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Posted on 15 October 2021

Your Boiler: The Basics

Although most of us have a boiler in our home, you may not know exactly what type of boiler you have, how it works and how you can help keep it running efficiently.

Taking out Boiler & Central Heating Cover with Home Emergency Assist before a problem develops is important, so you know you’re covered in the event of an emergency, and with a 24/7 emergency helpline and a UK-wide network of qualified engineers, you can be assured your home will be back up and running as quickly as possible.

We’ve put together a handy article to answer any questions you may have about your boiler and heating system.

What is central heating?

Central heating is the system which provides you with warmth from a specific heating source. Your boiler produces a steady supply of hot water which is then pumped around the pipes within your home to fill the radiators you have in every room.

What is a boiler?

The boiler is the most important part of your central heating system as this is what produces the heat. It’s a small furnace which uses gas, oil or LPG (liquified petroleum gas) as fuel. The majority of boilers in the UK are fuelled by natural gas, which feeds through from the national grid. There are different types of boilers too.

How does a gas boiler work?

Typically, there are several pipes entering the boiler. One feeds gas from the mains gas supply (which will come from outside your home) into the boiler. Another pipe enables cold water to enter the boiler so it can be heated, and a further pipe enables hot water to exit the boiler to be pumped around your home.

  1. When you turn on your heating, a valve opens which enables gas from the mains supply to enter a sealed chamber inside the boiler. The gas enters and is ignited by an electric ignition switch, which creates blue flames*. These heat a component within your boiler called a heat exchanger, which transfers the heat to the cold water pipe; this will heat up the water to around 60°C.
  2. Once the water has been heated, a pump (which is either inside the boiler, or very near to it), will pump the water around a circuit of pipe which runs around your home and passes through your radiators.
  3. The hot water enters each radiator, entering at one side and leaving at the other, providing heat for the room.
  4. Once the water has travelled around all your radiators, it returns to the boiler. The water will have cooled down by now, so the boiler will reheat the water before sending it around again.
  5. While the boiler is burning, it produces waste gases which need to be released outside your home. This is done via a pipe called a flue.

* IMPORTANT: if the flame in your boiler is not blue, i.e., it’s yellow or orange, the boiler isn’t getting enough oxygen. This can be very dangerous and mean that your boiler is emitting a lethal gas called carbon monoxide. This is colourless and odourless but can kill quickly so it’s important to install a carbon monoxide detector in your home.

How do oil and LPG boilers work?

These work in much the same way as a gas boiler. The key difference is that, rather than the fuel being supplied by a national network of pipes, it comes from a tank of fuel which needs to be kept on the property.

Do boilers produce hot water for taps as well as radiators?

This depends on the type of boiler you have, as there are key differences. Many modern boilers work as both a central heating boiler and a water heater for your taps. Others may only be able to supply your central heating.

  • Conventional/Traditional Boiler: this will produce hot water for your central heating system but not your taps, bath, and shower. The boiler is fed cold water from a tank in your attic. These are used in combination with a hot water cyclinder in an airing cupboard which will heat and store water for you to use.
  • System Boiler: this requires a hot water cylinder to store hot water for your taps, but it’s supplied with cold water from the mains at a high pressure. This means there’s no feed for a tank in the attic.
  • Combination (or combi) Boiler: the most common type of boiler installed today. These have two heat exchangers and two hot water pipes. One is connected to your radiators and the other to your taps, bath, and shower. There’s no need to have a feed tank in the attic and as it produces hot water on demand, it doesn’t need a hot water cylinder.

What is a condensing boiler?

In the past, boilers were non-condensing which means that when the fuel burnt, a lot of heat was wasted when gases were released. Wasted heat meant that the boilers would have to work harder, costing you more money and increasing carbon emissions.

Today, all boilers installed must be condensing, which means any waste gases and residual heat pass through the heat exchanger that warm the cold water returning from the radiators before being released via the flue. This helps it to heat up and reduces the work your boiler has to do.

Condensing boilers are far more energy efficient, with over 90% of the energy used being converted into usable heat.

Considering a new boiler?

We’ver partned up with Heatable, who offer great boilers at great prices, guaranteed for 10 years. You can get a quick quote, 24/7, 365 days a year to find out how much you could save with a new energy-efficient boiler, with installation as little as 24 hours later!

You’ll also benefit from an additional £100 discount by using our exclusive discount code: HOME100 when you click to get a quote for a new boiler today using our referral link.

To find out more about our Complete Home Emergency plans, boiler and central heating insurance or other types of home care cover plans, such as plumbing and drainage insurance and home appliances cover, contact our friendly team on 0330 09 48 301. You can even request a call back to discuss your requirements or get a quote online.

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Posted on 25 October 2021

Thawing A Frozen Condensate Pipe

Even the most well-maintained boiler will struggle to work properly if the condensate pipe freezes, and as the colder weather draws in, it’s important to know what to do if your boiler stops working.

What is a condensate pipe?

The condensate pipe carries condensation from your boiler to the outside drain. It’s usually made of white or grey plastic and travels from your boiler through the wall and directly outside where your boiler is located.

Red exclamation point icon Common signs the condensate pipe is frozen

  1. Gurgling/bubbling noises coming from the boiler
  2. Your boiler fails to start
  3. A fault code/warning light is on the boiler’s display (this depends on the make/model of your boiler)

Red graphic of a water pipe How to find the frozen portion of the pipe

Your pipe will typically be frozen at the most exposed point. Run your hands along the pipe until you find the section which feels colder than the rest.

Red kettle icon How to thaw the pipe

Pour hot water along the length of the pipe, repeating until its thawed. Don’t use boiling water as this could crack or damage the pipe. If you’re using your kettle to heat the water, leave it to cool for 15 minutes or so (you could also use a hot water bottle or a microwaveable heating pack).

Red Boiler IconReset your boiler

Once you’re happy that the frozen section of your condensate pipe is melted, you can reset your boiler – use your manufacturer’s guidelines if you’re unsure how to do this. You should not find that your boiler works as expected.

How to stop this happening again

Leaving your heating on overnight can help to stop this happening by keeping your pipes warm while the weather’s cold. You could also buy foam pipe insulation to wrap the pipe in; this is available from most DIY stores.

To find out more about our boiler and central heating insurance, plumbing and drainage insurance or other types of home care cover plans, such as Complete Home Emergency plans and home appliances cover, contact our friendly team on 0330 09 48 301. You can even request a call back to discuss your requirements or get a quote online.

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Posted on 27 September 2021

Boiler Switch On Month

The weather may not be cold yet, but it won’t be long until the weather changes and we’re thinking of putting our heating back on.

October is Boiler Switch On Month so it’s a great time to start thinking about the colder weather ahead and the last thing you need is to discover your boiler doesn’t work or has developed faults in the time it hasn’t been used.

Boiler & Central Heating Cover can help protect your home in the event your boiler and central heating system stops working but it’s vital to have cover in place before a fault develops.

Read our tips for keeping your boiler and heating working as expected below.

Begin with a boiler service

Your boiler should ideally be serviced once a year by a Gas Safe Registered engineer.

If you add a boiler service to any of your Home Emergency plans with Home Emergency Assist, we’ll typically carry this out between April and September to ensure any potential issues are raised before the colder weather.

You can find out what to expect in a gas boiler service.

Turn your boiler back on gradually

Aim to turn your boiler back on once or twice a month during the summer to stop any debris building up. This will also help to show any issues that may be developing in time for you to have these rectified. If you haven’t been doing this, don’t worry, there’s still time! Fire up your boiler a couple of times over the next few weeks before winter hits.

Boiler not working as expected?

If you switch your boiler back on and it’s not working as expected, we’ve got a few articles that may help:

To find out more about our Complete Home Emergency plans, boiler and central heating insurance or other types of home care cover plans, such as plumbing and drainage insurance and home appliances cover, contact our friendly team on 0330 09 48 301. You can even request a call back to discuss your requirements or get a quote online.

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Posted on 13 September 2021

Gas Safety Week 2021

In honour of Gas Safety Week, we thought we’d share some more tips with you about keeping safe at home.

Unsafe gas appliances have the potential to leak, cause fires and carbon monoxide poisoning. According to information from the Gas Safe Register, 1 in 6 homes has an unsafe gas appliance. You can find out how safe your area is on their interactive map.

Here are some tips for keeping your home safe.

Use Gas Safe Registered engineers

Ensure you use a Gas Safe registered engineer to fit, repair and service your boiler and gas kitchen appliances. You can find (and check) engineers on the Gas Safe Register website.

With 1 in 6 boilers inspected being unsafe, it’s vital that you have your boiler regularly serviced and checked once a year. You can add a gas boiler service with any of our Home Emergency products for £6 a month and we’ll always send a Gas Safe Registered engineer to your home.

Check your appliances

If you spot any of these signs, you need to get your gas appliances serviced straight away:

  • Your appliance isn’t working as expected
  • There’s a floppy yellow flame instead of a crisp blue one
  • There are brown/black marks around the appliance
  • Your boiler’s pilot light keeps going out
  • More condensation than normal on the inside of your windows

The Gas Safe Register recommend that you don’t wait for these warning signs before getting your appliances serviced; always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines to find out how often they recommend a service.

Know the signs of carbon monoxide poisoning

Carbon monoxide is a highly poisonous gas which is caused by the incomplete burning of gas or LPG. This usually happens as a result of a gas appliance being fitted incorrectly, badly repaired or poorly maintained. It’s especially dangerous as you can’t see, taste or smell it and some symptoms mimic a cold or flu.

The main symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are:

  1. Headache
  2. Dizziness
  3. Nausea
  4. Breathlessness
  5. Collapse
  6. Loss of consciousness

If you have any of these symptoms and your gas appliances are showing any of the above signs, get into fresh air as soon as you can and see your doctor/go to hospital. They will be able to do a blood or breath test to check for carbon monoxide poisoning.

If you’re concerned there’s an immediate danger, you can also phone the gas emergency helpline on 0800 111 999 (mainland GB).

Prevent carbon monoxide poisoning

Getting your gas appliances checked regularly by a Gas Safe Registered engineer is the most important thing you can do to minimise the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

You can also install a carbon monoxide leak detector – or audible carbon monoxide alarm – in your home too, as they’ll emit a sound when carbon monoxide is detected. However, because these alarms only work when carbon monoxide is present, you shouldn’t rely on these alone.

To ensure their effectiveness, make sure any carbon monoxide detector you buy is kitemarked to standards BS EN 50291-1:2010.

To find out more about our Complete Home Emergency plans, boiler and central heating insurance or other types of home care cover plans, such as plumbing and drainage insurance and home appliances cover, contact our friendly team on 0330 09 48 301. You can even request a call back to discuss your requirements or get a quote online.

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Posted on 28 June 2021

Registering Your Boiler And/Or Appliances

When you take out Home Emergency Insurance or Appliance Cover with Home Emergency Assist, it’s important to ensure you’ve registered your boiler and/or kitchen appliances.

You won’t be able to make a claim until they’re registered, so make sure you do this as soon as possible once you’ve taken out a plan.

  • Appliance cover doesn’t start until 28 days after registration
  • Boiler cover doesn’t start until 14 days after registration

 

It’ll only take a few minutes and ensures that your records are up to date in the event of a home emergency or appliance breakdown.

Information we need for registering your boiler

To register your boiler, all we need is your:

  • Full name
  • Policy reference
  • Age of your boiler
  • Boiler make
  • Boiler model
  • Date it was last serviced
  • Fuel type (gas, oil or LPG)
  • Whether it currently has any faults

Information we need for registering your appliance(s)

To register your appliance(s), we’ll need:

  • Full name
  • Phone number
  • Email address
  • Postcode
  • How many appliances you’ve chosen to insure
  • Appliance type, make and model
  • Month/year of purchase (if you don’t remember the exact month, please put January)

If you have the manufacturer’s instruction booklet, you should find the make and model of your appliance. However, if you’ve misplaced it or no longer have it available, you should still be able to find the information you need to register your appliance. Read our guides below:

How to find out your boiler’s age

You can find out how old your boiler is by visiting the boiler database and filling in the make and model of your boiler. You’ll then see the dates that the manufacture of your model started and finished.

If you’re not sure about the make and model of your boiler, you should be able to find the serial number on a visible sticker and if you pull down the front panel at the bottom of the boiler, there’ll usually be a bar code underneath.

On some older models of boiler, the serial number will usually be either on the inside front panel or on top of the boiler itself. You can then type the serial number into Google to find the make and model of your boiler.

There are a few places you can look to find this information:

  • Fridge/Fridge-Freezer: there should be a plate with the energy rating (rating plate) on the inner wall of the fridge or hidden at the bottom to the left of the salad compartments (accessible with the drawers removed). If not there, you might find it on the outside of the casing or lastly on the back of the fridge itself (be careful if you're moving your appliances).
  • Freezer: you may find the plate on the inside of the freezer compartment or on the sides or back of the appliance.

If you're unable to locate the make and model of your appliance but find the serial number, you can use Google to find the make and model.

The majority of washing machines or tumble dryers have the rating plate behind the door or on the inside of the door. A few manufacturers hide this information behind the kickplate at the base of the machine. Be careful if removing this as they're generally quite thin and may break.

If you're unable to locate the make and model of your appliance but find the serial number, you can use Google to find the make and model.

  • The majority of dishwashers have their model numbers displayed behind the door. Check the top edge of the door and all of the sides.
  • You can also try the base of the dishwasher or the kick-strip under the door at the front. You might need to lower the dishwasher door all the way to be able to see it.
  • Check the back and sides of the dishwasher but if you need to move it, be careful not to rip your flooring.

If you're unable to locate the make and model of your appliance but find the serial number, you can use Google to find the make and model.

  • Most oven model numbers are located on the fram behind the oven door but check the sides of the door and the inside of the hinges.
  • Try behind any other doors, such as the flap at the base of your oven, underneath the main door.
  • Check the back and side panels. You may have to shift your oven to do this, but be careful when moving it.

If you're unable to locate the make and model of your appliance but find the serial number, you can use Google to find the make and model.

The model number is generally found inside the cooker hood or on the side of the cooker hood casing. To check inside, you may have to remove the metal filters.

If you're unable to locate the make and model of your appliance but find the serial number, you can use Google to find the make and model.

Generally, you should be able to find the make and model of your microwave either behind the door or on the back of the machine itself.

If you're unable to locate the make and model of your appliance but find the serial number, you can use Google to find the make and model.

To find out more about our home appliances cover or other types of home care cover plans, such as boiler and heating insurance, plumbing and drainage insurance and Complete Home Emergency plan contact our friendly team on 0330 09 48 301. You can also request a call back to discuss your requirements or get a free quote online in minutes.

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Posted on 31 May 2021

Why You Need Home Emergency Cover

If a pipe bursts or your boiler breaks down, it can be a huge relief knowing you’ve got Home Emergency cover in place to rectify the emergency quickly and cover any repair costs.

Depending on the level of cover your choose, if your central heating stops working, you have an electrical fault in your home or you discover pests have made a nest in your house, your Home Emergency insurance provider will send out an approved tradesperson to fix the problem.

While home insurance will usually cover any damage caused by an emergency – for example, if a pipe bursts and the water ruins your carpets – it won’t usually cover the costs for call-out fees or emergency repairs of your boiler and central heating or your plumbing and drainage system.

It’s important therefore, to have Home Emergency Cover in place before a problem develops, to make sure you’re covered in the event of an emergency.

What does Home Emergency Cover with Home Emergency Assist include?

If you buy Enhanced Complete Cover, you’ll benefit from the following:

  • Boiler & Central Heating: this will cover you in the event your boiler stops working and you’re left without heating and/or hot water. We can cover gas, oil and LPG boilers under 15 years old. It’s important you get your boiler serviced once a year to keep it well-maintained.
  • Plumbing & Drainage: this covers you for damage to or failure of your plumbing and drainage system where you’re likely to suffer internal flooding or water damage. This includes loss of access to your only or all toilets within your home.
  • Electrics: covers you for the electrical failure of at least one complete circuit.
  • Security: this covers you if your windows, doors or locks are broken and your home is not secure. We’ll also cover you for the loss of your only available key to the home which can’t be replaced (and normal access can’t be obtained).
  • Pests: we’ll cover you in the event you suffer from an infestation of mice and/or rats, as well as wasp and hornet nests.
  • Roof: covers you for missing, broken or loose tiles which is causing internal water damage.
  • Boiler Replacement Contribution: we’ll give you a contribution towards the cost of a replacement boiler if yours is deemed to be beyond economical repair.
  • Overnight Accommodation: where it’s not been possible to resolve your emergency following an accepted claim for emergency repairs, we’ll arrange overnight accommodation for you.

What’s classed as an emergency?

We class an emergency as a sudden or unforeseen event which, if not dealt with quickly would:

  • Render your home unsafe or insecure
  • Damage or cause further damage to the home
  • Cause personal risk to you
  • Cause a health and safety risk to others

Can you get cover for non-emergencies?

If you upgrade to Premium Complete Home Emergency Cover, you will be covered should any of the above scenarios occur as well as being covered for non-emergency situations.

A non-emergency (or breakdown) is a sudden and unforeseen malfunction with results in the unit or system no longer working or operating as expected.

This would include repairing dripping taps, replacement of leaking pipes and thermostats/temperature timings.

 

To find out more about our Complete Home Emergency plans, boiler and central heating insurance or other types of home care cover plans, such as plumbing and drainage insurance and home appliances cover, contact our friendly team on 0330 09 48 301. You can even request a call back to discuss your requirements or get a quote online.

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Posted on 30 April 2021

Simple DIY You Can Do Around Your Home

Being able to do basic home maintenance yourself is an important life skill which can save you money in the long term. Outsourcing jobs that you can do yourself can be a big expense.

We’ve put together a list of basic DIY skills you can learn to save yourself time and the inconvenience of having to find a tradesperson.

Basic Plumbing

We’ll all have to deal with plumbing problems at some point. Whether it’s a blocked drain, a leaking tap or a toilet with a faulty flush, these are all common problems and usually easy to fix.

  • If your plumbing freezes or springs a leak, you’ll need to be able to shut your water supply off in order to make repairs. Make sure you know how to locate your stopcock in the event of an emergency.
  • If your sink has stopped draining (or has become slow to drain), you’re likely to have a blockage somewhere in your waste pipe. Read our step-by-step guide to unblocking your sink.
  • Dripping taps aren’t just annoying – they’re bad for the environment (and your wallet) too. It can waste as much as 5,300 litres of water a year. Luckily, we’ve got a handy guide to fixing a leaking tap.
  • If your toilet won’t flush, there are things you can try before having to resort to a plumber. Find out more about fixing a faulty flush.

 

If you don’t have the right tools, you don’t feel confident attempting repairs yourself or the problem hasn’t resolved with a simple fix, you’ll need to call in a plumber. Having Plumbing & Drainage Cover in place before problems develop is important in the event of an emergency and with our Premium Plumbing & Drainage Cover, we’ll also fix non-emergency problems such as dripping taps.

Boiler and Central Heating

It’s important that you don’t attempt to fix your boiler yourself, as this will need to be done by a fully qualified Gas Safety registered engineer, however there are steps you can take yourself to resolve common problems:

  • If you find yourself without heating or hot water, there may be a problem with your boiler’s pressure. Follow our step-by-step guide to top up your boiler pressure.
  • If boiler pressure isn’t the problem, your boiler’s pilot light may be out. Read our handy guide to reigniting the pilot light. (You may need to get a Gas Safe registered engineer to look at your oiler depending on the issue)
  • If your radiators are cold at the top but the bottom is warm, you may have trapped air that needs releasing. In this case, you’ll need to bleed your radiators to improve flow.

 

If none of the simple fixes above help and you’re without heating and/or hot water, you’ll need to call an engineer. Making sure you have Boiler & Central Heating Cover in place before an emergency occurs is important and with Premium Boiler & Central Heating Cover from Home Emergency Assist, we’ll take care of non-emergency problems too.

Simple DIY

If you’ve just moved into your first home, there are some other basic maintenance tasks you can do yourself. Find out more with our easy-to-follow step-by-step guides below:

To find out more about our Complete Home Emergency plans, boiler and central heating insurance or other types of home care cover plans, such as plumbing and drainage insurance and home appliances cover, contact our friendly team on 0330 09 48 301. You can even request a call back to discuss your requirements or get a quote online.

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Posted on 22 September 2020

Turning Your Boiler Back On After Summer

Although we’re currently enjoying warm weather in some places around the UK, it won’t be long until the weather turns and we’re having to switch our heating back on. 1 October marks the start of Boiler Switch On Month, when we start to think about the colder months ahead.

If you’ve had your boiler switched off for the summer months, you might find when you come to switch it back on that your system could have developed faults or in the worst-case scenario, not work at all.

Home Emergency Cover can help protect your home against the event that your boiler and central heating stop working and ensure you’re not left with no heating during the colder weather or a large repair bill.

We’ve put together some tips for restarting your boiler this year, ready for the winter months.

Gradually turn your boiler back on

You should have been aiming to turn your boiler on once or twice a month during the summer months to stop any build-up of corrosion or dust. Doing this also flags any potential problems before you come to switch it back on permanently. If you’ve not been doing this, don’t worry – there’s still time to fire your boiler up a few times over the next couple of weeks before the weather turns colder.

Check for faults

Faults can occur over long periods of inactivity, such as the summer months.

Pilot Light Not Igniting: if your pilot light keeps going out, you should first check that there aren’t any issues with your gas supply. Use our guide to find out how to get your pilot light switched back on.

Low Boiler Pressure: boilers can lose pressure over time and a boiler without enough pressure won’t work. Yours should be at around 1 bar; any less and you may find issues with your system. Read our guide to topping up your boiler pressure.

Build-up Of Limescale: getting your boiler descaled can prevent potential leaks and even pipes rupturing and helps to prolong its life. Find out how a Gas Safe Registered engineer would descale your boiler.

Don’t turn the heat up too fast

We know it’s tempting to turn the heat up as soon as you start feeling the cold, however doing this can mean you set the temperature too high, wasting both money and energy. Try instead to turn your heating up one degree at a time. For most households, a temperature of around 18-21°C is ideal, however the elderly or unwell may need the temperature a little higher.

Bleed your radiators if needed

Because you won’t have been using your central heating over the summer months, you’re unlikely to notice if your radiators have stopped working effectively. If you notice that your radiators have cold patches, or aren’t warming up at all, you may need to bleed them to remove any trapped air. You can read our handy step-by-step guide for bleeding your radiators.

Boiler not working correctly?

If you’re not able to get your boiler up and running correctly after winter, you should contact a Gas Safe registered engineer.

If you have Boiler and Central Heating Cover or Complete Home Emergency Insurance with Home Emergency Assist, we’ll course and send a Gas Safe registered engineer to you in the event you have no heating to get you back up and running as quickly as possible.

To find out more about how we’re here to solve your emergency breakdowns with our boiler and central heating cover including service and other types of home emergency cover, including plumbing and drainage and home appliances cover, contact our friendly team on 0330 09 48 301. You can even request a call back to discuss your requirements or get a quote online.

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Posted on 14 September 2020

It’s Gas Safety Week – find out our top tips for keeping your family safe

As it’s Gas Safety Week, we thought we’d share our top tips for gas safety in the home.

Badly fitted and poorly serviced appliances can cause gas leaks, fires and even carbon monoxide poisoning, so it’s important you know how to keep you and your family safe. According to information from the Gas Safe Register, 1 in 9 homes contain boilers that are unsafe and 1 in 11 cookers inspected are hazardous too.

Dave, our Gas Safe registered engineer from Hertfordshire, shared his advice:

  • Make sure you use a Gas Safe registered engineer to fit, repair and service your kitchen appliances and boiler. You can check (and find) engineers at the Gas Safe Register website
  • Have all your gas appliances (boiler included) regularly serviced and checked every year. You can set an alert on the Gas Safe Register website to email or text you a reminder to get your appliances checked each year.
  • Be aware of the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning such as drowsiness and flu-like symptoms
  • Check for signs that your gas appliances aren’t working properly, e.g. a gas flame should usually burn blue but if it burns yellow or orange, there may be a build-up of carbon monoxide
  • Fit a carbon monoxide alarm to alert you to any problems
  • Keep any vents or chimneys clear; these are vital to ensure gas appliances burn properly
  • Use your gas appliances for the use they were intended for, e.g. don’t use a gas cooker to heat your room
  • Know what to do if you smell gas and who to notify immediately

How to check a Gas Safe ID card

All our boiler engineers are Gas Safe registered and will carry their Gas Safe ID cards when they’re working. This contains important information about the engineer: who they are, their license number and the work they’re qualified to carry out.

When one of our engineers comes to your property, they may show you their ID card or have it on display. If that’s not the case, however, you can ask to see it as they should be happy for you to check.

There’s information on both the front and back of the card, so it’s important to check both sides. On the front of the card will be:

  • The engineer’s photo: so you can check the engineer at your property is the person the card relates to
  • The business they work for: all our engineers are part of a network but will be individually employed too
  • The start and expiry date: Gas Safe engineers must renew their licenses annually, so it’s important to check they have a current license. If the date has expired, contact the Gas Safe Register
  • The license number: each registered engineer has their own unique license number. This is at the top of the card and embossed across the middle
  • Gas Safe security hologram: official Gas Safe ID cards have a hologram with the Gas Safe logo on it

Even if all the details on the front of the card are correct, you should still check the back of the card. Not all Gas Safe engineers can work with all types of gas appliance or carry out all gas work.

On the back of the card will be a full list of qualifications that your engineer holds. These list the name of the work they’re qualified to undertake along with the expiry date.

You should check the engineer has the qualification needed for the work required. E.g. if they’ve come to service your boiler, it should list ‘Gas Boiler’.  Also make sure the qualification hasn’t expired.

To find out more about our boiler with central heating cover and how our other types of cover are here to solve your home emergencies, including plumbing and drains and home appliance cover, contact our friendly team on 0330 09 48 301. You can also request a call back to discuss your requirements or get a free quote online in minutes!

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Posted on 6 July 2020

What You Need To Know About Boiler Efficiency

You’ve probably noticed the stickers on white goods such as washing machines and dishwashers, showing you an energy rating guide.

The information is crucial when you’re shopping for a boiler as it is for large appliances. Being mindful of our energy use and reducing gas emissions is becoming increasingly important. In 2009, the ERP Directive was signed, bringing positive change to improving energy efficiency.

What is ERP?

ERP (or Energy Related Products Directive) is a piece of European legislation which applies to all products that consume energy, including within their manufacturing process. This Directive includes domestic heating products such as boilers, water heaters and other electrically powered products.

The ERP’s Directive is to encourage manufacturers to offer products that are better for the environment by reducing harmful gas emissions. It’s the manufacturer’s responsibility to ensure that their products are ERP compliant and products are only sold if they meet the requirements.

What is boiler efficiency and why is it important?

Boiler efficiency is worked out by evaluating the fuel it converts into usable energy and how much fuel is wasted throughout the process. Depending on the percentage, the product will receive a rating, in the form of a letter, which will help you to identify which products are more energy efficiency.

Heating up your home is a large percentage of your energy bills, so having an efficient boiler is a must. The better your ERP boiler rating, the cheaper your energy bills will be. The Energy Savings Trust estimates that installing a new boiler could save the average household up to £200 every year on their gas bill.

New boiler regulations from 2018 ensure that any boiler installed from April onwards must have an ERP rating of least 92%. This was put in place to help stabilise climate change. It’s important to consider the ERP rating before buying a new boiler to make sure you’re doing your bit to help the environment as well as lowering your heating bills wherever possible.

It’s now also a requirement (post-April 2018), for all new boilers to include programmable timers and thermostats. This enables you to control your heating times, temperatures and to make sure your boiler is only used when needed.

How efficient is my boiler?

Modern condensing boilers are potentially 89-94% efficient whereas a boiler that is more than 20 years old can be as little as 60% efficient.

a boiler’s efficiency is the percentage of the total energy used by the boiler to provide useful heating. For example, a boiler which is 94% efficient will have 94% of the energy used going towards heating the home and only 6% is ‘lost’.

You’ve probably seen efficiency ratings of A-G on other domestic kitchen appliances and boilers are the same. Modern boilers must be A rated and this will be shown on their literature.

  • A: 90% and above
  • B: 86-90%
  • C: 82-86%
  • D: 78-82%
  • E: 74-78%
  • F: 70-74%
  • G: below 70%

Things to consider

  • Combi boilers can reduce energy by heating water on demand. This means you’ll never pay for water to be heated which may go unused. This is often a much more energy-efficient solution, especially in a smaller household. You can find out more about the different boilers available by reading our blog post, Types of Boilers and Fuels Explained.

To find out more about our boiler with central heating cover and how our other types of cover are here to solve your home emergencies, including plumbing and drains and home appliance cover, contact our friendly team on 0330 09 48 301. You can also request a call back to discuss your requirements or get a free quote online in minutes!

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