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. 

We have created a downloadable leaflet with all this information in. Download your copy here and share it with family and friends. Or ask us for a printed copy.

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, request a callback 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. Keep your showers shorter to minimise energy usage. If you have a high-pressure shower or use a shower pump, try turning the pressure down to save water too.

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.

29

November

Christmas Opening Times 2020-2021

By PaulS | Blog

We know that things can sometimes go wrong with your heating, when you least expect or need it to, so over this holiday period we will be open and available on the days given below, including by phone.

Just a couple of things to note:

1. Although we are open, quite a lot of staff are taking holidays, so we will be working with reduced numbers.

2. Our usual emergency engineer out-of-hours cover will be available every day, except the Public Holidays.

3. Days marked with an asterisk (*) may have slightly earlier closing times than normal.

 

Day / Date

Shop

Service

Installation

Wednesday 22nd December Open Open Open
Thursday 23rd December Open Open Open
Friday 24th December Open * Open * Open *
Saturday 25th December Closed Closed Closed
Sunday 26th December Closed Closed Closed
Monday 27th December Public Holiday Public Holiday Public Holiday
Tuesday 28th December  Public Holiday  Public Holiday  Public Holiday
Wednesday 29th December Open * Open * Open *
Thursday 30th December Open * Open * Open *
Friday 31st December Open * Open * Open *
Saturday 1st January Closed Closed Closed
Sunday 2nd January Closed Closed Closed
Monday 3rd January Public Holiday Public Holiday Public Holiday
Tuesday 4th January Open Open Open

* Opening & closing times may vary.

15

October

Meet the team: Dan Roberts

By JR | Blog

Each month, we’re interviewing a different member of our team. This month we spoke to Electrician, Dan Roberts.

 

Dan Roberts, Stevenson Heating Electrician

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

I have been with Stevenson’s for 11 years.

 

What does your role involve?

As an electrician, I carry out electrical work for our clients. This can be anything from installing new sockets through to, most commonly, wiring up new boilers.

I’ll usually come in towards the end of a boiler installation to connect the boiler up to the electrical mains and install the heating controls.

I’m an NICEIC approved contractor, which means I can certify the electrical work we do in your home.

I also arrange the engineers’ diaries once jobs have been booked in. I try to make the routes as smooth and convenient as possible for them between each job.

 

What did you do before that?

I have always been an electrician. I’ve been doing electrical work since I left school, over 25 years ago!

I did a City & Guilds electrical apprenticeship and I keep up-to-date by taking the relevant wiring regulations exams whenever they are needed (we’re currently on 18th edition!).

 

Tell us something we don’t know about you

I am a keen fisherman and I like football – I’m a Tottenham supporter.

 

Do you have a favourite film?

I like Big Daddy and also the Sixth Sense – classics!

 

And finally, tea or coffee?!

Oh coffee, definitely! I prefer it over tea any day!

 

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

8

December

Christmas Opening Times 2020-2021

By i-promote | Blog

We know that things can sometimes go wrong with your heating, when you least expect or need it to, so over this holiday period we will be open and available on the days given below, including by phone.

Just a couple of things to note:

1. Although we are open, quite a lot of staff are taking holidays, so we will be working with reduced numbers.

2. Our usual emergency engineer out-of-hours cover will be available every day, except the Public Holidays.

3. Days marked with an asterisk (*) may have slightly earlier closing times than normal.

 

Day / Date

Shop

Service

Installation

Monday 21st  December Open Open Open
Tuesday 22nd December Open Open Open
Wednesday 23rd December Open Open Open
Thursday 24th December Open * Open * Open *
Friday 25th December Public Holiday Public Holiday Public Holiday
Saturday 26th December Closed Closed Closed
Sunday 27th December Closed Closed Closed
Monday 28th December  Public Holiday  Public Holiday  Public Holiday
Tuesday 29th December Open * Open * Open *
Wednesday 30th December Open * Open * Open *
Thursday 31st December Open * Open * Open *
Friday 1st January Public Holiday Public Holiday Public Holiday
Saturday 2nd January Open AM * Closed Closed
Sunday 3rd January Closed Closed Closed
Monday 4th January Open Open Open

* Opening & closing times may vary.