Hive Active Heating

Why choose Hive Active Heating

SMART Technology is fast advancing with new break throughs every month. We have talked about the Nest Thermostat but now we want to talk to you about the Hive Active Heating, which can be operated by your SMART Phone.  The Hive Active Heating will:

 

  • Save you money on your heating bills
  • Set daily schedules for your heating to come on (6 times per day)
  • Notifications telling you, you’ve left the heating on so you can turn it off
  • Use your SMART phone to adjust your heating

 

Hive works your existing boiler so no need for a new boiler.  We can help you with any queries you may have but there is no need to switch suppliers.  The Hive does it all.

 

The Hive also works with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa so you can tell your heating to come on and off without even using your SMART Phone.  It’s all hands free.  The Hive has a multi zone setting allowing each room to have it’s own temperature and connect to different devices.  The Hive can also be used to programme your lights as well as Amazon Alexa.

 

Gone are the days when you have to go into another room to adjust your heating or alter the clock on your boiler.  Hive has got it covered for you and we can give it 5 starts.

Come and ask us how your house can become a hands free zone.

 

Why your boiler needs an annual service

Why your boiler needs an annual service

 

Safety

A faulty boiler can cause death with carbon monoxide.  A boiler service carried out with a qualified Gas certified engineer will ensure that your boiler is checked for leaks.

Reduce energy bills

A boiler service will ensure that your boiler is running efficiently and isn’t wasting energy.  If there are any problems this will be fixed and shouldn’t be wasting you energy, also reduce your carbon footprint.

Save money on repairs

A healthy boiler won’t break down.  If you have your yearly service then any problems will be identified, which will save money on any repairs.  If these aren’t identified then small jobs could turn into big costly ones.

Keeping inline within your warranty

Most boilers come with warranties and also businesses have insurance policies.  Sometimes an annual service is part of the warranty and if this isn’t carried out it could void the warranty costing you more money in the future with boiler repairs.

The legalities

When selling your home, most home owners expect to have a full boiler history.  Businesses must be gas safe and safe to use and must also have a gas safety certificate for gas boilers.

If you have any questions about your heating or energy we are always here to help!

 

Picture of nest thermostat

Nest Thermostat

Word is on the street that the new Nest Thermostat WILL save you money on your energy bills.  The Nest thermostat has been around since 2011 and statistics show that it’s saved over 8 billion of energy in millions of homes world wide.

 

How it works

With the world of Alexa and Google Home taking over the Nest Thermostat is in a perfect position to learn from you.  The thermostat gets to know the temperature you like when you’re at home and also turns the temperature down when you’re away.  Another great feature we love is it determines how draughty you’re your home is and how it warms up so only uses the energy it needs.  This in a nutshell is how it saves energy.

 

Controlling your hot water

The amazing thermostat also controls your hot water as it comes with a hot water schedule.  This is all controlled through the app and allows you to boost your hot water and add extra heat.  When you’re away from home it will turn the water off for you.

 

Energy use

When you use the app you can also see how much energy your using or saving.  You have everything at the tip of your finger tips.  It’s such an easy thing to use and worth every penny.  The thermostat also lights up when you enter the room making it easy to see.

 

Being Safe

If there is carbon monoxide or smoke present the Nest thermostat will display an alert.  The thermostat will also shut off the heating system, which will keep your home safe.

The nest thermostat has our vote.

Thank you to https://nest.com/uk/thermostats/nest-learning-thermostat/overview/ for the informative information for this post.

How to defrost a frozen condensate boiler pipe

How to defrost a frozen condensate boiler pipe

a frozen condensate pipe is very common, however, can be avoided without having an engineer call and high costly bills.

Here are some pointers to help you defrost your condensate pipe:

  • Pour hot water (not boiling water) over the end of the pipe where it’s frozen.
  • If you have a hot water bottle or any form of heat cushion you can wrap this around the pipe.
  • Reset the boiler holding the reset button once the pipe has defrosted.  If you’re unsure how to reset your boiler, check your manual or contact your boiler manufacturer who should be able to advise over the phone.

Thawing your condensate pipe.

  • Use hot water – not boiling – heated by a kettle or a microwave and pour over the end of the pipe where it is frozen using a suitable container like a watering can.
  • Hold a hot water bottle or heat wrap around the condensate pipe.
  • Once the pipe has thawed you should re-set your boiler by holding in the re-set button for 10 seconds and wait for the boiler to re-fire.

You can also find some useful information from the Baxi site via this link.

Warning

  • Never attempt to thaw a condensate pipe above waist level, or disconnect the condensate pipe in order to do so.
  • Never attempt to access the condensate pipe or any other pipe work within the boiler.
  • Beware of ice on the ground that will form from the water you have poured.

This information was given to you with the help and support of WDH Care http://www.wdh.co.uk/

 

Heating and energy tips

How to draught proof your home

How to draught proof your home

Alot of houses lose valuable energy and heat through gaps in windows, doors and roof.  In this months blog we would like to talk about how to draught proof your home.

Statistics

Thanks to https://www.nia-uk.org/consumer (National Insulation Association) we can confirm the percentage of heat lost in homes is:

  • 66% heat loss through uninsulated solid walls
  • 33% heat loss through uninsulated walls
  • 25% heat loss through the loft/roof space
  • 20% heat loss through windows & doors

7 Top Tips to draught proof your home

  1. If your home is prone to wind plant wind blocking hedges, which will reduce the wind onto your property
  2. If your porch opens directly into your living room consider building a wall to create a porch.  This will stop any draughts coming from the front door.
  3. Review what curtains and drapes you have up at windows.  If these are thin they’ll allow for cold and draughts to come through easier.  If you have large windows the cold from outside can often be felt indoors if you don’t have thick enough drapes or curtains.
  4. Carry out a draught assessment.  Feel the inside of all windows and check for draughts
  5. Secure all drafts temporarily with draught excluder tape.  You can find some here.  Draught proofing is one of the most inexpensive and effective energy efficiency measures for the home.  You can also seal any gaps in doors by purchasing a draft excluder from a number of home stores.
  6. Invest in Cavity Wall Insulation.  Cavity wall insulation stores the heat within the inner walls, bouncing it back into the room and holding it for longer. This gives you a more even temperature and gets rid of the draughts that come down from the walls.  You can see if you qualify for FREE cavity wall insulation here
  7. Last of all when the sun is shining open the curtain and let the natural heat flow round your home

If you have a heating or energy saving tip you’d like to share please comment and we will share on our blog.

 

Gas safe

How to make your home Gas Safe

How to make your home gas safe

Are you Gas Safe?

 

  • Is your home gas safe?
  • Do you know if the engineer who fitted your boiler is gas safety registered?
  • Are you tenants of a new home and unsure of how your gas appliances were installed?

 

Here are some tips on how to make your home gas safe

 

Before any work is started in your home, you should ask the gas engineer to present their card.  You’re within your rights to take down their ID number, which should also be on the gas safety checklist once the appliance has been fitted.

 

The Gas Safe Website can help you check all this and if you find out you aren’t gas safe then book a consultation with us and we will come out and test your boiler with a gas safety check.

 

This link will take you to the Gas Safe Register.  On this site you can find out if your appliance and engineer were gas registered.

 

What to do if you can’t find the registration number or business name

 

If you are unsure about a Gas Safe registration number or business name you can contact Gas Safe on 0800 408 5500 and they will be able to confirm the business registration for you.

How to check a Gas Safe ID Badge

 

Here’s a great video from Gas Safe telling you how to check the ID of an engineer.

 

How to check if your home is gas safe

 

Another Great Tool on the Gas Safe Website is the reminder to get your gas appliances checked.  The website allows you to insert your post code and informs you how many homes were found unsafe when they were checked by Gas Safe in your area.  By clicking Help me to Stay Safe, you can set a reminder to have your gas appliances checked.  This is a brilliant tool and we would highly recommend you use it.  We are approved Gas Safety engineers and can carry out these checks within your home.

 

At Tyne and Wear we want all our customers to be warm and most of all safe.  We hope these posts within our website will give you tips on how to do this.  If in doubt call us out!

 

Gas safe

Gas Safety Tips

 

Gas Safety Tips

 

  • Get any gas appliances installed and regularly serviced by a Gas Safe registered engineer.
  • Don’t use any gas appliances that you think aren’t working properly.
  • Make sure that ventilation bricks, grilles or outside flues aren’t covered or blocked.
  • Fit a carbon monoxide detector to use as a guide only. Don’t rely on it completely.

 

Testing and Alarms

 

  • Make sure you get a Gas Safe registered engineer to service your gas appliances at least once a year. By law, gas engineers must be registered to be able to work on gas installations.
  • Gas detector alarms can alert you to a gas leak in your home. Make sure you have the alarm installed by a Gas Safe registered engineer.
  • You should also have a Carbon Monoxide (CO) detector installed in your home. Carbon monoxide is colourless, odourless and can be fatal.
  • You can also nominate your new gas works within the first 6 months to be tested by gas safe.
  • Know the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning:
    • headaches
    • dizziness
    • nausea
    • breathlessness
    • collapse or loss of consciousness  
    • symptoms which disappear or get better when you leave home and come back when you return
    • other people (and animals) experiencing the same symptoms at the same time

 

We hope these tips will help you be gas safe and aware in your home.

 

 

Annual service on a boiler picture

Why it’s important to service your boiler on an annual basis

It’s important that you service your boiler on an annual basis to ensure that parts are up to date, problems are identified and repairs are carried out.

 

Ideally Summer is the best time to have your boiler serviced, that way if there’s any repairs needed carrying out it’s the time of year you’re not reliant on your heating.

 

During a service our engineers will carry out the following.

 

  • Inspect the controls to make sure they are in order and working correctly. The controls will range from the timer switches and controls on the front of the boiler.
  • Water pressure will be checked and a test run by our engineer to test it sits within the safe limits on your boiler
  • Gas safety check for gas pressure and leaks to make sure your boiler is operating at the correct safe guidelines for gas pressure
  • The boiler will be checked for rust and any parts replaced.
  • All parts will be cleaned and any casing replaced that has been removed for the service

 

We will leave you with the necessary paperwork identifying what we have carried out as part of the service.  If you’re unsure about anything in this paper work then please flag up either at the time of service or we are happy to discuss after.

 

 

If you haven’t already got a service plan in place we recommend that you do so.  Winter is coming and you don’t want to be left without heat or water in the cold coming months.

How to check for carbon monoxide leaks

How to check for carbon monoxide leaks

We see lots of articles informing people of how to prevent carbon monoxide leaks but very few informing us what signs to look for that may identify a leak.

In this blog we hope to tell you some useful information on how to check for carbon monoxide leaks and how to prevent them.

Possible clues of a carbon monoxide leak include:
  1. black, sooty marks on the front covers of gas fires.
  2. sooty or yellow/brown stains on or around boilers, stoves or fires.
  3. smoke building up in rooms due to a faulty flue.
  4. yellow instead of blue flames coming from gas appliances.
  5. pilot lights frequently blowing out.

Tools and Materials Required

•    Common Carbon Monoxide alarm
•    A switch
•    Drill/Nail gun/Adhesive

Step 1 – Purchasing the Right Device

You can purchase a common carbon monoxide alarm from any electrical, departmental or hardware store. The strength and functioning will depend on where you plan on installing it.

Step 2 – Installing the Device

Common mono oxide alarms are easy to install; some are battery operated and others require an electrical output (plug). Attach the device at a height as carbon monoxide is light and tends to float up wards. For this you might need to use a drill or a nail gun or an adhesive to hold it in place. If you are using an electricity powered device you will need a plug which is at a height.

Step 3 – Learning to Read the Levels

It is important to read the instruction manual that comes with the device and learning to read the levels. As yet no standard rates of carbon monoxide within closed doors have been agreed upon but if it is anything more than 9 ppm (40,000 micrograms per meter cubed) for a duration of eight hours there is a health hazard. When the levels increase it is important to increase ventilation.

Step 4 – In case of Carbon Monoxide Exposure

In case of carbon monoxide exposure a blood carbon monoxide reading needs to be taken. For this you can contact your physician. There are also devices, which can be kept handy at home for this purpose. These are small and portable blood carbon monoxide measurement devices. If the symptoms persist immediately get medical care.

Step 5 – Safety Precautions and Maintenance

There is usually minimal maintenance of a household carbon monoxide alarm, but if it is the battery-operated kind it will require frequent battery replacing. It is always better to maintain safety precautions in areas where there are gas or paraffin heaters, charcoal burning or gas stoves by ensuring proper ventilation. Gas leaks in kitchens are a common cause of carbon monoxide poisoning therefore it is important to make sure there are no gas pipe leakages.

Gas Safety Tips

Gas Safety Tips

It is so important that your home is safe and is GAS SAFE.  We have found these Gas Safety Tips on Uswitch.com website and feel they should be shared.  Credit goes to Uswitch for collating this information.

 

  1. Have your gas appliances checked yearly.

If you are on a means tested benefit, pension age or chronically sick or disabled you may be entitled to go on your energy companies Priority Services Register which will entitle you to a free annual gas safety check. Find out whether you could benefit by getting in touch with your energy company.

  1. Always check that an engineer is Gas Safe registered.

It is against the law for anyone to do work on gas appliances in the United Kingdom, Isle of Man or Guernsey unless they are on the Gas Safe Register.  Always check that an engineer is Gas Safe registered before you let them work in your home on the Gas Safe Register website or by calling 0800 408 5500.

Registered gas engineers will have a Gas Safe ID card

There are different kinds of registration – for example, someone may be registered to work on your boiler or pipework, but they might not be qualified to install a gas fire. You can check what kind of work they are qualified to do on the back of their card.

  1. It’s illegal for someone who works for a Gas Safe-registered business to do private work.

Hiring someone who normally works for a reputable firm, but is doing some extra work ‘on the side’ isn’t the good idea it might seem – it’s actually illegal.

  1. Report anyone who you suspect of working on gas illegally.

If you think someone is working on gas illegally, report them to the Gas Safe Registerand they will investigate their work.

  1. Nominate your gas work for an inspection.

If you’ve had gas work done in the last six months, you can nominate it for a free gas safety inspection from Gas Safe to make sure it’s up to scratch.

  1. If you move house, get your appliances tested.

If you move into a new home, don’t assume the appliances are safe – get everything checked by a Gas Safe registered engineer.

  1. Know the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Know the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning – it could save your life:

  • headaches
  • dizziness
  • nausea
  • breathlessness
  • collapse or loss of consciousness
  • symptoms which disappear or get better when you leave home and come back when you return
  • other people (and animals) experiencing the same symptoms at the same time
  1. Know what to do if you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning.

Know what to do if you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning:

  • get fresh air immediately – open the doors and windows
  • turn off any gas appliances and turn the gas off at the meter
  • extinguish naked flames
  • leave the house
  • see your doctor immediately or go to hospital – let them know that you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning
  • call the Gas Emergency Helpline on 0800 111 999 if you think there’s any danger

 

  1. Check for warning signs that your appliances may not be working properly.

Check for warning signs that your appliances may not be working properly:

  • the flame on your gas cooker should be crisp and blue. Lazy yellow or orange flames mean you need to get your cooker checked
  • you may see soot or black marks or staining around or on gas appliances
  • your pilot lights may go out frequently
  • you may see increased condensation inside your windows
  1. Get an audible carbon monoxide alarm.

Get an audible carbon monoxide alarm. You can’t taste, smell or see carbon monoxide, so an alarm is a good way to protect yourself.  Carbon monoxide alarms look like a smoke alarm and are easy to install and should cost under £20. Make sure the alarm you buy has a British or European approval mark on it, such as a Kitemark.

What is the Gas Safe Register?

The Gas Safe Register was launched in 2009 and took over from the previous gas safety scheme which was called CORGI Gas Registration. CORGI Gas had been in place for more than 17 years and was able to significantly reduce domestic gas safety issues during this time.

Despite this success, a gas safety review in 2006, carried out by industry stakeholders, gas engineers and consumer groups, decided even more progress could be made by reforming CORGI Gas Registration.

Building on what had already been achieved, in 2008 the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) selected the Capita Group Plc to provide a new registration initiative for gas engineers.

The Gas Safe Register was created and committed to improving gas safety and value for both the public and engineers.

Carbon monoxide poisoning

Carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning kills about 50 people each year in their homes, with more than 200 suffering from health problems as a result of CO exposure. With this in mind, it is vital that you make sure you know the risks and how to prevent CO poisoning.

Carbon monoxide is so dangerous because you can’t see, smell or hear it. Therefore you need to be extra vigilant when looking out for the symptoms of CO poisoning.

CO poisoning can manifest itself with symptoms similar to those of a hangover or the flu. You may experience headaches, nausea, dizziness, breathlessness and in extreme cases you might even collapse or lose consciousness. If you find the symptoms disappear when you leave the house, then it could be that you’re suffering from CO poisoning.

For more information you can click through to our guide on Carbon monoxide poisoning.

How can I prevent it?

  • If you own your property, it is your responsibility to make sure that all your gas appliances are serviced and checked on an annual basis.
  • It is essential that you use a Gas Safe Registered engineer, as only registered engineers are legally allowed to install and service gas appliances in your home. Gas Safe Register replaced Corgi as the official gas registration body for Great Britain and the Isle of Man on 1st April 2009.
  • If you are moving into rented accommodation, it is the law that your landlord has to produce a gas safety certificate to prove that annual safety checks have been carried out and all gas appliances have been serviced.
  • It is also important that you have a carbon monoxide alarm fitted. You can buy these from most DIY stores and they can be fitted to the wall easily, preferably in your bedroom.
  • The alarm will sound when CO levels in the room start to rise above the normal level, at which stage you should contact an engineer immediately and leave the property.
  • If you’re in the UK and have any problems with gas in your property, you can call the Gas Emergency freephone number 0800 111 999.