New Boiler And What To Consider When Purchasing One

Ability are gold accredited, Worcester Bosch installers. We have years of experience when it comes to installing both gas and oil new boilers and provide services in the Kent, West and East Sussex areas.

the team ability
Feet up, coffee and fire.

At this time of year, we are extremely busy with boiler repairs and unfortunately, it is not always possible to keep nursing them along. With the Winter in full swing, the boilers are working extremely hard to keep our homes warm the added pressure on an old boiler can sometimes be too much and a new boiler is the only solution. The cost of replacing a boiler at any time of year can be a drain on the funds but with Christmas, just around the corner it is important that the best price for the best quality of work is obtained.

When it comes to getting quotations traditionally it has always been recommended that 3 quotations are obtained for a good comparison. However, when a boiler breaks down many of us want to source a new boiler as quickly as possible and getting multiple quotations takes time. Homeowners should make sure that the installer is Gas Safe and/or Oftec registered. When comparing quotations make sure they are like for like. The boilers should be of the same quality or make and offer the same number of years guarantee or warranty.

A powerflush may be required to thoroughly clean away any debris that could be blocking the pipes and radiators. This could be an additional cost to the new boiler installation so make sure the quotation has a clear and upfront pricing schedule to avoid any nasty hidden surprises further down the line.

Ability not only carries out boiler installation it also offers plumbing and electrical assistance so if you require a free no-obligation quote for any of the above please call us on 01892 514495 or email info@ability.uk.com

PowerFlush, The Advantages Your Central Heating System

Ability provides heating, plumbing and electrical assistance. In the last week, we have carried out a powerflush in the Tonbridge, Sevenoaks and East Grinstead areas. It is so important especially this time of year that our central heating system is working efficiently as possible.

Kamco powerflush machine

Cleaning a central heating system is integral to its health and powerflushing is a popular cleaning method due to the rapid but comprehensive clean it delivers. The benefits of a clean heating system are well-documented:

more even heat distribution throughout the property

improved overall energy savings

lower household bills

increased system reliability

extended system life

So how do you know if a system needs a powerflush? Here are some symptoms to look out for.

Are certain rooms much colder than others?

Does it take a long time for system to warm up?

Are one or more radiators cold at the bottom?

Do radiators need frequent bleeding?

Is the boiler noisy?

It’s important to keep your radiators working properly, so they can keep you warm through the winter. If you’re having problems with your heating, your radiators might need a powerflush.

There are several symptoms that show you might need a powerflush. If your radiators are cold at the bottom and hot at the top, you could have sludge blocking your radiators or pipes.

Sludge might also be to blame if some radiators aren’t warming up while others work properly.

You’ll find information below about the causes of sludge in your central heating system. We’ll also explain the powerflushing process.

Sludge in pipe

Why is there sludge in the radiator?

The older your central heating system is, the more likely it is you have sludge in your radiators and need a powerflush.

Blocked radiators make your bills higher, as your heating has to work harder to warm your home. Sludge can also damage your boiler, heat pump and valves.

If you need a powerflush, the engineer will connect a machine to your system. This will push a powerful, low-pressure flow of liquid through your system. This dislodges sludge and rust, removing it from your radiators and boiler.

It can take several hours to flush out your radiator system. It can take even longer if you have a larger system or there’s a lot of sludge.

Your central heating system will contain fresh, clean water after the power flush. The engineer will probably add an inhibitor solution. This liquid chemical will stop sludge building up again.

If you would like a no-obligation quotation for a powerflush or indeed any of the other services that we provide please call Ability on 01892 514495 or email info@ability.uk.com

Government Legislation Could Make Your Boiler Extinct

Ability carries out the installation of gas and oil boilers in areas such as Tonbridge, Sevenoaks, Paddock Wood, Crowborough, East Grinstead, Bromley and Orpington.  We watch with interest in the decisions and developments regarding green energy being suggested by the Government.

Chancellor Philip Hammond has announced that by 2025 there is to be no gas central heating in new build homes. This is to help tackle climate change and reach the Government 2050 target of 80% reduced emissions.

With the lack of a definitive replacement, it is yet to be decided how these new houses will be heated.  There have been suggestions that low-carbon heat pumps could be used or biofuel.  However, boiler providers such as Worcester Bosch are calling for the Government to allow experts to advise and make decisions on an individual basis.  These decisions can then be incorporated into the building regulations for new builds. 

The Government will need to invest in technology and manufacturing to enable these new forms of heating to be both affordable and efficient.  It will become counterproductive if the homeowner’s energy bills rocket. 

20,000 homes a week need to convert to low carbon energy source by 2050 for the Government to meet the climate change targets.  Gas central heating boilers are contributing highly to bringing the UK above their clean air goals in large towns and cities they are one of the main sources of nitrogen dioxide emissions as well as cars.

It is yet to be seen what impact these Government decisions will have on the heating industry and although there currently no mention of eliminating other gas appliances such as hobs and cookers this could be something that will be implemented in the future.

If you require a no-obligation quotation for heating, plumbing or electrical works please call Ability on 01892 514495 or alternatively email info@ability.uk.com

Firebird Oil Boilers And Their Products By Ability

Ability recently fitted a Firebird Oil boiler in Sevenoaks, Kent below is information regarding their products and aftercare which is so important when choosing a boiler.

Firebird Oil Boiler

Firebird have produced a new cylinder brochure which gives detailed product information on their comprehensive range of dedicated hot water storage solutions. Specifically designed for use with Firebirds’ air source heat pump and solar thermal product ranges, the Envirocyl hot water cylinders feature purpose-designed coils to allow maximum heat transfer of renewable energy into the stored water. With single coil, twin coil, pre-plumbed and pre-wired options, the Envirocyl range provide a highly efficient way of providing space heating and domestic hot water. the cylinders are available in capacities of 180-300 litres and include factory-fitted 3 kw electric immersion as standard. Manufactured from premium quality stainless steel for superior corrosion resistance, the inner vessel is covered by a 10 or 25-year manufacturer’s warranty.

When used in conjunction with an Enviroair air source heat pump, the Envirocyl heat pump cylinder range is capable of providing up to 100% of a home’s hot water demand. As well as a standard cylinder, Firebird offers a pre-plumbed option, which includes pre-fabricated pipework, wiring and an integrated 50-litre buffer. If space happens to be a problem, Firebird have also developed an ‘Easy-Fit Unit’ which can be situated in a garage or utility room. With a premium-quality, white case finish, the cylinder unit is fully pre-plumbed and pre-wired to considerably reduce installation time.

LPG-oil-oil heating
Warm and cosy by the fire

For heating systems where solar thermal is used to complement another heat source, twin coil options are available for use with Firebird’s Enviroair source heat pumps or a traditional boiler. Not only does the Envirocyl cylinder range provide mains pressure hot water and high flow rates for powerful showers and fast filling baths, but the optimised design of the heating coil ensures that water reheats quickly. Fully insulated to minimise any heat loss, the cylinders are efficient to run, require minimal maintenance and include all the components required to complete installation.

If you would like a free quotation for a new oil or gas boiler please call Ability 0n 01892 514495 or alternatively email info@ability.uk.com

Climate Change UK Targets Threatened By Home Gas Boilers

To combat climate change the government has pledged that by 2050 they will reduce emissions by 80%.  However, with the majority of our homes still fuelled by gas and oil this is significantly reducing the probability of the UK meeting these targets.

plumbing-heating electrical
Central Heating Home

New regulation are coming in to force in 2025 to help with climate change, meaning that all new homes, will have to use green gas or alternative, to heat water and their homes, money needs to be invested into new products.  Currently, 14% of UK greenhouse gases come from our homes and although all new homes built in 2025 will use greener energy it is just a drop in the ocean as the vast majority of UK homes will not.

20,000 homes a week need to convert to low carbon energy source by 2050 for the UK to meet the climate change targets.  Gas central heating boilers are contributing highly to bringing the UK above their clean air goals in large towns and cities they are one of the main sources of nitrogen dioxide emissions as well as cars.

What Needs To Be Done To Combat Climate Change

Biogas reduces carbon emissions by 90% and could be used to fuel up to two million off-grid homes as well as businesses such as mobile caterers throughout the UK to help with climate change.  Smart control systems, when used to their full potential, will also reduce the amount of energy each household uses.

Money needs to be invested for home insulation schemes as currently these costs are having to be met by homeowners and they do not always have the money to invest to facilitate these changes.  Heat accounts for more than a third of our current carbon emissions.  Innovative technology is needed to reduce this figure to assist with climate change.

Ability provides heating, plumbing and electrical assistance throughout Kent, East and West Sussex. If you would like a free no-obligation quotation for a new boiler or smart controls please contact us on 01892 514495 or alternatively email info@ability.uk.com

Pressure Dropping In The Heating System

Ability provides heating, plumbing and electrical assistance in Kent, East and West Sussex.  As the temperatures start to drop we receive an increased volume of calls from customers saying that the pressure on their boiler has dropped.

Boiler Pressure Gauge

The power to the system must be turned off before starting to re-pressurise the boiler.  It’s something the homeowner can do themselves but if the pressure continues to drop then a heating engineer will be required.  Modern boilers work best usually around 1.5 bar.  The boiler will have a pressure gauge which shows the minimum and maximum operating pressure.

There are 3 main reasons why the pressure could drop.

Bleeding Radiators Low Pressure

When bleeding radiators air is being let out of the system and can cause the pressure to drop.  This can be easily rectified by letting more cold water back into the system.  This is simple to do however each boiler is different so you will need to refer back to the boiler manual or the manufacturer’s website for direction.

bleeding your radiators-central heating system
Pets Warm at Home

Water Leak

If there is a leak in the system the pressure will continue to drop even if you have added more cold water into the system.  It can be very hard to locate a leak but the best place to check first is the radiator valves. Wipe the valves with kitchen roll and place a tray beneath it to collect any dripping water.  If you are unable to locate the leak then an engineer may be needed to locate and fix it because the leak could be behind a bath panel or floorboard.

Boiler Fault

It is important to have your boiler serviced annually as this helps to keep your boiler running efficiently.  Any fault will be detected earlier and can be fixed before further problems develop.  If the pressure in the system keeps dropping after cold water has been added, it could be the expansion valve has failed or limescale could have built up in the boiler.  A certified engineer will be needed to check this out.

If you need any assistance with the above please give Ability a call on 01892 514495 or email info@ability.uk.com.

Carbon Monoxide Safety In Your Home

Our engineers at Ability are Gas Safe registered, and we want to raise awareness of the importance of having a carbon monoxide detector in the home. With our busy lives, it is something that is easily overlooked but could be life-saving.

Unsafe gas appliances can produce carbon monoxide which is highly poisonous. It is produced when natural gas or liquified petroleum gas fails to be completely burned.  Poisoning occurs when carbon monoxide builds up in the bloodstream.

carbon monoxide

Nearly half of homes in the UK do not currently have a CO alarm in their home which means that more than 12 million householders are at risk of CO poisoning.

Carbon Monoxide is an odourless and colourless substance meaning it can remain undetected without a CO alarm.  Ability is always happy to assist with any queries regarding CO alarms, only last week in Sevenoaks we assisted with the fitting of one.  The engineer left knowing that the family would now be kept safe and alerted should there be a leak.

Here at Ability, our installers are trained to educate about CO safety.  Just because a customer has a new boiler or gas appliance fitted and they have these appliances regularly serviced, does not eliminate the danger of carbon monoxide escaping.

carbon monoxide

Although this will reduce the risk, it does not eliminate it as boilers can break down or the flues become blocked at any time between service dates. So while customers may feel they don’t need a CO alarm – ultimately they’ve just had a brand new boiler installed so nothing should go wrong –  installers must help householders prepare for every eventuality.

Ability provides plumbing, heating and electrical assistance throughout Kent, West and East Sussex, please give us a call on 01892 514495 or email info@ability.uk.com if we can help.

Find The Right Boiler For Your Home

Ability provides heating, plumbing and electrical assistance throughout the South East of England. Purchasing the right boiler is quite an investment and when considering to upgrade it is important that you find the best one that works for you.

Right boiler System Boilers

System boilers directly heat the central heating system taking water from the mains and heating it through a storage cylinder. They could be the right boiler for you if you have a property with two or more bathrooms and showers. System boilers deliver great water flow even if the water is being run from more than one place at a time.

System boilers do require a tank so if you think this is the right boiler for you there must be space within the house to accommodate it. If your property has poor incoming water pressure then a System boiler will not rectify this and a pump or mains boost tanks may also need to be installed.

Combi Boiler

Combi boilers are a compact unit that provides both heating and hot water. It may be the right boiler for you if your home lacks space to house a hot water cylinder and a cold water tank in the loft. The combi works by heating water straight from the mains when a hot water tap is turned on.

Combi boilers may not be the right boiler for you if you have poor incoming water pressure. Unlike with other systems, you will no longer have a separate immersion heater to provide hot water as back up if your combi does go wrong.

Back Boiler

Back boilers were traditionally placed within the chimney of a property and would have a gas fire attached to the front of it. It provides heating and hot water throughout the property.

Although back boilers are still being used they are being frequently replaced with combi boilers. Back boilers are more expensive to run and let off more toxins than the combi boiler and this should be considered when deciding if the Back boiler is the right boiler for you.

If you would like a free no-obligation quotation or a service on your boiler whether it be gas, oil or lpg please give Ability a call on 01892 514495 or email info@ability.uk.com

The Hive Home Heating System Always Keeping You Warm

With the colder weather approaching and the nights drawing in, we will start to put the heating on.  Why go home to a cold house, when with the Hive Home Heating control, you can put the heating on in readiness of your return home.

Hive Heating Systems

The Hive Home heating system is a small wall-mounted device which communicates to a sensor placed on the boiler.  It allows you to turn your heating on and off or alter the temperature of the thermostat from your smartphone wherever you are.

The Advantages of The Hive Home Heating Control

  • Always go home to a warm home
  • If you forget to turn the heating off you can do this from your smartphone
  • Savings on your energy bills
  • You are able to set up to 6-time slots to fit around your daily routine and can easily change them using the Hive app.
  • The Hive thermostat with geolocation will know when you have left the house and if you have left the heating on it will send an alert text so you can turn the heating off.  It will also enable you to set a timer to turn it back on when you are due home.
  • The Hive Home works with the majority of the UK gas and LPG central heating systems.
  • There is no hard wiring required as it is battery operated unlike the Nest

The Hive Home is not compatible with storage heaters or individual plug-in electric room heaters. Although it works with most heating systems an engineer would need to come and check your specific boiler.

Ability has engineers who work on both Gas and Oil systems. The engineers are Gas Safe and Oftec registered and are more than qualified to confirm whether the Hive Home would be compatible with your heating system.

Ability covers most of the South East in particular, Kent, East and West Sussex so if you would like a free no-obligation quotation please call 01892 514495 or email info@ability.uk.com

AGA Technological Advances For A Greener Future

Ability plumbing, heating and AGA engineers cover a wide area of the South East from Maidstone to Orpington and Bromley in Kent to Crowborough and East Grinstead in East and West Sussex.

The AGA cooker was invented in 1922 by a Swedish physicist, Gustaf Dalen.  He was forced to stay at home after losing his sight in an explosion and saw how his wife struggled with the cooking.  He then decided to invent a new way of cooking which has since been the heart of many homes for decades.

AGAs make a wonderful feature in any kitchen

AGA cookers are made from cast iron which retains heat and transfers it from the core to the oven and hot plates.  They are available in 2,3,4 and 5 oven models, with a boiling and simmering plate.  It will not only warm the kitchen but can be used to heat the whole house.

Developments

AGA in the past has been slated for using large amounts of energy and being bad for the environment. However, developments to accommodate our change in lifestyle mean they are now much more environmentally friendly. AGAs have thermostatic controls and cook using radiant heat which is gentle on food and locks in moisture, flavour and goodness.

AGA

AGA has to adhere to the latest environmental standards and is subject to rigorous controls. Advances in their technology now mean that they have, switch on/off hotplates to reduce running costs. Their latest models ‘Total Control‘ and ‘City60’ have independently controllable ovens meaning they can be turned off when not needed.

The AGA is also almost entirely recyclable.

Here at Ability we can install, service or repair your AGA. We have qualified and experienced engineers trained especially in the maintenance of this classic, quality appliance.  If you would like assistance, please call us on 01892 514495 or email info@ability.uk.com.