AOS Blog

AOS Blog

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.

AOS Blog

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.

AOS Blog

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!