AOS Blog

AOS Blog

My boiler is leaking, what do I do?

When your boiler is leaking, you need to get it fixed as soon as you can. If there is damage to your boiler, it could be causing a number of problems. Finding and fixing the problem is a must. to ensure your boiler is efficient and functioning safely. There could be several causes for a leaking boiler, but the most important thing is to take immediate steps to try and resolve the problem.

Prevent Leaking

You shouldn't try fix your boiler yourself, but you can do some things to address the problem. Start by turning off your water supply so that no more water is able to leak. Switch your heating too if you haven't done so already. This will allow you to clean up any water that has leaked without worrying that it's just going to keep coming. These simple steps that you can use to take quick action.

Call a Qualified Heating Engineer

It's always best to have a qualified heating engineer carry out servicing and repairs for your boiler. Once you have switched off the water and heating, make a call to an emergency heating engineer to get them to come and diagnose the problem, as well as make the required repairs. It's better not to wait when your boiler is leaking so you're not left without hot water or heating for too long.

Don't delay if your boiler is leaking. Get it repaired by calling in an expert as soon as possible.

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How hard water can affect my heating system?

Soft water has a low content of calcium carbonate, magnesium, and other minerals. Hard water contains a high amount of these substances. The large majority of homes in England have a hard water system. It's fine to drink water with a high mineral content, but it's not the best water for a heating system.

How might hard water affect my heating?

Calcium and magnesium turn into hard deposits of limescale. These cause damage to the water system because they cause blockages. When your heating system is full of limescale your system has to work harder to heat your property. The result is often that the system overheats and eventually breaks down. At first, you might notice that your water doesn't get very hot, or that the pressure is low.

Hard water causes various problems including:

• Your home will be less energy efficient.
• Your bills will be more expensive.
• Your property may be too cold.
• The water pressure may be too low.

How can I improve my heating system?

To improve your heating system, use a limescale remover to descale your boiler. If you're still having issues it's best to call in the experts. Heating engineers can provide many different solutions, to remove hard water from your heating system. To remove limescale from your radiators and pipes, you may require a 'power flush'. The solution works by flushing a mixture of water and chemicals through your heating system.

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What are Heat Pumps?

An air source heat pump extracts heat from the outside air in the same way that a fridge extracts heat from its inside. the system extracts heat from the air even when the temperature is as low as -15° C. Heat pumps require electricity to run, but the heat they extract from the air is constantly being renewed naturally.
Heat pumps come with multiple advantages for your home. Pumping the heat uses less electricity as compared to when electricity is solely used to convert it. During the summers, the cycle can be reversed and the unit acts like an air conditioner.
Heat pumps are rising in popularity in the UK, and the government recently started to implement a number of new schemes, incentivising the transition to green living and alternative energy usage smoother and more affordable.
By combining heat pumps with solar panels, you can make your home self-sufficient and eco-friendly. Properly designed and installed heat pumps can be worth it, by regularly attain more than 300 per cent efficiency.
Interested in finding out more? Get in touch today.

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The difference between hard and soft water

We all use the terms "hard" and "soft" to describe the water that comes out of our taps, but the truth is that many of us don't actually know what that means. Plenty of people wonder what the difference is between the two is and whether or not there are any issues associated with these different types of water. The difference between the two is actually very straightforward. The hardness or softness of water is measured by the levels of certain minerals contained within it.

Hard Water

Hard water is water that contains high levels of calcium and magnesium. This might sound concerning but it isn't going to cause any real problems for your health. That said, you may notice minor things like slightly drier skin or an itchy scalp after washing your hair with hard water. You may also find that the hardness of the water can cause your clothes to wear out more quickly and leave calcium carbonate deposits on glasses and dishes after you've washed them. Water softening systems are designed to filter out these minerals.

Soft Water

Soft water is water with higher concentrations of sodium, or salt. This means that using soft water is often slightly better for your skin. Your clothes will often last longer using soft water and you won't find any mineral stains on them. You may also find that the water pressure in your home is more consistent because soft water doesn't leave mineral deposits in the pipes in the same way that hard water does.

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Mitsubishi Electric Case Study

Nigel Furr from Buckinghamshire has become the latest homeowner to move his property
away from oil-based heating to a renewable air source heat pump

Undertaking a property wide conversion, taking his two-bed bungalow to a four-bed chalet bungalow, Nigel decided to make the move to a renewable heating solution after the positive feedback he had received from other local homeowners who had already made the transition from oil to a heat pump.

"After talking to our neighbours, many of whom had been using oil previously, we researched air source heat pumps as a solution that was better for the environment and would also help us cut our energy costs." said Nigel.

Following a conversation with Mitsubishi Electric, Nigel was put in contact with their Business Solutions Partner, AOS Energy Efficient Heating Systems Ltd, who suggested an Ecodan
Heat Pump as a viable alternative to oil.

"As a Mitsubishi Electric Business Solutions Partner, we are confident that their products,
aftercare and back-up services are the best in the market," said Lee Wildego, technical surveyor
and contracts manager, AOS Energy Efficient Heating Systems Ltd.

"We have installed nearly 600 heat pumps over the last seven or eight years and each year the number we install is increasing. Homeowners are really starting to see the benefit of air source heat pumps and the calls we receive from new leads shows the understanding of the technology and benefit behind it."

With no access to the gas grid, Nigel decided not to install an unsightly and potentially dangerous oil tank on his property. The Mitsubishi Electric Ecodan 11.2kW was therefore the perfect alternative, with low maintenance and quiet running as recognised by the Noise Abatement Society.

Despite it being unlikely that Milton Keynes will be affected by significantly cold weather, Nigel is comforted in the knowledge that the Ecodan will be able to operate in outside temperatures as low
as -20°C. As a self-contained unit, only requiring water and electric connections, the Ecodan installation ensured that the renovation project was not delayed. Adopting the ultra-quiet version also means the heat pump doesn't emit noise levels above 53 dB(A).

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Why your home might not stay as warm as it used to

If your home no longer stays as warm as it used to, then things can get pretty uncomfortable pretty fast. And that's before you even consider that this could be the prelude to a total boiler breakdown!

Where lost heat is concerned, you obviously want to think about external factors first. After all, gaps, single-glazed windows and faulty draught excluders are all some of the worst culprits for lost heat. If you're sure these issues aren't to blame, though, you'll want to look a little closer to your central heating itself by considering potential issues including -

Boiler malfunctions

Boilers themselves aren't bombproof, and issues here are guaranteed to trickle into your heating capabilities. Some of the primary problems with boilers include -
• Inefficiency due to excessive wear
• Faulty parts (mainly pumps and valves)
• Performance problems due to overuse

Each of these can result in an unsafe boiler setup, and a significant risk of breakdown if you don't turn to the professionals for repair sooner rather than later.

Radiator problems

Radiators can also be prime no-heat culprits, with everything from clogging to leaks preventing heat from spreading. It may be that you notice your radiator is only hot in certain areas, or perhaps it fails to heat up at all.

Again, experts are your best bet for overcoming this problem, as they'll be able to inspect not only the issue but also its source. And that's the best chance you have at enjoying heat again in no time.

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What to Do If Your Water Pipes Freeze

The ideal approach to dealing with freezing pipes is to anticipate the issue when winter approaches. However, when the unthinkable occurs, you will need to act quickly to limit the extent of damages and reduce the cost of fixing. Although it's safer to refer to a professional, you can keep these tips in mind to thaw your frozen water pipes and avoid extensive damage. Here is what to do.
1. The first step is to keep your tap open to allow the melting water to pass. When you begin the thawing process, the water and steam generated will require an opening to allow discharge. Doing this would prevent a leak from occurring.

2. Apply heat to the frozen pipe by wrapping an electronic heating pad around it. You can also use towels soaked in hot water. When you are using an electronic heating pad, never leave it unattended to avoid any fire outbreak.

3. Keep applying the heat until the water starts flowing like normal. After effectively defrosting your pipe, turn on the faucets in your home to check for any other frozen water pipes.

4. Frozen pipes behind the walls can be difficult to melt and may require expert help to repair. However, to offer an immediate solution, you can increase the temperature in your home to make it warmer for pipes to thaw till help arrives eventually.

5. Avoid using kerosene or propane heaters or a blowtorch to defrost your pipes. Avoiding these will save you from any unwarranted fire hazards.

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How to save money on your gas bill

If you're trying to cut costs at home, then your gas bill is a good place to start. The gas bill is often one of the highest home costs, but there are some things you can do to lower your gas bill, without having to make big or expensive changes to your home.

1. Turn down the thermostat. Dropping the temperature by only one degree can save energy and money, without feeling any difference.
2. Don't dry clothes on your radiators. Covering the radiators lowers the amount of heat that the radiator can release, meaning the boiler has to run for longer to get the room to the same temperature, using more fuel.
3. Use a hot water bottle at night. It's much cheaper than leaving the heating on.
4. Switch to a different supplier. You might be able to find a better deal, especially if you've been the same supplier for three or more years. You could also use a lower quote to negotiate with your current supplier.
5. Move your furniture away from your radiators. The foam that is in upholstered furniture works an insulator, preventing the heat from getting into the room.
6. Use the sun. This is the most readily available source of heat, and the cheapest. When the sun's out, make the most of it by opening internal doors and letting the warm air move through the house.
7. Draw the curtains at night to keep warmth in and cold out. Tuck your curtains behind your radiators so you don't lose heat out of the window.

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Green Homes Grant

If you're a homeowner or residential landlord who's looking to reduce your energy use (and consequently energy costs), you should consider applying for a Green Homes Grant Voucher through the Green Homes Grant Scheme. Put simply, this is a government funded scheme that will contribute towards the costs of installing energy efficient improvements in your home. Some options available to you would include insulation your home to reduce your energy use or installing low-carbon heating to minimise the amount of carbon dioxide that your home produces.

If you apply for the scheme, you could receive a voucher that will cover two thirds of the cost of any eligible home improvements you carry out. This sum is capped at £5000, but you can make a whole lot of positive changes to your property for this amount of money! It's worth checking whether you or anyone in your household receives benefits that could cover 100% of the cost of improvements too! If this is the case, you could receive a voucher totaling up to £10,000.

To be eligible for the scheme, you must own your own home, own your own park home on a residential site or be a residential landlord in the private or social rented sector. This offer is only available for a limited time, so make sure to check your eligibility as soon as possible. This is a great way to save money and help the planet at the same time!