3

August

Meet the team: Jay Reeve

By JR | Blog

Each month, we’re interviewing a different member of our team. This month we spoke to Gas Engineer Jay Reeve.

Jay Reeve - Stevenson Heating gas engineer

 

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

I’ve been with Stevenson Heating for over 10 years, working as a gas engineer.

 

What’s involved in your role?

Generally, as a gas engineer, I carry out gas boiler installations, servicing and repairs for our domestic heating customers.

I’ve also been involved with commercial work, as well as electrical and warm air heating jobs. Like all of our gas installers, I’m Gas Safe registered.

 

What did you do before working at Stevenson’s?

I worked in an office initially, doing admin work. I soon realised that it wasn’t really for me and I wanted to do something more hands-on.

My dad used to work for Stevenson’s – he was with you for over 30 years! So, it was him who gave me the idea of becoming a gas engineer and introduced me to the team here.

 

What do you like about your role?

I like working with my hands and doing a practical, hands-on job that makes a difference to people’s lives. We’ve got some lovely customers and it’s always good to meet them and help them out.

 

What do you like about working for Stevenson Heating?

The variety – no two days are the same! And I like interacting with our lovely customers.

 

Do you have a favourite film?

I like the film Grease! I’d never seen it until a few years ago when my wife introduced me to it – and now I’ve seen it a lot!

 

And finally, do you prefer tea or coffee?

Neither actually! I tend to stick to water, especially when I’m out in the van.

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

18

June

Changes to Part L of the Building Regulations

By JR | Blog

Part L changes – what they mean

Since 15 June this year, changes to Part L of the Building Regulations mean we now have to carry out extra checks when installing, repairing or servicing your heating system.

Here’s an outline of the changes and what they mean for you, so you know why we’ll be talking to you more about filters, power flushes and water treatments.

PHAM News water image - Part L ChangesImage courtesy of PHAM News

 

What are the main Part L changes that affect heating?

Essentially, the changes are all about conserving fuel and power. And they’re aimed at keeping your central heating system working to optimum efficiency.

As your heating installer, we have already been doing most of what Part L needs us to do. But here are the main changes to look out for.

Cleaning your heating system

When installing a new boiler, including swapping your boiler for a new one, we must clean out your heating system. This usually means a power flush. At Stevenson’s, we already do this with every installation.

Adding in-line filters to your system

Part L now requires that we install a permanent in-line filter in your heating system. Again, we already fit these with every installation. And we strongly recommend one in all other cases.

Servicing in-line filters

So, now you’ll have permanent in-line filters as part of your heating system, naturally they’ll need servicing to keep them in tip-top condition. Again, we always service the filters, as part of your annual boiler service.

Protecting low temperature systems against corrosion

Another requirment of Part L is protecting your system against corrosion, scale and microbial fouling in low temperature systems.

We can protect your system with a number of different water treatment solutions and scale reducers. We can advise what suits your system best and will install the appropriate one for you.

Checking inhibitor levels each year

An inhibitor is a chemical solution that helps to stop rust and internal corrosion in your heating system. Rust and corrision affect how efficiently your heating works, so we want to prevent it!

As well as checking inhibitor levels annually, Part L now requires new inhibitor or laboratory analysis of the water every five years. We now include this as a compulsory part of your boiler service each year.

So, you can see there are a number of new requirements under Part L – but we have been doing most of them for some time. Essentially, the changes are to help your heating system work more efficiently and safely, so that’s always a good thing.

If you’ve any questions about Part L changes or what this means for you, drop us a line at info@stevensonheating.co.uk or request a callback.

20

May

Meet the team: Jay Holt

By JR | Blog

Each month, we’re interviewing a different member of our team. This month we spoke to our Senior Gas Fitter and Installer, Jay Holt.

Jay Holt - Stevenson Heating Senior Gas Fitter and Installer

 

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

I first started with Stevenson’s over 30 years ago. I started out here after college and did my gas installer apprenticeship. Then I left to do something different, during which time I was tinting car windows.

By chance, Stevenson’s founder Peter came in one day to have his car tinted and we got talking. So, I decided to come back and have been here ever since!

 

What’s involved in your role?

Each day is different because every heating installation is different. That’s what I like about my job; it’s very varied. It’s challenging but mostly in a good way! I get to problem-solve every day; it’s part and parcel of the job.

You’re usually working on installations that someone else has fitted, often some time ago. Each property and where they have their boiler and pipework is different. So there can be problems that crop up or things to work out, such as the best place to site a boiler or how to deal with some tricky pipework. I really enjoy working things like that out.

 

What training have you had?

Aside from my stint as a car window tinter, I’ve always been a gas installer. I finished my O-levels at college and then did a gas apprenticeship while I was at Stevenson’s to qualify as a gas fitter.

Back in the day it was CORGI but now, of course, it’s Gas Safe. I keep up-to-date with the latest regulations and go back to college every five years or so, when legislative changes mean we need to update our qualifications too.

 

Tell us something we don’t know about you

I really like keeping fish. I’d love some saltwater fish, but they require a lot of work and the water has to be changed frequently. So, I have tropical fish instead, as they’re easier to look after. In fact my son and I have just bought a big fish tank to go in the living room!

 

Do you have a favourite film?

I’m a James Bond fan, especially of Daniel Craig’s films. I’ve been lucky enough to see the new Bond film, No Time to Die, recently and would highly recommend it, if you haven’t seen it already.

 

And finally, do you prefer tea or coffee?

For me, it’s always coffee. I prefer it strong and black and usually have several cups a day!

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

25

November

Working from home heating tips

By JR | Blog

With the winter months ahead, rising energy costs and many of us starting to work from home again, you might be worried your heating bills will go up. But there are ways to maximise your heating, keep warm and keep energy costs down. Read on for our top tips.

Tips on keeping warm when working from home

 

1. Keep your heating at a steady temperature

Adjust your thermostat down by one or two degrees to keep the temperature regulated. This is more efficient for keeping you warm and could reduced your energy bills by around £80 a year.

If you are out at any point, use the thermostat and timer to heat your home when it’s needed. Don’t keep it constantly very low, as this is not actually very efficient.

 

2. 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.

The thermostats adjust the flow of water to your radiators, according to the temperature in the room. So, they ensure you’re not using more water or heat than needed.

 

3. Close internal doors

Keep heat in the rooms you want to stay warm by shutting the door. Similarly, close doors in rooms you don’t want to heat, to stop cooler air mixing and cooling the overall temperature down.

 

4. Use curtains and blinds

If you have curtains or blinds, use them. Curtains are especially helpful for keeping the heat in (or out in the summer!). As it’s getting darker much earlier, draw the curtains as soon as light starts to fade, to keep the room warm and prevent drafts.

 

5. Bleed your radiators

If you bleed your radiators regularly, it will help prevent cold spots developing. Your boiler will need to work harder if trapped air or sludge gets in the radiators, producing the cold spots. This makes your energy bills more expensive as well as not heating your room!

Regular radiator bleeding helps to keep your heating system clear, preventing damage as well as reducing your energy bills.

 

6. Keep vents and radiators clear

Don’t block your radiators or heating vents with furniture or laundry. The heat will go to them instead of your room! Move furniture away from radiators to allow the warm air to circulate and dry your wet laundry elsewhere.

If you don’t have a tumble dryer, a heated airer is efficient and inexpensive to run. This also prevents damp and mould building up, which can cause you other problems in your home.

 

7. Claim working-from-home tax relief

If you’re having to work from home because of Covid-19 or other reasons, you may be able to get £6 a week tax relief, which can help towards your energy bills. See the Government’s website for info on eligibility and how to claim.

 

8. 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.

Why not consider one of our heating service plans? Our service plans will help you maintain your heating system and 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.

At Stevenson Heating, we are Gas Safe Registered heating installers. Contact us on info@stevensonheating.co.uk or request a callback to find out more or get a quote for improving your heating in your home.

22

November

Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week 2021

By JR | Blog

This week (22-28 November 2021) is Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week, an annual campaign run by United Against CO to raise awareness of the dangers of carbon monoxide.

CArbon monoxide awareness week logo cropped

Carbon monoxide poisoning can cause harmful health conditions and even kill – it’s often known as the silent killer!

 

Carbon monoxide poisoning symptoms

Do you know how to recognise the signs of carbon monoxide poisoning?

Dizziness, tiredness or confusion
Stomach pain, nausea or sickness
Difficulty breathing
Headaches
Collapsing or unconsciousness

Of course, these can also be symptoms of other illnesses, so make sure you get them checked out. If other household members experience the same or your symptoms ease outside, it could be because of carbon monoxide.

 

Use COMA to help you remember!

This year’s United Against CO carbon monoxide awareness campaign introduces four questions you can ask. So, use them to help decide whether symptoms you’re experiencing are from carbon monoxide poisoning:

Co-habitees – is anyone else in your home experiencing symptoms (including pets)?

Outdoors – do your symptoms improve when you’re outside?

Maintenance – are your cooking and heating appliances regularly maintained?

Alarm – do you have a carbon monoxide alarm?

Remember them using the acronym COMA!

This short video from the week’s launch gives you some useful advice:

And why not take this short quiz from the All Party Parliamentary Carbon Monoxide Group (APPCOG) to test your carbon monoxide awareness!

 

Prevention is best

Of course, the easiest way to ensure you don’t have a problem is to prevent it happening! Firstly, make sure you have an annual boiler and gas appliance service. And secondly, get a carbon monoxide alarm to protect your household.

If you have a gas fire as well, we can service both at the same time for you. And, this will save you money! We can also supply and fit audible carbon monoxide alarms (that make a noise if they detect a leak). They’re not expensive and last 10 years, so it makes sense to have one.

Get in touch or request a call back to book your boiler and gas appliance service or to buy a carbon monoxide alarm.

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.

13

September

Gas Safety Week 2021

By JR | Blog

Gas Safety Week: Community Safety

It’s Gas Safety Week 2021 this week (13-19 September), which we are once again supporting.

Gas Safety Week 2021

Spreading awareness of gas safety

Gas Safety Week 2021 raises awareness of gas safety and why it’s important to take care of your gas appliances. Now in it’s 11th year, the week is organised by the Gas Safe Register. This is the official list of gas engineers legally allowed to work on gas.  

Unsurprisingly, poorly maintained or badly fitted gas appliances are dangerous. They can cause gas leaks, fires, explosions and carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. As you may know, CO is a highly poisonous gas that can kill quickly and without warning. You cannot see it, taste it or smell it.  

This year’s Gas Safety Week addresses a whole range of gas safety issues: from how to stay gas safe, to using a qualified, registered engineer and much more. It’s main aim is to ensure the community doesn’t suffer from the effects of illegal gas work through lack of awareness.

 

Our gas safety week tips to keep you and your family safe

Check your gas appliances annually. Use a Gas Safe engineer to check and service your gas appliances once a year. If you rent, make sure your landlord arranges this.

Ensure  your engineer is on the Gas Safe Register. All our engineers at Stevenson Heating are on the Gas Safe Register.

Look out for your friends and relatives – especially if they can’t arrange their own gas safety check or may be unaware of what they need to do. Help your loved ones to have their appliances checked and serviced regularly.

Check for warning signs that could indicate your appliances are not working correctly. Signs may include: lazy yellow / orange flames instead of crisp blue ones; black marks on or around your appliance; a pilot light that keeps going out; and too much condensation in the room.

Know the six main symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning – headaches, dizziness, breathlessness, nausea, collapse and loss of consciousness.

Install an audible carbon monoxide alarm and make sure your friends and relatives have one too. They need to have the EN50291 mark and display the British Standards’ Kitemark.

 

Service Care Plans

To keep your gas heating system in tip top condition, including an annual service, why not sign up to one of our Service Care Plans? They help you spread the cost and keep things working properly.

Finally, we’ll be sharing some tips and advice on how to stay gas safe on our social media throughout Gas Safety Week. So, please be sure to follow us to get the updates:

Facebook – Stevenson Heating Ltd

Twitter – @StevensonHtg

Instagram@Stevensonheating

And, for gas safety advice or to book an engineer to check your gas appliances, call us on 020 8462 8822, email us on info@stevensonheating.co.uk or request a call back.

30

June

Meet the team: Jo Hunt

By JR | Blog

Each month, we’re interviewing a different member of our team. This month we spoke to Client Co-Ordinator, Jo Hunt.

Jo Hunt Client Coordinator at Stevenson Heating Ltd

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

I’ve been working here for over seven years and I’m the Service & Installations Client Co-Ordinator. I’m usually the first person you speak to when you call us!

 

What did you do before that?

My background is in 3D model making, for which I have a Higher National Diploma. I spent many years making 3D models for the advertising industry.

I also spent two years working as an architectural model maker in Frankfurt, which was interesting as I didn’t speak German at first!

As well as that, I’ve had the great privilege of working several times as a prop maker for the Royal National Theatre. That’s not something many people get to experience and it was amazing being backstage and meeting famous actors. Sir Simon Callow once bought me a drink for working on his production!

 

What roles have you held at Stevenson’s?

I started out as a receptionist, working closely with the Installations Manager and surveyors. I was then promoted to arrange the planning of new boiler installations with clients. Last year, arranging annual boiler servicing, landlord gas safety certificates and boiler repairs were added to my remit.

Many people don’t realise that there’s a lot of planning needed for a new boiler installation. I work closely with all the teams at Stevenson’s and the clients themselves to co-ordinate everything before, during and after the installation. I especially enjoy talking to clients and putting them at ease.

 

What do you want to achieve in your current role?

I strive to be an informal, friendly point of contact for the company. I try to remember clients’ names and I like to build a friendly, informal rapport with everyone.

It can be so worrying for someone when they have no hot water or heating. I usually give out my tips on how they can keep warm, which includes things like doing the hoovering and having hot drinks! I think that is part of why people keep coming back to us – we treate you as a person, not just a number. 

 

Tell us something we don’t know about you

I am a former Jackie magazine cover girl and I modelled with Steve Strange from Visage! I was 15 at the time and a school friend’s sister worked at the magazine. They wanted someone to model who was in the Jackie reading age.

Jo Hunt on Jackie magazine front cover
Jo Hunt on the front cover of Jackie magazine

 

At the time, it was very exciting! I spent two hours in hair and make-up, wore a hat by Philip Treacy and a designer outfit from PX.

Steve Strange was told it was my dream come true to meet him, so he instantly sent out for champagne. What I’d actually said was that it’d be my dream to meet David Bowie or Gary Numan!

Anyway, I still have the champagne bottle, personally dedicated and signed by Steve.

I’ve recently discovered that a copy of the magazine I was featured in is selling online for £16.99! At the time it was just 16p.

 

What do you like watching on TV?

My favourite TV series has to be The West Wing. One of my favourite quotes from the show is “What’s next?” from President Bartlett. I also like Parks & Recreation.

 

And finally, tea or coffee?!

Now I am very particular about this! In the morning coffee, and then in the afternoon, tea – strong as possible. Don’t bring me tea the colour of beige, that is not tea!

 

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

18

May

Meet the team: Andy Oliver

By JR | Blog

Each month, we’re interviewing a different member of our team. This month we spoke to Head of Finance, Andy Oliver.

Andy Oliver, Stevenson Heating Head of Finance

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

I joined the team seven years ago, in 2014, as Service Manager.

 

What did you do before that?

I worked for 30 years in the coffee industry as an engineer and service manager, repairing coffee machines in many of the big coffee chains. I used to head up the engineering section of Coffee Nation, which is now Costa Coffee.

Before that, I started out as a paper boy for John Menzies (remember them?!) and worked my way up to store manager.

 

What roles have you held at Stevenson’s?

I started as Service Manager, where I looked after the engineers and the service desk, ensuring everything ran smoothly. I was then MD for a while and took over the finance role in July 2020.

 

What do you want to achieve in your current role?

I’m working on streamlining our financial processes and systems, bringing in relevant technology to help. This will make it easier for the team and help us keep costs down – and remain cost-effective for our customers.

 

Tell us something we don’t know about you

I am a trained barista! Something I learned during my career as an engineer in the coffee industry. You can’t fix the machines without knowing how to use them!

 

What do you enjoy doing when not working?

I, like some of the others in the team, am an avid cyclist. I’ve done the London to Brighton cycle ride five times and have twice completed a 100-mile Olympic cycling route.

My family recently had two boxer puppies, so they’re keeping me busy at the moment too. They’re only 13 weeks old, so still require a lot of looking after!

 

Do you have a favourite film?

Oh definitely Green Mile and Shawshank Redemption.

 

And finally, tea or coffee?!

Given my work history, it’s no surprise I’m a big coffee fan! I love a proper, freshly ground cup of coffee.

 

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

16

February

Meet the team: Paul Stevenson

By JR | Blog

Each month, we’re interviewing a different member of our team. This month we spoke to IT Manager, Paul Stevenson.

Paul Stevenson

 

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

As it’s my family’s business, I started with Stevenson’s when I was a teenager during my school holidays. But I formally joined the payroll full-time in 1992, starting in the shop.

 

Have you worked anywhere else?

Yes, before I was fully employed here, I worked part time at Marks and Spencer while doing my A-Levels. I went to university but it wasn’t for me so I dropped out. I even once did a night shift in Tip-Top bakery in Orpington, but that wasn’t my proudest moment!

 

What roles have you held?

What roles haven’t I had?! I’ve done a bit of everything, from yard boy to MD, and still muck-in where needed. We all do – we’re a small family firm.

I’m currently the IT Manager and IT has formed a large part of what I’ve done during my nearly 30 years at Stevenson’s.

In my early days, I redesigned the stock management software, then I set up our first computer network and created the service department’s job management software. After a part-time AAC accountancy course, I took on the payroll management, updating us to the latest software accounting and payroll packages.

As technology improved, I installed our second computer network, linking all the computers, installing a Windows server and a much bigger telephone system.

Around that time, we had taken over Keston Boilers, so I spent some time getting hands-on gas experience with the engineers. I held various roles at Keston, latterly company secretary and office manager. I created a job management system and integrated it with the accounts and an engineer’s mobile reporting system.

In 2006, I transferred back to Stevenson Heating, spent a few years as Managing Director and then became IT Manager, which is really my first passion.

 

What do you want to achieve in your current role?

My priority is to streamline our IT systems again, as technology doesn’t stand still. It’s important we take advantage of technological changes – especially in these times of increased remote working – and continually improve our customer service.

 

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working?

You can probably tell from my work history that I am a total nerd!

I’m also qualified as a Level 1 British Cycling Coach. My Saturday mornings are usually spent coaching at the Hayes children’s bike club, known as Bigfoot. We’ve done a version of the London to Brighton bike ride and a Hayes to Dunwich (Suffolk) three-day ride with them.

 

Do you have a favourite film or song?

My favourite film has to be Ronin. Music-wise, I mostly like 90’s Brit-pop and dance – I used to do mixing in the late 90’s.

 

And finally, tea or coffee?!

I am rather partial to a particular coffee from Costa: their vanilla latte!