifestyle can be confusing, so we’ve put together this guide to help you choose the right new boiler for you. There are three main types of boilers, this includes combi boilers, system boilers and regular boilers, they each have a range of their own advantages and what homes they work best in.

Should your new boiler be fitted into your existing system, then it’s important to consider the cleanliness of your existing pipework and radiators as this could cause damage to your new boiler.

Combi boilers

A combination of ‘combi’ boiler is both a high efficiency water heater and a central heating boiler in a single compact unit, combi boilers heat water directly from the mains when you turn a tap on, so you won’t need a hot water storage cylinder or a cold water storage tank in the roof space.

These type of boilers are very cost effective and energy efficient as the water is heated instantly rather than being heated and then stored in a cylinder. An extra benefit is that hot water is delivered by mains pressure, meaning you can have a power shower with no need for a separate pump.

The benefits of combi boiler installations include…

  • Compact in size, making combi boilers great for smaller properties
  • Ideal where there is little loft space
  • No need to have a hot water cylinder, meaning an increase in living space
  • No cold water tank storage meaning more loft space
  • No risk of pipework freezing
  • Less pipework in the home, meaning the installation cost is cheaper

System boilers

These type of boilers need a cylinder for storing hot water, however, the major heating and hot water system components are built into the boiler themselves, making it quicker and easier to install. There’s also no need for a tank in the loft, so it’s an option in a home with little or no loft space or where the space is earmarked for a conversion.

System boilers are compatible with solar water heating systems which deliver environmental benefits as well as lower energy bills.

The benefits of system boilers…

  • Great for homes with more than one bathroom
  • Constant supplies of hot water to a number of taps at the same time
  • No need for a loft tank, creating more space and less time worrying about leaks or frost damage
  • Economical to run
  • Built-in components make installation quicker and neater

Regular boilers

Regular boilers, these can also be known as traditional or conventional or heat only boilers, they’re ideally suited to homes that already have a traditional heating and hot water system which is linked to a separate hot water cylinder as well as a tank that maintains the water level of the central heating system.

Regular boilers may be the best option when it comes to replacing an existing boiler if the property has an older radiator system, it may not be able to cope with the higher water pressure that is delivered by system or combi boilers.

The benefits of regular boilers…

  • Perfect for homes where a lot of hot water is used at the same time
  • Ideal for properties with more than one bathroom
  • A good choice when it comes to water pressure being low
  • Compatible with solar water heating systems for a lower carbon footprint and lower energy costs

Should you require any further information, please do not hesitate to get in touch with a member of our team.

Tips to keep your central heating running efficiently and effectively

A well cared for and looked after central heating system helps to keep homes warm and cosy. Looking after one isn’t difficult at all, so take a look at these 6 ways to ensure your central heating runs efficiently and effectively.

Check your radiators

Issues tend to occur when cold air gets trapped in the radiators and air pockets prevent the heated water circulating and makes your home feel cold. By checking your radiators for cold patches, you can test them and bleed them if necessary. Keys to bleed the radiator can easily be found from most DIY shops which sell them for around £1.

Keeping an eye on the boiler pressure

To keep your boiler running at maximum efficiency, the pressure bar needs to be right, it’s easy to do, simply check your boiler and make sure it’s set between 1 and 1.5 bar.

Pipe lagging keeps the heat flowing

When temperatures drop, pipes can freeze, not only does this effect your central heating and how it works, it may mean that you need to replace burst pipes. Ready-made pipe lagging is available to buy, it is easy to use and provides years of protection.

Check the pilot light

If you have a gas boiler, it’s important to keep an eye on the colour of your pilot light, when everything is operating well, the light should be a strong blue colour. A yellow flame could mean that the boiler needs servicing as it could potentially be releasing carbon monoxide. Annual boiler services will ensure you get the best performance out of your boiler and make sure that you always call a Gas Safe Registered Engineer.

Ensure your safety

Smoke and carbon monoxide are lethal and silent, it’s vital that you put both smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in your home, these can be bought as separate or combined alarms at around £20 to £25, a small price to pay.

Setting your boiler to suit you

Help your boiler run more efficiently by setting it to fit in with your daily routine, heat and hot water in the morning and evening, then have your system turned off when you’re out. Using a timer thermostat on your boiler to set heat and water to come on and off at different times and different temperatures, you’ll cut your energy bills and usage.

My toilet won’t flush

Should you be experiencing the common problem, your toilet won’t flush, we understand that trying to work out what has happened can be frustrating. There’s no need to worry though, take a look at these popular reasons it could be happening and why and how you can fix them.

Clogged toilet

Sometimes, using too much toilet paper, or attempting to flush anything other than toilet paper down the toilet can clog the pipe and make further flushing impossible.

Using a toilet plunger or toilet auger to push the waste through and allow the toilet to flush, or even using a plunger to create suction that will help dislodge the blocking and the flushing action will then move it down the pipe. Should you be experiencing this problem frequently, you may decide to consider using a thinner type of toilet paper, particularly if yourself or others of your household use a lot in one sitting.

The water level in the tank is to low

The water level in a toilet’s tank should be approximately one inch below the top of the tank’s overflow tube. Should the water in the tank be too low, simply check the water valve, as it may have accidentally have been turned off. If the water valve is turned off, then turn it on and monitor the water level in the tank to ensure it’s refilling to the correct level, then flush the toilet to make sure it’s flushing properly again.

The flapper is bent

Remove the toilet tank lid and inspect the rubber flapper, this is designed to release water when the toilet is flushed and then close the water intake hole afterwards so that the amount of water remains in the tank.

The chain isn’t working

Sometimes lift the chain, this attaches the flapper to the flushing handle on the outside of the toilet, it can have too much slack and make the handle unable to raise the flapper and flush the toilet.

This problem can be solved by adjusting the length of the chain to shorten it so that the chain can provide pull sufficient to raise the flapper off the flush tube and allow water to flow when the handle is pulled.

Should none of these tips rectify the problem, there’s no need to worry, simply call our friendly team today who will be more than happy to help.

How to Prevent Frozen Pipes

With winter well and truly setting in, have you started to feel the chill yet? With the weather getting colder and December fast approaching, now is a good time to think about your pipes and how you can protect them from freezing or even bursting during the winters. As plumbers we have compiled together a few things that you can do to prevent your pipes freezing this winter.

How To Prevent Frozen Pipes

Take Care Of Your Outside Pipes

Outside pipes can regularly freeze in the cold weather, if you can isolate the water supply to the outside tap with an internal shut off valve, then this will help to prevent problems from occurring.

Use Insulated Foam Sleeving

Pipes in lofts, basements or outside are the most likely pipes to freeze as these areas aren’t heated. They also tend to lack insulation, but you can change this by insulating them with foam based sleeves. The thinner the pipe is, the thicker the insulation will need to be, as thinner pipes are more likely to freeze than thicker ones. It’s important to make sure that there are no gaps at valves or bends.

Don’t Insulate Underneath Your Tank

This is important if your tank is in the loft. Your loft will be even colder if its floor is insulated, as this will be blocking the heat that normally rises from the room below. If you can avoid it, don’t insulate the underneath of your tank – but do insulate the top and sides to prevent the heat from escaping.

Fix Dripping Taps

If a dripping tap freezes over, the water in the pipe can also freeze, which creates a blockage. Make sure to replace washers on taps regularly to avoid them from dripping; a plumber should be able to carry this out for you.

Get Your Boiler Services

If you haven’t already serviced your boiler ready for winter, there’s no time like the present. Having your boiler looked at by a professional plumber is the best way to protect it against breakdowns.

Leave Your Heating On

If you’re lucky enough to be escaping to somewhere a little warmer this winter and leaving your house to fend for itself, consider leaving the heating on at a low temperature. While turning it off completely will save you money, you could end up regretting it if a pipe bursts and causes expensive damage to your home. While you’re away, leaving your loft hatch open is also a good idea as it allows heat to circulate around your tank and pipes. If your home is going to be unoccupied for a long time, consider turning off the water at the stopcock and draining down the system so there is no water left in the pipes. You may also want to ask a friend to check the house regularly.

Find Your Stopcock

The most important thing to know this winter is where your stopcock is, so if the worst does happen then at least you can turn your water off.

Hard and Soft Water Explained

Many people hear the term hard and soft water and dimply don’t understand what it means or what the difference is between them. As a professional plumber, we have compiled together a handy list of answers to some of the most commonly asked questions.

What’s The Difference Between Hard And Soft Water?

Hard water contains high amounts of dissolved minerals such as calcium and magnesium. This is absorbed when the water comes into contact with rock such as chalk or limestone. Water takes a long journey to get to our homes, so it often picks up minerals along the way. Soft water on the other hand, contains fewer minerals, which the water remaining more in its natural state.

What Does This Mean For Everyday Water Usage?

When hard water is heated, limescale and deposits can build up in your pipes and appliances. This means things like your shower may need to be cleaned more often. Regularly build in pipes can recue the water flow. Hard water also make soaps and conditioners, less effective when they’re used.

Home appliances such as washing machines and dishwashers, usually need to work harder when there used in areas that suffer from hard water. If not maintained correctly, your appliance might end up with shorter lifespans. Improving things like the salt in dishwashers can help negate the effect of hardwater.

Soft water is generally preferable when it comes to cleaning as it can help things like glassware end up cleaner, and reduces the amount of build up and scum in appliances and showers. People in areas that have soft water, generally use less detergent and less energy, when using cleaning appliances. Soft water can also be quite resistant to chlorine, which isn’t great new if you’re lucky enough to own a swimming pool.

What Is Healthier?

Both hard water and soft water are perfectly safe to use, although hard water often tastes better, it can be less effective when used in appliances. Soft water is great for washing hair and a range of other uses, but be resistance to chemicals that are added to the water.

Limescale can easily build up in kettles and create a brown scum on your tea or coffee, this isn’t harmful, but it just doesn’t like too pleasant. Regularly cleaning your appliances and using anti limescale tablets can help breakdown limescale and keep your appliances working for longer.

Can You Make Hard Water Soft?

There are some ways that you can make hard water soft, one of these ways is by adding salt to the hard water. A professional plumber we believe in helping our customers who suffer from hard water improve the quality of their water and the performance of their appliances. An alternative is to use a conditioner or scale inhibitor. Rather than removing the minerals and replacing them with something else, this alters the water so that minerals pass through the system. This prevents the build-up of limescale and your water is still safe to drink.