Government Carbon Emissions Target To Eliminate Boilers

Ability provides heating, plumbing, and electrical assistance in Kent and East and West Sussex. As always we are interested in Government development on cutting carbon emissions.

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Border sign between Langton and tunbridge Wells

Tunbridge Wells one of our primary sites for work, officially known as Royal Tunbridge Wells, it’s one of a few towns and boroughs in England to officially be given a royal title. It came from King Edward VII in 1909, partly to commemorate the fact that his mother, Queen Victoria, had loved the town so much. Tunbridge Wells has a direct train line to London and with idyllic countryside not far from the town, along with attractions such as the Pantiles, it is no surprise that increasingly people wish to live here.

New property developments are expanding the population of Tunbridge Wells and of course, when purchasing a property the new Government regulations on carbon emissions should be considered.

Government regulators for Gas in the UK plan to replace or upgrade all household boilers by 2050. With the Government pledging to decrease UK emissions by 80 percent by 205 drastic change has to be made.

Currently, only 5% of homes are heated using a low carbon source. As from 2025 all-new builds will need to be supplied by a low carbon source as all gas boilers and gas appliances will be banned in a bit to significantly reduce carbon emissions created from residential dwellings.

plumbing heating and electrical-plumbing heating and electrical engineers
Smart Technology

The Government has come up with many ideas on how to reduce carbon emissions. The front runner is for all households to be fuelled by electricity. Hot water and heat will be pumped through pipes via an electrical pump. Storage heaters could be used rather than radiators however, this would be very costly for homeowners to implement.

Another option is for current gas boilers to be upgraded and adapted to run on decarbonised gas to lower carbon emissions rather than natural gas.

For a free no-obligation quotation for heating, plumbing or electrical works please call 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

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

Gas Safety Week Awareness For Homeowners

Gas Safety Week is one of the biggest events in the plumbing and gas calendars, raising awareness of the perils of poorly installed and maintained gas appliances in the UK. Daniel Moon explains why Ability Plumbing Heating Electrical is throwing its full support behind this industry initiative.

The annual Gas Safety Week – running 16-22 September 2019 – encourages property owners, businesses and installers to promote best practice to assure gas appliances function as safely as possible.

Here at Ability, we fully support Gas Safety Week and are fully committed supporters of best practice throughout the year. If gas appliances, including cookers and boilers, are not maintained or installed correctly they can be dangerous to human health, causing all major incidents including gas leaks, carbon monoxide poisoning and even explosions, much attention is needed and this Gas Safety week is important for that.

Therefore, in raising the profile of events such as Gas Safety Week make significant differences where it matters most. As well as calling for best practices across the industry, it also brings companies like us at Ability, within the plumbing and heating community together to participate in a broader conversation on what needs to be improved. This helps to give them reassurance that their boiler has been installed competently while also offering long term peace of mind.

Statistics show 1 in 10 people do not have their gas appliances serviced regularly, which suggests homeowners are probably unaware of whether the appliances they use every day are safe or not.

At Ability our Installers are in the best position to fly the flag of best practice and advise homeowners on gas safety week, however, that’s not to say the responsibility lays solely at their door. It is essential that manufacturers join the fight in educating end-users as well. There are many good boiler manufacturers behind the scheme too.

Events such as Gas Safety Week do well to inform homeowners on the importance of boiler servicing and using properly qualified engineers for any work on gas appliances. So here at Ability, we can be proud to get behind Gas Safety Week and show the public how to remain safe.

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 that 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

If Your Heating System Working To It’s Full Potential

Ability provides assistance with heating system, plumbing and electrical assistance in the Tunbridge Wells, Sevenoaks, East Grinstead, Maidstone, Bromley, Orpington and surrounding areas in Kent, East and West Sussex areas.

Heating systems currently attract dirt and obtain air within them.  It is important to service regularly to remove these to ensure that all is working to its full potential.  If dirt and air are left untreated it will inevitably lead to problems and could, therefore, lead to system breakdowns, which usually happens at the most inappropriate times

Debris in the heating system

Ability has found that whilst technology has moved on and heating systems are far more advanced with smart controls etc we have also noticed that unfortunately, they are more sensitive to contamination from dirt particles and with airlocks.

Whilst many of us will have our boilers serviced regularly, we do not tend to think about the quality of water that is running throughout our heating systems.  An inhibitor to minimise corrosion should be applied particularly in hard water areas.  It is recommended that a heating system should be flushed every 5 to 6 years to ensure efficiency and stop limescale build-up and remove debris and rust.

Common Heating System Complains

Here at Ability we look at some of the most common system complaints to look out for, which suggest air and dirt which could jeopardise the performance of a light commercial or domestic heating system.  

Noisy System – if the system is becoming unusually noisy when in operation this is usually because there is air and build-up within the heating systems resulting in the radiators and pipework banging and clanging as the water tries to pass through.

Cold radiators – If radiators have cold spots or are cold at the bottom but warm at the top, this would suggest there is a build-up of debris within the systems and therefore a power flush may be required.

Corrosion within the system

Air – if there is increased air in the system, this will accumulate in the radiators and potentially clog up the pump, this will usually be noticeable by a noisy system and should be treated as soon as possible to prevent problems.

Replacement of Parts- if parts are being replaced faster than expected this could be due to contamination within the heating system.  When there are debris and air within the system the parts such as the pump are having to work harder to achieve the same output, leading to strain and excessive wear on parts.  Replacing parts can be very costly and can be avoided by keeping the boiler regularly services, water treated and radiators bleed.

If you require any assistance please contact us on 01892 514495 or email info@ability.uk.com

Insurance For The Home, Are You Sufficiently Covered?

Ability provides plumbing, heating and electrical support in the South East.  Home Insurance if very important. We have received numerous calls from clients over the years where they have been away and unfortunately have come back to a leak or they have a fault with their boiler.

Keep your home covered
Keep that smile on everyone’s face with the correct home cover

Home Insurance

When making your final preparation to go on holiday or visit family and friends over the summer, as well as packing the suitcase, checking for passports, sun cream and that the sunglasses are at the ready you need to think is my home safe.  Have you checked all electrical sockets are turned off that can be, have you turned the water off and do I have appropriate home insurance?  It is very easy to forget the latter.

It is important to know what your home insurance policy covers for most eventualities as the last thing you need when returning from a nice break is a huge bill for an essential home repair because your home insurance is inadequate.

Home Insurance Claim

In our experience boilers seem to go wrong at the most inconvenient time, so check do I have emergency cover included in your home insurance.  Also, many companies now will only cover emergency call out claims for boilers up to the age of 15 and some only up to the age of 10.  Ability feels this is very unfair as 10 years is not exactly old with the quality of manufacturing these days, even if it’s a condensing boiler.

leak
water leak

One in five home insurance claims tend to be down to a water leak internally rather than externally and if this happens whilst you are away the damage could be catastrophic.  Therefore, it is so important that you have the right cover for you.  We all like to grab a bargain but the cheaper option is not always the best!  Check the excess, if this is high it becomes a false economy going with a cheaper premium option and look closely at what you are actually going to be covered for.

If you require an emergency plumber, heating engineer or electrician please call Ability on 01892 514495

Which Smart Thermostat Is Right For You?

We have been carrying out an assessment of the new and available digital room thermostatic controls here at Ability.

Traditional thermostats are pretty much a fumble to use. It feels like it takes a million button presses to set or program anything and forget adjusting the temperature if you’re not at home or in the correct room. If you’d rather adjust your thermostat from your phone, with your voice, or if that isn’t futuristic enough, let it adjust itself automatically, you’ll want a smart thermostat like one of these new models that we have on offer here at Ability.

Google Thermostatic Control

Google’s Nest is the biggest name in smart thermostats, and with good reason. Originally designed by Tony Fadell, the father of the iPod, the Nest series use a click-wheel interface for turning the temperature up and down that feels incredibly intuitive. The Nest’s biggest feature, though, is its ability to learn your habits and adapt its temperature schedule accordingly, negating the need for you to futz with it.

Nest Thermostatic Control

Nest Thermostatic Control

The Nest Learning Thermostat is probably what you think of when you picture the Nest, but it isn’t actually my top recommendation for most people. The Nest Thermostat E, in our opinion, is a better buy. It’s cheaper but contains almost all the same features, and its clean white housing is more likely to blend into the walls of your home.

The Nest Thermostat E’s display isn’t quite as nice, but that’s a small downside considering the savings. It does, however, lack compatibility with some HVAC systems – so check Nest’s compatibility tool to see if it’ll work with your home, and keep in mind that if you don’t have a C-Wire, it may not be advisable to use the Nest at all (even though it will technically work). You can read more about C-wires on-line.

Honeywell Thermostatic Control

If you’re on a stricter budget, the Honeywell T5+ gets you the most important smart features in a great package. It’s not exactly “cheap”, and it isn’t as attractive as the other options on this list, but it’ll get the job done, you can control it from your phone or with your voice using Alexa and Google, and use its geofencing features to automate energy savings when you aren’t home.

But that discount has to cut corners somewhere: it doesn’t integrate with SmartThings, doesn’t support room sensors, and doesn’t learn your habits the way Nest does, but if you want basic smart home integration at a more affordable price, the T5+ will do the job.

Ecobee Thermostatic Control

Canadian company ecobee is the other big name in the smart thermostat space, and their latest offering is known simply as the ecobee SmartThermostat. It has a decidedly more techy look, with a black touch screen that’s easy to navigate and adjust, along with sensors for different rooms just like the T9. the ecobee sensors are slightly less powerful as the T9’s, since they don’t detect humidity, but they’re still quite useful. Like other thermostats, you can control it from your phone, set schedules, and automate energy savings when you leave the house. You can check compatibility with your home’s HVAC system here.

If your not sure which thermostatic control is for you then please give us a call here at Ability 01892 514495 and we can discuss the best option for your needs.

Maintaining Our Home Boilers Throughout The Summer

With the Summer hopefully on its way, it’s hard to think about the cold times ahead however at Ability, we find that when our customers come to use their home boilers again in the winter, problems occur and we are called in to fix problems that could sometimes have been avoided. 

Enjoying the Sunshine

Ability has heating engineers in the Bromley and Orpington area along with engineers in other areas of Kent and Sussex.  It costs on average between £150 – £400 to repair a broken home boiler and although unlike some, Ability does not charge a call out fee there are a few simple things that can be maintained throughout the year to keep your boiler in good working order.

Keeping your hot water at a low setting can actually be more cost effective than turning your home boiler completely off.  Home boilers can seize if they are not used regularly so by keeping the hot water on constant but at low temperature will ensure the boiler runs smoothly throughout the year.

Although it seems madness to turn the heating on when the temperatures are soaring outside, by doing so for just 10 minutes a week will help to keep the boiler healthy and avoid incurring costs when the winter comes.

Summer is always a good time to have a home boiler service carried out as plumbers and heating engineers are quieter during the Summer months. It is recommended that boilers are serviced annually to ensure they are working efficiently. If a fault is found during the service it will be less disruptive to have this fixed during the Summer as the household is less reliant on the heating and hot water.

Ability, has heating engineers in the East Grinstead, Maidstone, Tunbridge Wells, Tonbridge, Sevenoaks, Orpington and Bromley area so please feel free to give us a call on 01892 514495 or alternatively email info@ability.uk.com to book a service in.

In Aid Of Child Safety Week (3rd – 9th June), We Talk USB Integrated Sockets Safety.

Ability provides heating, plumbing and electrical services in the Kent, East and West Sussex area. We are a family run business and understand how important it is to ensure our families are kept safe when installing USB integrated sockets.

Daniel Moon, Director here at Ability comments: “Mobile devices are a given in almost every household in the UK and are particularly popular with children and young people. In fact, 93% of 15-year olds in the UK now own a smartphone.  This has led to an increase in sales of USB integrated sockets which contains both the traditional 13A three-pin switch socket and a USB charging point.

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Child safety comes first

There are many aspects to consider when converting your traditional sockets to include USB integrated sockets to ensure safety within the home.

Integrated Socket safety features to eliminate system overload and house fires

Advance safety features come as standard with high-quality USB integrated sockets, this protects against overload and the wiring device must have the ability to prevent such hazards.

It is best to purchase USB integrated sockets that include Dynamic Device Recognition (DDR) technology.  This technology ensures that each device is charged using the required power level as the manufacturer would intend if using the original plug.  This will stop potential damage to the device and more importantly eliminate the dangers of a house fire.

The USB integrated sockets should have built-in, three-pin child resistant shutter systems.  This means that unless the correct three pin plug is inserted into the socket there will be no access to the electricity supply.  As we all know small children do not see danger and there is the temptation to poke little fingers or toys into any small hole they come across.  There is a risk of fire if parents revert to using the plastic socket protectors as used with the traditional three-pin sockets, as they may override the USB sockets’ safety system

If you live in Tonbridge, Sevenoaks, East Grinstead, Bromley or the surrounding areas, and require electrical, plumbing or heating assistance please give us a call on 01892 514495 or email info@ability.uk.com