Although major energy suppliers have been cutting their prices, and savvy ‘switchers’ are benefitting from increasingly competitive deals, recent research shows that energy costs remain the UK population’s biggest household concern. In fact, many homeowners are more worried about energy bills than paying the rent or mortgage. A study by B&Q revealed that the biggest home priority is improving energy efficiency. Almost a third (31%) of households intend to introduce measures to cut their energy bills. According to the Energy Saving Trust, our household boilers account for around 55% of what we spend on energy bills. That’s why taking care to ensure it’s working as efficiently as possible is one of the easiest ways every home can save, according to heating experts from ADEY MagnaClean.
Just a decade ago, the average annual household energy bill was £472. Today, it stands at a whopping £1,265. So it’s little surprise there’s a lot of heat in the headlines when talking about energy companies, price rises and the effect they’re having on cashstrapped homeowners and tenants. Despite recent small reductions in tariffs, costs remain high or even unaffordable in some instances, so most of us are still looking for other ways to cut our home energy usage. But ADEY believes that one of the simplest steps for saving energy is being overlooked. ADEY’s research shows that only 46% of 1,300 UK homeowners surveyed had their boiler serviced in the past 12 months, leaving more than half of systems unchecked. One in 10 householders consider having an annual boiler service an unnecessary expense. This means that every year, thousands of boilers are left chugging away without checks to ensure that they’re running efficiently or even safely. In fact, 20% of householders only take any notice of their boiler when it goes wrong. ADEY’s experts claim that giving your boiler an annual service should be considered just as important as your car’s MOT. While it’s not a legal requirement, it will ensure that the boiler and heating system are running as they should, helping to keep potentially costly repairs at bay and any warranties intact. More importantly, it could also help to keep you and others in your household safe from the dangers of carbon monoxide, particularly with ageing systems.
‘Corrosion creates black sludge, which can damage the boiler and other system parts’
Now for the science bit
The small parts and narrow pipes of today’s super-efficient condensing boilers are prone to the damaging effects of corrosion, which happens inside every heating system. Metal pipework reacts with the hot water, and this natural corrosion creates a black sludge. Left unchecked, this can damage the boiler and other system parts, quickly reducing its efficiency. Research shows that just 5kg of sludge within the system, which is not uncommon, reduces radiator heat output by up to 36%. To provide ongoing system protection after an annual boiler check, ADEY encourages Gas Safe registered installers to follow its award-winning ‘best practice’ approach to heating system maintenance: clean, flush, maintain, protect. The company introduced magnetic filtration to the heating industry more than a decade ago and the development of the MagnaClean filter has been recognised with a Queen’s Award for Innovation. The process of cleansing pipework and radiators, adding protective chemicals to system water, and installing a discreet, effective magnetic filter is proven to rid the system of the black sludge and other particles that clog it up.
Protect your pounds
A new study has highlighted the worrying number of households that are financially unprepared to cover emergency costs, should their heating unexpectedly break down in winter, and many admit it would drive them into debt. Most Brits (55%) said that if they were hit with a bill for emergency heating repairs of £1,000 or more, they’d have to ask for a bank loan to cover the cost. To pay a bill of £250, 49% said they’d have to borrow the money from friends or family; and 30% said they’d need to pay on credit card. Statistics from Moneywise magazine show that, typically, a fifth of UK households have a boiler breakdown over the winter, at an average repair cost of £320. The good news is that taking steps to maintain and protect heating systems can also reduce this risk, says ADEY.
ADEY MagnaClean filters and chemicals currently protect three million UK central heating systems, helping them operate more efficiently, reducing maintenance bills and cutting emissions. ADEY estimates savings of up to 15% on individual annual household heating bills where the best practice approach to central heating system maintenance is employed, using proven effective filters and high-quality chemicals. That could amount to a saving of £150-£170 a year for the average three-bedroom property.
As well as protecting your central heating system, installing an effective magnetic filter can reduce carbon emissions by up to 6%, resulting in a 200-250kg carbon saving each year. This equates to saving 600,000 tonnes of carbon emissions a year – the equivalent of removing 126,000 cars from Britain’s roads!