Summer’s over and although we still get the odd warm day, the approach of winter and a fall in temperatures is inevitable. This is a great time to help your customers prepare for colder days and nights. A little bit of attention paid to their heating and hot water systems now will save them money and worry in the months ahead.
Scrimping on boiler servicing is a false economy
The cost-of-living crisis has meant that many families have had to tighten their belts and a survey undertaken by the Heating and Hot Water Industry Council (HHIC) warns that one in five householders are putting off their annual boiler service in order to save money. This, sadly, is a false economy.
An annual boiler check and service is very important – to ensure that the system is working both safely and efficiently. An efficient boiler will save money on the bills and an annual check will pinpoint any potential problems so that they can be sorted out before they get too serious – and costly.
It’s a good idea to get in touch with your customers and remind them when their annual service is due. You could use this courtesy call as a chance to tell them about some other measures they could take to ensure their house is cosy over the winter period. For instance:
How recently have they bled their radiators? Air gets trapped in heating systems and gurgling sounds or cold patches on the radiators suggest they need a bit of TLC. It’s a quick and easy job, so you could tell or show them how to do it.
Have they got adequate insulation? Although there’s an initial outlay, insulation is vital in the drive to save money on heating. It’s shocking how much heat is lost from a poorly insulated house.
Encourage your customers to lag their pipes, to prevent bursts during freezing weather, and get them to check that they’ve sufficient insulation in their lofts. There are various grants available to help toward the cost of energy-saving home improvements, there’s information and advice here.
Have they thought about a smart thermostat? The average family can save around £150 a year on their heating bills by using smart technology to regulate their heating systems. If the heating can be controlled remotely, they won’t be wasting money heating their homes when they’re not there.
What about a heating upgrade?
New gas boiler: The government has slowed down on the phase out of gas boilers, which means that in many cases, its still a good idea to choose gas. The latest models are very efficient and gas will be with us for some time to come. At the moment, you will be able to buy a new gas boiler up until 2035.
Switch to a heat pump: Recent changes to the Boiler Upgrade Scheme mean that the money available to those looking to replace their fossil fuel heating system with heat pumps or biomass boiler has increased from £5K to £7.5K.
There’s plenty of information out there offering tips on how to save energy and money. HHIC has produced a handy guide for householders.
As a gas engineer, you’re in a great position to help your customers plan how to better prepare their homes for winter and help them understand that shortcuts makes no sense in the long run.