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Underfloor heating installers
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Underfloor heating, cost, installation and running – an experts guide

Looking for an efficient heating solution that’s better than conventional radiators? Underfloor heating could be your answer. Here’s an experts guide to everything you need to know about underfloor heating.

Underfloor heating is now more accessible to more properties and budgets than ever before, so what do you need to know before considering this smart alternative to the old-fashioned radiator? West Wickham based Heat-Tec are experts in installing underfloor heating (UFH for short), company founder Dave Lawson shares his knowledge on underfloor heating here. 

Even heat distribution

The best benefit of installing underfloor heating is the way it heats your room. A true radiant heat system like UFH heats your room evenly from the floor up to the ceiling, where conventional radiators heat areas of your room from a set point wasting heat at a high level. You will find an even temperature distribution across the entire room.

To maintain the same level of comfort you had before, be prepared to lower the temperature of your thermostat by a few degrees too. You may find your old radiators were wasting heat to reach the desired temperature on your thermostat.   

It saves on bills

If you go for a water-based underfloor heating system that uses your boiler there are money-saving benefits to reap. When installed the underfloor heating system requires the water to be heated to a maximum of 50°c. Compare this to the 70°c to 90°c needed to heat most radiators and you’ll immediately see less energy use and a decent saving on your heating bills.

It saves on space

With underfloor heating, you’ll find more interior design options are suddenly available to you, with no need for radiators on the walls your furniture can be placed wherever you like, and more style choices like sleek minimalist looks can easily be adopted.

You can fit it to an old house

With so many new builds now coming with underfloor heating It’s a common misconception underfloor heating can’t be installed on existing properties without major work being taken out. The main thing to consider is your floor height and if you have room to increase it. This will save from the more costly approach of lowering the floor height to accommodate. Fortunately, there are some excellent slimline systems available now like

You can also cool your house

Sometimes we find our UK houses are so heavily insulated we struggle to cool them in the summer heat, it’s good to know then in this changing climate wet underfloor heating systems can actually pump cool water through the pipes, providing a cooling effect to the floor and the room above.

Underfloor heating installation cost

At Heat-Tec we’ve been installing boiler based underfloor heating systems for many years now and have seen the products improving in value and design year on year.

If you’re based in West Wickham and looking at investing in an underfloor heating system then Heat-Tec’s heating specialists have you covered for all your installation, repair and servicing needs.

All of our heating specialists are fully qualified and gas safe registered so you know you’re in safe hands no matter what your underfloor heating needs are. So give the heating experts at Heat-tec of West Wickham a call on 020 8212 7824 or e-mail sales@pumpexpress.co.uk

As well as underfloor heating installations in West Wickham, we also offer an installation service throughout Croydon, Bromley, Mitcham, Orpington, Caterham, Sevenoaks, Beckenham and the surrounding areas. Get in touch with us to see how we can help.

5 Reasons to Install a New Boiler
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5 Reasons to Install a New Boiler

Although its summer the efficiency of your new boiler may not seem as important, or be your current priority, but have you made future plans when it comes to winter, when your boiler will be getting used more. There are lots of benefits when it comes to planning for the future of a new boiler installation or boiler maintenance. We’ve listed our top 5 reasons as to why you should become proactive when it comes to upgrading your boiler.

Improve Efficiency

You may think that your old boiler is ‘ticking along’ just fine and maybe has a good few years left in it yet. This could potentially be the case, when was the last time you sat and weighed up the costs of repeated repairs and the lower efficiency of an older model compared with a modern system, this is simply a false economy and the money in which you are spending could be more beneficial in other areas of the home.

Avoid Emergency Repairs

As highlighted above, waiting until your boiler breaks or needs repairs before upgrading can be a costly approach which delays the inevitable and isn’t cost effective in the long run. If your boiler breaks down altogether this is only going to cause delay for you and your family, meaning you could be left without hot water or heating whilst the new boiler is installed. It is best to consider the long term investment over the short term pay out.

Increase Space

Many old boilers can be inconveniently located within your home, the can be large and awkward in size. Replacing your boiler can be an opportunity to reorganise the layout of the boiler cupboard which could even move the installation away from the floor, creating more space.

Ensure Safety

Whether you are a home owner or a landlord you will need to ensure the safety of your tenants. It is a legal responsibility to make sure your property complies with relevant safety legislation. If your gas boiler is old or poorly maintained these gas boilers can release poisonous carbon monoxide gas, often known as the silent killer, as it is tasteless and odourless. According to statistics from the NHS, as many as 50 people a year are killed by carbon monoxide poisoning due to faulty heating appliances.

Environmentally Friendly

Old boilers consume much larger amounts of fuel than modern systems and waste heat, which is costly for not only you and your tenants but costly for the environment too. Modern boilers are much more efficient and environmentally friendly.

Remember that the installation of any new boiler must always be carried out by a Gas Safe registered engineer! Contact Heat Tec today, and you’ll quickly discover the reasons for our incredible reputation when it comes to our boiler replacement and installations.

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

Oil boilers

 

Oil central heating systems work in similar ways to gas powered systems, but instead of using a gas boiler, they use oil-fired boilers to heat the water. This provide the central heating through radiators and hot water through the taps in your home. The main difference between the system is that you’ll need to have your oil supply delivered and stored in a tank.

You may also find that both heat-only and combination condensing oil boilers are on the market. Most oil-fired combination boilers have an internal hot water store which supplies domestic hot water rather than instantaneous heating which is more common is gas boilers.

The benefits of oil boilers…

  • Much more efficient fuel than gas, meaning you’ll get a good return on every unit of energy
  • The price of oil fluctuates so it may be more cost effective
  • some modern oil boiler systems can save up to 90%
  • Replacement parts and system is very simple

For more information on oil boilers, click here.

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 simply 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 rescue 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.

5 Signs your Boiler Isn’t Working Properly

Sluggish boilers are inefficient, boilers that are maintained and regularly serviced can improve the efficiency of how your hot water and heating run. Although it’s hard to understand if your boiler is running correctly or how it should be there are a few key points, which should ensure your boiler and central heating system run better.

By choosing boiler a boiler expert who specialises in boiler repairs can help to ensure that your boiler is working how it should be. If you identify the signs that your boiler isn’t working correctly, then it’s time to call out a heating engineer. We’ve compiled together a few questions to ask yourself, to see if your boiler is running to optimal efficiency.

Questions To Ask Yourself

1. Is your boiler using more gas than it should be?

If you find yourself with constantly high energy bills that don’t seem to reflect your true usage, then it could be the signs of something being wrong with your boiler. Even though peoples energy bills fluctuate all year around, if you suddenly notice a sharp rise in the amount of gas your using in your property, then it could be a sign that something simply isn’t right.

2. Can you hear strange clunking sounds?

If your boiler, pipes or radiators are starting to make strange clunking sounds or noises they don’t usually make, then it could be time to get it checked. Most strange noises that occur usually tend to need a power flushing, to clean out the systems and pipework to get it running back how it should be. Although it could be a different issue which may require a boiler repair being carried out.

3. Are you getting hot water and heating?

Although it might seem like a strange question, most boilers that aren’t correctly maintained simply don’t produce the right amount of heat from radiators or hot water pressure, that they’re capable of. Keeping using both your hot water and heating throughout the year, can help to ensure the temperatures you receive are the same all year around, if you notice a temperature change, then it could be a sign of something being wrong with your boiler.

4. Do you have cold spots in your property?

Cold spots are an indicator of a poorly functioning boiler or a blocked central heating system. If you have cold spots occurring on your central heating system and radiators, then it’s important to get a heating engineer out to check them. Although most cold spot problems are simple to repair, it’s better to get it checked to make sure it’s not something more serious.

5. Is your pressure kept regulated?

If the pressure in your boiler keeps dropping or always goes to high, then this can cause your hot water and heating pressures to fluctuate. It’s recommended to keep your pressure levels somewhere over and one and below a three, to operate within best parameters. If your boiler suffers irregular temperature pressures then it’s important to get it checked by a trained and gas safe registered engineer, to ensure the boiler is kept running smoothly.