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28

April

Boilers of the Future

By JR | Blog

With energy prices skyrocketing and energy efficiency a hot topic, you may wonder what this will mean for your gas central heating system.

Don’t worry, we’ve done the hard work for you. Here’s a short guide on what the boilers of the future might look like.

Boilers of the future

 

Firstly, gas boilers are not being banned!

You might have heard that gas boilers are being banned from 2025. But we’re pleased to say that this is not the case. You won’t be able to install a gas boiler in a new build property from 2025. But that does not apply to existing homes or boilers.

The ruling also only applies to homes built from 2025 onwards. So, even if you live in a newly built home now, it won’t apply to you. And, if you live in an older property, there’s no need to get rid of your existing boiler until it needs replacing.

However, if it’s older than 10 years, your boiler is likely to be less energy efficient anyway. In that case, it would be worth considering a replacement to a more energy efficient model.

 

Government drive to reduce carbon emissions

The main reason that gas boilers won’t be installed in new homes is because of the government’s targets on reducing carbon emissions. Their Future Homes and Buildings Standard wants all new homes built from 2025 to produce 75-80% fewer carbon emissions than they currently do.

Achieving this target is unlikely with natural gas boilers. So, the government is telling home builders and developers that new build properties will need to have alternative fuel sources to natural gas.

 

Boilers of the future: alternatives to gas central heating

There are lots of renewable heating technologies already available and more are being developed. These include heat pumps, hybrid systems, electric systems and hydrogen boilers. New builds after 2025 will have to use one of these alternative sources.

The most likely replacement for natural gas boilers is hydrogen boilers. This is because, unlike natural gas, which is a fossil fuel and finite resource, hydrogen fuel is manufactured. It also doesn’t give off carbon dioxide – its only by-product is water, making it a more environmentally friendly option.

 

Will I need to switch to an alternative fuel source eventually?

While nothing is currently set in stone, it’s likely that all homes will eventually need to replace their natural gas heating. But this is 20-30 years away, by which time the technology will be in place. Your existing boiler will have been replaced probably a couple of times over by then!

What’s likely to happen is that a blend of hydrogen and natural gas will be introduced. In fact, this is already being tested in some parts of the UK. The initial ‘blend’ is likely to be 20% hydrogen and 80% natural gas, with the amount of hydrogen increasing over time.

100% hydrogen boilers will likely be on the market by around 2030, with a full switch probable around 2050. So, as you can see, it’s not overnight!

Given the average life of a gas boiler today is 10-15 years, your current boiler will have been replaced by at least one hydrogen ready boiler by the time natural gas is switched off.

 

Is an electric boiler a good alternative?

While an electric boiler is an option, it’s not one we recommend right now. The technology is still in its infancy and electric boilers are more expensive to run – up to 4 times more costly!

You can’t just replace a gas boiler like-for-like with an electric boiler either. Much more work is needed, which would make the installation costs higher as well. This may change in future, of course, but right now we don’t advise considering an electric boiler.

 

How can I become more energy efficient with my heating now?

If you are trying to be greener with your heating, the easiest thing to do is look at your energy usage and minimise it where you can.

You could also have a smart heating control installed, which you operate from your smartphone, and which helps you to minimise energy usage.

If your boiler is an older model, consider replacing it with a new A-rated condensing boiler. These maximise efficiency, which help you reduce your heating bills and your carbon footprint.

You can also read our energy saving tips to help you with your energy efficiency. 

If you would like more information on future boiler technology, to upgrade your existing boiler to an energy efficient A-rated one, or to have a smart control installed for your heating, contact us on 020 8462 8822 or email info@stevensonheating.co.uk.

28

April

Energy saving tips

By JR | Blog

With energy prices now at an all-time high, you may well be wondering how you can save energy and cut your bills at home.

Our energy saving tips will help you use your heating, plumbing and electrics more efficiently, which should help to keep your bills down.

Energy saving tips - worried younger couple

Energy saving tips for your heating

1. Turn the thermostat down a degree or two – turning your room thermostat down a degree or two will help you save energy while also keeping your home at a steady temperature. You probably won’t notice the difference and it could save you around £80 a year.

2. Only have your heating on when you need it – if you’re out during the day or the evening, don’t be tempted to keep your heating on low, as this isn’t actually very efficient. It’s better to turn the heating on only when you need it.

3. Only heat the rooms you’re using – if you’re not using your spare bedroom or other rooms for any period, turn the radiator valves down, so you’re not wasting energy by heating the rooms you’re not in.

4. Use a timer or smart control – if you have a heating timer or a smart control, you can set your heating to come on just before you get home, so it’s warm by the time you’re there.

5. Don’t block radiators or vents – while it might be tempting to put your sofa in front of the radiator, it won’t help to keep the rest of the room warm. Keep your radiators or heating vents clear to allow the heat to radiate around the room.

6. Don’t dry your wet laundry on the radiator – that will simply dry the clothes and create steam, which can cause other problems like damp or mould. If you can’t dry laundry outside, a heated airer is more efficient and inexpensive. A tumble dryer uses a lot of energy, so use it sparingly when you want to save money.

7. Keep your internal doors closed – this is an easy way to ensure the heat stays in the room you’re in. Close doors in rooms you don’t want to heat. This stops cooler air mixing and cooling the overall temperature down.

8. Close your windows – don’t let heat escape through an open window! While you might want to ventilate a room, try to do that at a different time of day. When you’re not using the room or needing it to be warm is ideal.

9. Draw curtains and blinds – curtains and blinds are especially helpful for keeping the heat in (or out in the summer!). Draw them as soon as light starts to fade, to keep the room warm and prevent drafts.

10. Bleed your radiators – your boiler will need to work harder if trapped air or sludge gets in the radiators. This makes your energy bills more expensive as well as not heating your room! Regular radiator bleeding helps to keep your heating system clear. It prevents damage as well as reducing your energy bills.

11. Turn down the temperature on your boiler – did you know you can turn down the temperature your hot water is heated to? Turning your hot water down a degree or two will help cut your fuel bills. And you won’t really notice the difference in your bath or shower. Simply adjust your boiler controls to alter the temperature. The water temperature will normally be set at 65 degrees, but you can turn it down to 60 degrees.

12. Add thermostats to every radiator – with a thermostatic radiator valve on each radiator, you can personalise the temperature in every room. Keep the thermostats turned up in rooms you use more frequently but turn them down in rooms you don’t.

13. Get a smart control – these help you monitor your energy usage and mean you can control your heating from your phone. Ideal if you don’t come home at the same time every day or are out at different times. Over time, they can also detect patterns in your usage. They will advise on ways you can cut down or adapt your energy usage.

14. Keep your boiler maintained – of course, keeping your boiler in tip-top condition is the best way to make sure you have energy efficient heating for your home when you need it. Be sure to contact us to get your annual heating service booked in.

 

Energy saving tips for your electricity

1. Switch off appliances you’re not using – it can be easy to leave some appliances such as cooking appliances, televisions and games consoles on when you aren’t using them. This applies to laptops and computers too. Turn them all off at the wall to save energy.

2. Don’t leave things on standby – you might think your TV is turned off, but if the switch on the wall is still turned on, your set is on standby and still using some electricity!

3. Don’t leave USB cables plugged in – do you have USB sockets directly in your wall? If so, don’t leave the cables plugged in as this uses electricity. If you charge devices via a USB attached to a plug, make sure you turn that off when not using it.

4. Switch off lights when you’re not using them – leaving them on for the next person or because you will go back in the room later is probably costing more than you think. Remember to switch them off when you leave the room. Replace your bulbs with LED bulbs too, as these are more energy efficient.

5. Reduce washing machine usage – if you can do one less wash a week, ensure your machine is full with each load. Use an eco-setting if you have one. And turn the temperature down to 30 degrees (most detergents cope with this, except for heavily stained items). BUT do occasionally do a hot wash to get rid of bacteria and prevent odours from building up.

6. Dry clothes outside or on an airer – drying your clothes outside when the sun is out means you won’t have to pay to dry them. Likewise a heated airer will provide you with a more efficient way of drying them in the colder months. It may be tempting to put clothes on or in front of your radiators to dry. But blocking the radiator will result in the rest of the room being cold (see above).

7. Only boil as much water as you need – we have all filled the kettle or saucepan up with more water than we need just to make sure we have enough. But boiling too much means you’ll use more electricity as well as waste water.

8. Use the microwave for heating / reheating food – it’s more energy efficient than the oven. A slow cooker is also a very energy efficient cooking appliance.

 

 

Energy saving tips for your water

1. Don’t leave the taps running – when cleaning your teeth or washing up, remember to turn the taps off when you aren’t using the water. The same can be said for the shower or bath taps as well.

2. Only use your dishwasher when it’s full – by only using your dishwasher when it’s full, you will cut down on the number of cycles it does a week, helping you to save water.

3. Use eco-mode on your appliances – if your dishwasher or washing machine have eco-mode settings, use these to help save on water and energy.

4. Shower rather than bath – showering uses less water than having a bath, and keep showers shorter, where possible to maximise your Try turning the pressure down on your showers too, another easy way to save water.

5. Fix dripping taps and leaks – not only is a dripping tap frustrating, it also wastes a lot of water. The same can be said for a leak. It can cause damage to your home over time as well as costing you more in bills.

 

And finally…

Why not consider one of our heating service plans? Our service plans will help you maintain your heating system in good order. They’ll also help spread the cost of your annual service and any repairs.

We offer three levels of cover to suit your needs:

Basic Plan – ideal if your boiler is still under warranty

Standard Plan – covers for your annual service and labour costs

Advanced Plan – includes your annual service, labour and parts.

We can also assist you in specific add-ons for your household electrics and gas fires, as well as landlord options. See our Service Plans page to find out more.

Do you have any of your own energy saving tips that you’d like to share with us?

Contact us on info@stevensonheating.co.uk or request a callback to find out more or get a quote for improving the energy efficiency of your heating in your home.

28

March

Meet the team: Liam Titchener

By JR | Blog

Each month, we’re interviewing a different member of our team. This month we spoke to Installations Engineer Liam Titchener, who has recently become Gas Safe registered.

Installations Engineer Liam Titchener

We’re thrilled to announce that Liam has recently completed his training and is now Gas Safe registered.

Liam is pictured centre above with his Gas Safe registration certificate (with George Tolley, left and Neil Stevenson, right). He’s been working with us for a while, studying for his apprenticeship and then his Gas Safe qualifications.

 

How long have you worked for Stevenson’s, Liam?

I have worked at Stevenson’s for just over three years as a heating engineer. Before that, I worked in the office for a year around eight years ago, booking in surveys and jobs.

 

What relevant training and qualifications have you done?

I studied for an apprenticeship through Bromley College (part of London South East Colleges). Through my apprenticeship I gained an NVQ Level 2 in Plumbing and Heating.

I’ve also recently studied at Carshalton College for my Gas Safe qualification, which means I’m now Gas Safe registered. Overall, my training to become qualified and registered took me around three and a half years.

 

What’s involved in your role?

As Installations Engineer, I mainly carry out boiler installations, but I also do a bit of servicing, service jobs and plumbing jobs.

 

What did you do before working at Stevenson’s?

When I left school, I studied Sports Development and Training at college. I became an FA Level 2 Football Coach, coaching in primary schools around the local area. A few times, I was also a body double on some football adverts, which was an interesting and exciting experience!

 

What would you like to achieve in your current role?

I will continue to uphold the installations department’s aim, which is to carry out boiler installations professionally and cater to customers’ needs. This gives you a rewarding feeling once the job is complete.

 

What are your future career ambitions?

I would like to gain more knowledge and experience and progress up within Stevenson Heating.

 

What do you like about working for Stevenson Heating?

The supportive and friendly working environment!

 

Do you have any hobbies or interests?

I am a season ticket holder at Chelsea and have followed them both home and away for as long as I can remember!

 

Do you prefer tea or coffee?

Coffee in the morning, and then tea during the day.

Did you enjoy reading about Liam Titchener? If you’d like to read more about our other staff, click here.

19

January

Save Energy Save Money with our Boiler Offer

By JR | Blog

Upgrade your boiler with our Save Energy Save Money offer

Save energy and save money this winter when you upgrade to an energy efficient boiler with us.

 

Stevenson Heating eco boiler offer 2022 landscape

 

We’re delighted to tell you about our Winter 2022 boiler offer! Save money and save energy on your heating.

We’ll give you £300 off the cost of a new eco-friendly A-rated boiler, along with a free SMART heating control, worth £200. Simply book your installation with us by the end of March to qualify (see below for more info).

 

Why upgrade?

Is your boiler getting old? Is it not working efficiently? Or maybe it’s costing you lots to maintain and repair.

If any of these things are true for you, it’s definitely time for an upgrade! In any case, boilers over ten years old waste a lot of valuable energy.

New A-rated condensing boilers are far more energy efficient. Did you know, they improve efficiency to over 90%, compared to an average of 60% for older boilers?

This means that 90%+ of the energy goes to heating your home (with the rest used to operate the boiler). Older boilers use around 40% of energy just to operate!

A-rated boilers are also kinder to the environment and can help to reduce your energy bills by around 15%-30% too.

 

Minimise energy price increases

With the energy price cap rising in April by around 51%, fuel bills are likely to soar for many households.

So, upgrading to an A-rated energy efficient boiler can help save money on your energy bills and minimise the impact of the price cap increase.

 

Free SMART control for your heating

As part of the Save Energy Save Money offer, we’ll give you a free Drayton Wiser smart control for your boiler (alongside your installation), worth approximately £200.

Drayton wiser smart control - hi res

A smart control allows you to control your heating remotely from your phone or other device. That means you can turn your heating on when you leave work, for example, and it’s all toasty by the time you get home! Ideal if you don’t go out or come home at the same time every day.

With a smart control, you can usually just heat the rooms you’re using too. So, you don’t need to waste energy in the rooms you’re not in.

 

Be ready for future boiler changes

You may have heard that you won’t be able to install a gas boiler after 2025. This is only true for new build homes. If you have a gas boiler in an existing property, you will still be able to replace it after 2025. For a time, at least.

We’re likely to see more sustainable heating options become available, like ground source heat pumps and hydrogen boilers. Hydrogen is a carbon-free alternative to natural gas, so that’s the most likely solution to replace the majority of existing gas boilers.

At the moment, gas boiler manufacturers are working on greener alternatives. And boilers that will take a blend of hydrogen and natural gas are already available. This includes manufacturers like Worcester Bosch, for whom we’re a registered installer.

 

So, to summarise, our Save Energy Save Money boiler offer gives you:

✅ £300 off the cost of a new A-rated boiler
✅ A smart control worth £200 to control your heating

So you can:

💷 Save money on your heating bills
🌍 Be kinder to the environment
♨ Only heat the rooms you’re using
📱 Turn your heating on remotely only when you need it
♻ Be ready for when hydrogen gas is likely to be introduced

To qualify for the Save Energy Save Money offer, book your new boiler installation with us by 31 March 2022*.

Call us on 020 8462 8822, request a callback or email us at info@stevensonheating.co.uk for a quote, using ref: ENERGYSAVER2022.

*Term & Conditions apply – ask us for details.

1

December

How to keep warm without turning up your heating

By JR | Blog

Are you worried it will cost you more to keep warm in electricity and heating, while you work from home again? But it doesn’t have to be this way – read on for our tips.

Keep warm while working from home this winter

We have previously covered how to maximise your heating while at home, so here are our tips on other things you can do to keep warm at your desk, without tinkering with your boiler.

 

1. Keep warm with hot drinks

Put the kettle on and warm up with a hot drink. But don’t drink too much tea and coffee or else the caffeine might affect you! Try other hot drinks like herbal tea, hot chocolate or hot water with lemon. Or if you prefer savoury, try hot bouillon, hot Marmite / Bovril or soup. Plus, a hot mug will help keep your hands toasty!

 

2. Eat hot meals

Stews, soups, broths and other winter warmers are ideal for warming you up inside. They’ll also keep you going by sustaining your energy.

 

3. Grab a hot water bottle

A hot water bottle can really help your body temperature, especially if you’re stuck at your desk most of the day.

 

4. Keep your feet and head warm

Wear thick socks and insulated slippers to keep your feet warm. If your head gets cold or you’re a bit thin on top, wear a hat. Consider scarves and fingerless gloves too, if you need them.

Heat escapes easily from these extremities, so keeping them warm will keep your overall temperature up.

 

5. Layer up to keep warm

As with warming your extremities, keep the rest of your body toasty with extra layers. Think thermal vests, long-sleeved tops, jumpers and fleeces. By layering, if you do get warm, you can peel back one or two to regulate your temperature.

 

6. Go upstairs

Hot air rises, so if you have an upstairs, try to spend more time there. If you can, have your office upstairs. Or even move your TV to an upstairs room to be cosier and more comfortable in the winter evenings.

 

7. Keep moving

Get active to generate more body heat. Exercise is also good for you! Try to move every hour to move warm blood effectively around your body. This is especially helpful if you’re stuck at your desk, so you don’t get stiff or suffer from bad posture.

But you don’t have to do a full-on workout to keep warm. Just moving around for a few minutes will loosen up your muscles and warm you up. You could do some housework too – pushing the vacuum round is an excellent way to warm up!

If you’ve enjoyed our tips, why not sign up to our newsletter to receive more each month? And if you need help with your heating or to arrange a boiler service, contact us on info@stevensonheating.co.uk or request a callback.

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To ensure our customers receive a high standard of workmanship and professionalism, our company is accredited and monitored by several trade and industry bodies.

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