Author Archives: The Checkatrade Team

Why professional carpet cleaning?

Anyone that has attempted diy carpet cleaning in their home will know what a chore it can be and what disastrous problems can result! Even with the best intentions and enthusiastic Googling of the subject, carpets can easily be damaged and look worse than when you started, and you have probably spent money to achieve that! Carpet cleaning is a task that is best left to the professionals. Here are a few reasons why you should choose a professional local carpet cleaning service and avoid headaches and expense!

Professional equipment

Even if you decided to “do a proper job” and hired a machine from your local supermarket, you will have to part with money to cover the hire, deposit and cleaning fluid for the machine. The cleaning fluid is bought by the bottle and typical usage is a bottle per room, the price you pay soon adds up and you may not be saving as much money as you thought. These diy machines and products are bulky and typically well used and not regularly serviced. They are capable of reasonable results, but they are designed as a one size fits all approach to cleaning your carpets and do not adapt to suit the age, style, material and level of cleaning the carpet requires. These machines are underpowered when it comes to vacuum pressure, this means that your carpets will be over wet which can result in a variety of problems (more on this later).

Professional equipment cleans deep into the pile of the carpet, but the powerful vacuum removes the majority of the water immediately leaving the carpets dry in a fraction of the time and avoiding any damage from over wetting of the carpet. Most professionals will utilise a variety of machines, products and techniques to tailor make their service to the customers requirements and type of carpets.

Carpet material & construction

Carpets are constructed from a variety of different natural (eg. wool, cotton, sisal) and synthetic materials (eg. nylon & polypropylene) using different techniques (eg. tufted, woven, looped). Each carpet can react in a variety of ways to the cleaning process sometimes causing irreparable damage. Professionals are trained to identify different materials and methods used to produce carpets and how to clean correctly in order to get the best results without any risk of damage.

Stain removal

When accidents happen in the home, most householders will reach to whatever cleaning product they have in the cupboard without much thought and scrub the carpet to an inch of its life. Carpets generally should never be scrubbed in this fashion as it damages the pile noticeably and can not be repaired. Whatever product you use is then left in the carpet indefinately until it is extracted using a carpet cleaning machine. Professional carpet cleaners will use a product suitable for the type of carpet and the source of the stain before thoroughly rinsing the carpet. Using a professional to remove stains avoids the stress and will keep your carpets looking better for longer, saving you money in the long run.

Over wetting the carpet

Using too much water on a carpet can cause expansion and then shrinking as the carpet dries. This can leave the carpet sagging in places and out of shape which cannot be repaired. Older carpet and rugs from certain part of the world have a natural plant based backing, this backing when wet can cause the whole carpet go brown from a process called “cellulosic browning” where the colour of the plant material wicks onto the rest of carpet fibres making them go brown! Wet carpets take longer to dry leaving the room unusable and smelling bad.

Professional equipment and techniques minimise the moisture in the carpet, removing the water with powerful vacuums before it has a chance to do any expensive damage to your carpets.

Premier Carpet Cleaning is a professional carpet cleaning company based in the Stevenage area of Hertfordshire. They provide carpet & upholstery cleaning to both domestic and commercial customers. Please visit them on Checkatrade for free quotations & advice on the cleaning of your carpets & upholstery.

5 Functional Yet Stylish Home Redesign Tips

Whether you’ve finally got a foot on the property ladder or you’re more of a casual renter, you’ll be well aware that it takes a little effort to turn a house into a home. But from forking out for renovation fees to overhauling a property with someone else’s name on the mortgage, this is easier said than done.

In today’s post, we’re showing you how you can revolutionise your interior without having to break the bank.

  1. Get smart with storage

In an age where technology is very much a part of our everyday lives, more and more homes are seeing an increase in tech usage – and with this comes more gadgets, wires and ‘stuff’ in general. This leads to the need for extra space to store these additional possessions – so how can you find more space in an already busy home?

It pays to do some research if you’re looking for those lesser-known hacks, but we would recommend working room by room. Add clips to any desks to keep charging wires stored neatly away, utilise door hangers in bedrooms, pegboards in the kitchen and the inside of cupboard doors throughout your home to create a touch more space while also keeping things tidy.

  1. Maximise shelf space

Image: Pixabay

From chunky wooden units to sleek white cabinets, shelving can be incorporated into any room in the home, offering both style and practicality – but are you using it to full effect? While we’re not suggesting you pack your shelves with odds and ends, it’s not unlikely that you’re failing to truly maximise this space.

Before you simply remove items from every surface and transfer them to your shelves, start with a declutter. Ask yourself if your accessories are needed in that room or if they’re adding to the space’s aesthetic. If the answer to both of these questions is no, then consider repurposing them or giving them to charity – rather than storing them on a shelving unit where they’ll simply gather dust.

  1. Invest in multi-use fixtures & fittings

When it comes to standard fixtures and fittings, move away from thinking that a single furniture item has just a single function. For example, can a footstool double up as a storage unit? Do you need a large dining table or can you invest in a smaller one that folds out or allows chairs to be tucked neatly away underneath?

Beds are an obvious area for space saving, particularly if you have small children and their toys seem to multiply overnight! Mesh nets can also be an effective option for family homes, allowing you to attach them to various walls throughout the house so you can store bath toys, shoes and other objects with ease.

  1. Upcycle tired furniture

 

Image: Pixabay

 If you’re creatively minded, you’ll be able to find upcycling opportunities in just about every room in your home. Whether you’re hanging onto used wine bottles and turning them into stylish candle holders or sanding down and repainting tired-looking drawers, a little imagination will go a long way when it comes to redesigning your home.

For items that seem beyond repair, put your DIY skills to the test – you’ll soon find you can achieve more than you first thought. Rather than throwing away a table with broken legs, why not attach it to a wall? This will save space and money, as you won’t need to shell out for a new one. Old sofa cushions can be repurposed to create comfortable dining chairs, while mounted ladders can create additional wall storage – the possibilities are endless.

  1. Switch up your floor plan

In your quest for a functional yet stylish interior, don’t neglect floor space. Keep in mind that smaller spaces will benefit from less clutter, so, where possible, elevate your home accessories to free up your floor. This could be as simple as switching a floor lamp for spotlights or saying goodbye to free-standing bookcases in favour of floating shelves.

Something as seemingly insignificant as rearranging your furniture or mounting your TV onto the wall can completely alter a room’s aesthetic – so if you’re at a loss as to where to start with your redesign, consider these minor updates first.

Final tips

For homeowners: it’s wise to think in terms of long-term investments. Whether this is laminate flooring that requires little maintenance (as opposed to carpets which can become dirty and worn down more easily) or granite worktops that are designed to stand the test of time in your kitchen, keep the future in mind before you part with your hard-earned cash.

For renters: avoid splashing out on costly updates that you’ll be forced to leave behind when you move on. Consider curtains instead of blinds, (as these can be more easily tailored to fit your new windows) and use protectors on the bottom of furniture to avoid indentations in flooring. This will all serve to help you keep the property looking pristine, without any added expense when you move out.

Remember: if you are investing in some home design updates, find a tradesperson you can trust first.

Content provided by Ian Roberts, PR Executive for Stone Genie, premium quartz, Corian and granite worktop  specialists.

 

6 Reasons to Get Your Boiler Serviced Annually

Boilers are an essential part of every household. Providing hot water and heating, whenever you need it. There are many reasons as to why you should get your boiler serviced regularly. The energy that you use from your boiler represents over half of your energy bills and so it is essential for you to make sure that your boiler is maintained and that it is working as efficiently as possible. There are 6 main reasons why you should get your boiler serviced, these include:

  • Preventing Potential Problems
  • Ensure Efficiency
  • Cheaper Than Replacement Boiler
  • Save on Energy Bills
  • Guarantee Safety
  • Law for Landlords

Preventing Problems

When your boiler gets serviced, the engineers will make sure that all the required measures and regulations are up to standard to ensure that your boiler is running as safely and efficiently as possible. There are many problems that can occur within a boiler and so it is vital that you tend to any problems as soon as possible to prevent your boiler getting damaged to the point of no repair. The most common problems that are found within boilers, include:

  • Broken thermostats
  • Pressure problems
  • Valve issues
  • Problems with ignition
  • Motor failure
  • Leaking pipes

Servicing your boiler will help to source these potential problems before the state of these problems get worse. Getting your boiler serviced will save you money from the costly repairs or spending more money on a replacement boiler.

Ensure Efficiency

When a boiler isn’t working to its full capacity, it can have a huge impact on your energy bills. Regular boiler servicing can check to see if your boiler is working as efficiently as possible. An engineer will inspect all the different components within your boiler and advise on any of any ways to increase efficiency and consequently cut down your energy bills.

Being energy efficient is important for both the environment and economy. The more efficient you are, the less it costs to operate. It also reduces carbon footprint, meaning that fewer greenhouse gases are emitted into the atmosphere.

Many old boilers aren’t very efficient and you may want to look into getting a new boiler, to save energy and money.

Guarantee Safety

Without realising you may be releasing carbon monoxide into your home, due to incorrectly installed or badly maintained boilers. To prevent any ill-health or even fatalities, it is crucial that you get your boiler serviced regularly, so that fully qualified engineers can assess the situation and find any mishaps within the assembly of your boiler.

If you do not have a carbon monoxide alarm fitted in your home, then you may be unaware of the risks that you are applying to your health. The usual symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are; headaches, nausea, breathlessness, collapsing and losing consciousness. As these symptoms are similar to common illnesses, many people overlook them and don’t understand the real harm that is being caused within their body.

Replacement Boilers

Regular boiler servicing can make sure that your boiler is working as it should be. Without these checks ups, it means that there could be problems are that progressively getting worse. Sometimes, these problems may get past the point where they can be repaired and so you will have to look into getting your boiler replaced.

The approximate cost for a new boiler and the installation can cost from £1-2k. Having regular servicing can save you a lot of money as it can find possible problems before they occur.

Save on Energy Bills

If your boiler isn’t running as efficiently as possible then you could be wasted a lot of money. When your boiler isn’t working to its full capability then it could use more energy for it to function, as it is it working harder than it needs to. The more efficient your boiler is, the more money you save.

Getting your boiler serviced by professionals can ensure that your boiler is working to the best of its competence. Inspecting the boiler, checking against the necessary measures and regulations, makes sure that the boiler has no problems and that it is working as safely and efficiently problems. When there are any problems then engineers will advise on what needs to be done to make the boiler work better.

Law for Landlords

Legally, it is required for landlords to get their boilers serviced at their properties, as part of the Gas Safety Checks. Landlords are responsible for the safety of their tenants and making sure that their properties are as safe as possible.

Overall, there are many benefits as to why you should get your boiler serviced; whether it be to save money, prevent any health problems or create less problems for the environment. Make sure you get your boiler serviced as soon as possible, if you haven’t already done so.

Content provided by Heat-Tec 2000 Ltd.

Why Underfloor Heating is Better Than Radiators

When it comes to heating systems, many people stick to the conventional radiators over other forms of heating, for their homes. This could be due to lack of knowledge on other heating systems, or not wanting to spend money and keeping to what they already have.

Since the 1980s, the radiator has been the standard method of heating within homes all around the UK.  Aside from this, there have been more efficient ways of warming up the rooms in your home. The most efficient and most comfortable method of radiating heat is underfloor heating.

Underfloor Heating Vs. Radiators

There are many benefits to choosing underfloor heating, over a radiator system. These reasons include:

  • Heat Distribution
  • Comfort and Energy Efficiency
  • Cost Efficiency
  • Aesthetics

Heat Distribution

Underfloor heating emits heat to a room through the process of radiant heating. Radiant heating is the effect of which you can feel warmth from a particular component which is emitting infrared radiation. A big example of radiant heating is the warmth that you feel from the sun.

Radiators, on the other hand, heat air through convection. Convection is the process of heating the air and then transferring the heat throughout a space to warm up the environment. The heat from radiators rise, and then drop back down as they cool, to then be heated again.

With radiators being located on one wall, it generally takes longer for a whole room to heat up.  Because of this factor, it means that there will be cold spots and hot spots in a room and so the heat is never distributed evenly. Whereas with underfloor heating the warmth is distributed evenly under the room.

Comfort and Energy Efficiency

Underfloor heating can emit heat directly in your home and maintains the state of relative humidity that is naturally occurring in its environment. Alternatively, radiators reduce the humidity of the room which can make the room feel stuffy.

Many homes in the UK suffer with low humidity, especially during the winter-time. The problem with low humidity is that it can cause ‘dry air’, which results in a slightly suffocating atmosphere. It also can cause cracked, taught or itchy skin, as well as irritated eyes and nasal passages. It can also cause nosebleeds and increase static electricity. Low humidity can also make it easier for bacteria and viruses to be spread.

Underfloor heating distributes the heat in a room and so the temperature is generally the same throughout the room. As well as this, the heat doesn’t differ much depending on how high or low you are in a room. Radiators take a while to heat up and convection usually requires circulation of air, which means that some form of ventilation will occur. Opening windows usually allows this ventilation, although it means that a lot of energy is lost out in the environment.

Cost Efficiency

Radiators are susceptible to overheating and so to cool them down you will need to open windows and doors which will mean that you will waste all the energy that you have used to generate the warmth in your house. Radiators also cause cold and hot spots because of their poor heat distribution. Because of this, people tend to turn up their heating so that the heat can reach to the other side of the room. This consequently makes one side too hot in the process and used more energy than needed.

Increasing your heating by just 1% can actually increase your monthly energy bills by 8%. Without realising, your bills will increase everyday and you will be wasting your money and energy.

Aesthetics

Aesthetically, there are many benefits to having underfloor heating. As the heating system is under the floor, it means that it doesn’t take up any floor or wall space. Radiators are very bulky and take up a lot of wall space. They can get rather annoying when needing to decorate your home, as they get in the way of your skirting board and when painting behind the radiator. They are also very plain and not a very aesthetically pleasing. When furnishing your house, radiators can also take up space where you could potentially put furniture. This causes restrictions and your furniture could also act as a barrier, preventing the heat from being transferred into other areas of your rooms.

There are many benefits with underfloor heating and so it should be a top thought for consideration when it comes to deciding on what heating methods you should go for in your property. There are more benefits than losses and can be installed easily within any property. Why not delve deeper into the world of central heating and look at different forms of heat emitters, other than radiators.

Content provided by SPM Plumbing and Heating.

Top 5 tips to save energy at home

Energy saving and eco-friendliness are hot topics right now. With the government setting up new rules and regulations (such as Boiler Plus) which promote energy conservation, many homeowners are seeking to adopt a more cost-effective and environmentally aware lifestyle*.

If you think you could do with toning down on your household’s energy usage, here’s a list of the top 5 ways we believe you could save energy at home:

  1. Install an A-rated boiler ­– Getting an A-rated combi boiler installed into your home is typically a great way of saving energy. Most modern boilers are condensing, which means that they are designed to recover and reuse as much energy as possible, potentially preventing excessive energy wastage. Some new boilers also have key features such as user-friendly controls and smart thermostat compatibility which are designed to make controlling and monitoring your central heating system quick and easy tasks. You could therefore keep a close eye on your home heating settings and ensure that it is not in use when it needn’t be.
  2. Insulation – There are plenty of areas within your home that could be insulated. This includes your walls, roof, loft and floors. Insulation generally helps reduce unwanted heat loss or heat gain by providing a barrier between inside your home and the conditions outside to help keep temperatures constant. This could help you save energy as your appliances potentially won’t have to work as hard to keep your home at your desired temperature.
  3. Replace your lightbulbs – According to the Energy Saving Trust, lighting contributes to 15% of the average household’s electricity bill. By switching to energy-efficient lightbulbs such as Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) and Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs), which typically require less wattage, you could conserve more energy and potentially save up to £35 a year on your electricity bills (Energy Saving Trust).
  4. Get a smart thermostat – Smart thermostats are intelligent devices which are designed to connect to your home heating system and provide a more convenient way of heating your home. Smart thermostats, such as those manufactured by brands link Nest or Netatmo, have built-in motion sensors which are designed to monitor your central heating habits to create daily heating schedules that fit your lifestyle. In addition to this, these smart gadgets are also designed to be compatible with most smartphones and tablets, so you could access and control your heating whilst on the go! You could never have to worry about leaving your heating on again!
  5. Turn off appliances that aren’t in use – Not only could this be one of the best ways of saving energy in your home, but it’s also generally the easiest! Ensuring that you turn off your appliances when you’re not using them is not only a quick and easy task, but it could also cost nothing to do. According to a 2014 article by the Energy Saving Trust, Britain could save £1.7 billion a year by switching their appliances off of standby, with each home apparently having the potential to save around £30 a year (Energy Saving Trust). Turning your appliances off of standby could be a quick fix for homeowners looking to reduce their household energy bills.

Reducing your energy wastage could not only benefit you and your finances, but it could also have a positive impact on the environment. Reducing your carbon footprint and lowering your energy bills are amongst the list of potential advantages that could come with trying any of our 5 tips*. Making the decision to try one (or all of them) could be the first step to you saving energy in your home and boosting your property’s energy-efficiency.

* http://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/home-energy-efficiency/boiler-replacement

Content provided by Help-link.co.uk

5 Reasons to Consider a New Bathroom Installation

Home renovations in general, take a lot of time, money and patience – even more so when its an important room in the house such as the bathroom. Your bathroom should be a place of serenity and relaxation, it should be a place where you want to go after all its more than likely the first room you visit on a morning and the last place you visit on a night.

If your bathroom fills you with dread and makes you want to be in and out as quickly as possible then it could be time for a remodel.

We’ve gathered our top five signs in which you should be on the lookout for, suggesting you should think about getting a new bathroom installed.

Worn Out?

Along with the kitchen the bathroom is one of the most used rooms in the house, it goes without saying your bathroom will be in need of some TLC. There does come a point where something has to be done, for example if your tile grout is flaking or mould and moisture damage is occurring it may be time to give your bathroom a refresh, along with these not making your bathroom look appealing there could be potential health hazards, making it important to get it sorted.

Fancy a Change?

One of the most popular reasons people visit Solutions plumbing and heating for remodelling a bathroom is due to a change in circumstances within the family. Young families with children tend to rework their bathrooms to accommodate the newer additions to their family, adding more storage space and usually a larger bath if they don’t already have one. Along with new families, a new bathroom maybe beneficial to an elderly homeowner with reduced mobility who may find it difficult to get in and out of the bath, they might benefit more from a walk-in bath or shower.

Is It Functional?

Although the aesthetics of your bathroom are important, functionality must always come first. These sorts of issues usually arise from the decisions of the previous owner, however your thoughts and circumstances maybe completely different to the previous owners. Instead of putting up with them why not do something about them? You would be surprised at some of the dysfunctional bathrooms that are out there, especially in smaller homes.

In Style?

If your bathroom hasn’t been touched for a few years, it may just need a bit of a facelift. Styles and tastes can change at a rapid rate, sometimes a room can benefit from a little revamp. You don’t have to stand for that bright flowery wallpaper the previous owners left you with, its time to make your own mark on the room. Small changes such as little fixtures, the wallpaper or even the shower curtain can make a huge difference to your bathroom.

Is the Lighting Right?

When getting ready in the morning the last thing you want is poor lighting to make things even more difficult. The lighting in a bathroom is crucial, it can be as simple as adding a couple of new fixtures or as extravagant as installing a sky light. Your bathroom should always be a bright and well-lit space, but should be dimmable allowing you to create different moods depending on the time of day and who is using the bathroom, after all your bathroom should be a relaxing place where you can unwind after a long stressful day.

I Need a New Bathroom, What Next?

If you’ve read through our top 5 considerations on a new bathroom installation, and agreed to one or more of our reasons why, it could be time to reconsider your bathroom layout. At Solutions Plumbing and Heating we give you the freedom you are looking for. We will work closely with you to ensure the finished product is everything you expected and more.

Will a New Bathroom Installation Be Expensive?

At Solutions Plumbing and Heating, we price every project based on the amount of work involved. By visiting your property and seeing first hand what you need doing, we will be able to provide you with a more accurate quote. We always recommend one of our team members to come and visit your home to assess the amount of work needing to be done, however quotes can be given through email or over the phone if we receive the layout and measurements it also helps if we have photos and if possible images of the facilities you’d like us to install.

How Long Do Bathroom Installations Take

Each bathroom installation varies on the amount of work involved, an installation can take anywhere between a couple of weeks or a few days depending on what needs to be done to complete the project. You might then be asking yourself if a new bathroom installation will cause disruptions in your home? Here at Solutions Plumbing and Heating we will try and disrupt as little as possible when installing your new bathroom, our service includes fitting dust sheets to protect your home, we are professional technicians who offer a top-quality service, we will respect your property and remove any old bathroom equipment to leave your new bathroom looking clean and brand new.

Why Choose Solutions Heating and Plumbing?

Our friendly and professional team offer a caring service that stands out, we believe that the entire project is focused on your vision of a bathroom that you will cherish. Solutions Heating and Plumbing have over 20 years’ experience, we understand what it takes to provide a bathroom installation service in which you are completely happy with.

We believe we should be your first choice when considering a new bathroom installation, here’s a few reasons why;

  • Care and attention with each installation
  • Excellent customer service
  • Reliable installations, repairs and maintenance
  • Comprehensive plumbing services
  • Experience from installing a range of bathrooms and bathroom furnishings

If you believe that your bathroom is in need of a bit of a makeover, please feel free to get in touch with us here at Solutions Plumbing and Heating let us help you turn your bathroom into a special sanctuary which you actually look forward to winding down in. Give one of our friendly team members a call today on 07825 268097.

5 Ways To Embrace Vintage Interior Design In Your Home

Image: Unsplash

All things vintage are en vogue at the moment, and this is especially true for furniture. If you’re a homeowner in need of some style inspiration for your new home (or even a place you’ve lived in for decades) then we have you covered.

 In this quick guide courtesy of the antique and furniture experts at Featonby’s, we’ll show you how to embrace this vibrant furniture trend in your home.

1. Small-scale furniture overhaul

When homeowners think of getting new furniture, they often imagine the difficulty of moving out well-loved old sofas and replacing them with new flat pack furniture that can take an age (and an engineering degree) to construct.

However, that doesn’t mean that they can’t invest in somesmall-scalefurniture options like end tables and small bookcases. These items are portable enough to move from room to room, meaning that a vintage-savvy homeowner can do a style switch-up in any room with ease.

2. Art – to make the space your own

If you’ve recently moved in to your first house, the walls can seem a little bare. Of course, there are a lot of wall decoration options out there, and the choices can be dizzying. Our solution is that you should consider diving into the vintage art market for some bespoke pieces to really make your home unique. You don’t have to be a millionaire to bid on art at an auction, as all manner of budget-friendly pieces are auctioned off every day up and down the country.

The satisfaction of owning a piece of handcrafted art, and appreciating it every day in your home, is undoubtedly one of the finer things in life.

3. Functional vintage

Of course, investing in vintage chic doesn’t have to mean investing in objects that have no purpose other than looking pretty and making your home look fantastic. If you value form and function, there are plenty of options out there for you.

Functional vintage pieces, such as old-school coffee machines or classic fine china from manufacturers such as Denby or Meissen are a great investment. Even built-to-last kitchenware such as Le Creuset pots are considered vintage chic nowadays, so the next time you’re after something functional for your home, cast the net a little wider and think about investing in a vintage piece.

4. Harness the vinyl renaissance

The recent vinyl boom shows no sign of slowing, which means that a huge amount of vintage record players and dusty old LPs are cutting-edge at the moment. This is an ideal vintage style option as you don’t have to invest in a bulky old-school turntable, just the records will do and modern turntables are fairly cheap.

Display your favourite iconic album covers in frames on your walls or just play the music out loud for a fun throwback that’ll have you loving forgotten classics all over again.

5. Glassware & Vases

Vases and other glassware in vintage styles are another type of vintage chic gaining traction, and they look good just about anywhere in the home. High-quality vintage brands to look out for include anything related to the Murano Glass of Italy and art deco British companies such as Sowerby and Bagley.

 Murano Glass is derived from the Italian island of Murano near Venice, which benefited from the area’s artistic heritage to boom in the 1950s and 60s, and pieces from the region are held in high regard today – so keep your eyes peeled for delicately crafted glass vases in riotous colours.

Of course, the best way to find vintage interior design pieces is to get out there in the markets and auctions and scan for something that’ll really make your house a home.

 

Alex Jones is a content creator at Featonby’s, a specialist antiques and collectibles auction house based in North Tyneside, England

How do you know when the right time is to get a new boiler?

Did you know, your boiler is one of the most intensively used household appliances? But unless your heating suddenly stops working or your water doesn’t warm up, faults can go unnoticed.

We have become so accustomed to being warm that when our boilers breakdown it feels like a complete disaster, its known fact that boilers don’t last forever, so if you are finding that your boilers becoming slightly unpredictable it could be time to ask yourself; ‘Do I need a new boiler?’

The more reliable you new boiler, the less money you will need to spend on expensive repairs, we’ve gathered together some signs that are telling you your boiler is on its way out!

Signs Your Boiler Needs Replacing

Strange Noises – Just like anything with time, parts can wear away, although these can be replaced it can be more cost effective to buy a brand-new boiler. If your boiler is making any popping or hissing sounds when its on you need to get it investigated by an engineer Alistair Thorpe Plumbing offer a fast, efficient and reliable boiler servicing in Cupar.

Regular Repairs – You should annually service your boiler by an approved plumber, servicing your boiler is essential to ensure the smooth running and prevention of breakdowns and issues. Alistair Thorpe plumbing and heating services will send out a qualified Gas Safety Engineer who are more than qualified and experienced enough to provide you with the highest standard of boiler servicing. However if your boiler is in a constant state of repair, it may be time to think about replacing it.

It’s Old – If your boiler is over 10 years old it might be worth replacing it. Even if it functions fine, the older it gets the more likely it is to breakdown, it is more than likely less efficient than a new boiler. So although getting a new one might seem like an expensive option it can save you money in the long run.

It leaks – It goes without saying any leak should be investigated immediately, not only because of water damage, but also because it can develop into a carbon monoxide leak, which can be highly dangerous.

The Water Temperature Fluctuates – If your hot water takes a while to heat up or runs hot and cold when running, then you probably need to replace your boiler if repairs don’t improve the situation.

Your Boiler is Giving Off a Bad Smell – A healthy boiler will never emit any odour, if it does it needs to be investigated by a professional right away. Any faint smell could indicate a carbon monoxide leak, Although carbon monoxide itself is odourless, a smell could be created because the leak is causing the boiler to not burn properly.

Your Energy Bills are Increasing – If your energy bills are increasing faster than normal, it could be down to an insufficient boiler. The older a heating system gets the more it can cost to run.

What Types of Boilers are There?

There are many makes and models of boilers, however there are three main types of gas condensing boilers to choose from:

 

A combination boiler, commonly known as a combi boiler, heats water as and when you need it which in turn eliminates the need for a storage tank. This is more suited to a smaller home, with only one bathroom.

A heat only boiler, this can also be known as a conventional boiler, meaning you will have a hot water tank or cylinder where hot water can be stored for later use. This type of boiler is well suited to a larger home where more than two people are living there.

A system boiler, just like a heat only boiler, but more components are built in. This then makes system boilers easier to install then conventional ones, and as an added bonus they take up less space.

Our Gas Safety registered engineers at Alistair Thorpe Heating and Plumbing services will be happy to advise you on which boiler is suited for you and your home.

Do I Need a Specific Size Boiler?

  • When choosing the best size boiler for your home you should take into consideration:
  • The heating and hot water capabilities of the boiler
  • The physical size of your boiler and whether it will fit in the space you have it destined for

The correct heating size of the boiler will be something completely unique to you and your home, for example how many bathrooms does your home have? How many people live in your home? This is something one of our qualified engineers will be able to discuss and recommend the correct size boiler for your home.

Boiler Installation

Before boiler installations happens you need to find a Gas Safe registered installer. Alistair Thorpe Heating & Plumbing have a talented team of experienced and qualified Gas Safe registered engineers that can help with your plumbing and heating needs.

One of our dedicated team members will come and survey your home, whilst advising you on the costs and other factors surrounding the installation. Your engineer will check your entire heating system and asses what factors need repairing or replacing.

If the boiler installation is straightforward, and you’re having a combination boiler fitted, then the fitting should take a day, the engineer will then remove your existing boiler and fit the new one, as well as replace any other components of the heating system as outlined in the quote for the job.

Why Choose Alistair Thorpe Heating and Plumbing?

At Alistair Thorpe Heating and Plumbing, out experienced plumbers and heating engineers are fully qualified and provide a professional and efficient service for domestic jobs or individuals, landlords and property agents in the Cupar and North East Fife Area. Our Gas Safe registered team of plumbers and heating engineers are dedicated to providing the highest quality of workmanship. Contact one of our friendly team members today to find out how Alistair Thorpe Heating and Plumbing can help you today.

7 Top Reasons to Change your Locks at Home

Getting the locks of your house changed might seem like a chore (or even something you “can’t afford right now”), but there are some scenarios where changing the locks of your home should be a no brainer.

Less urgent scenarios (like when your locks become old or worn out) usually make good sense. However more serious situations (such as losing a set of keys) can cause a clouded mind; especially in the midst of the understandable frustration often caused by the loss of any personal belongings. When this happens, it might not occur to you that the best thing you can do is change your locks.

Why should you change your locks at home?

There are many reasons why you should change your locks at home and we have provided you with 7 of the main reasons why we think you should have your locks changed, below.

  1. If you’ve lost your keys

Whether you’re running late for work or simply heading out to do your weekly shop, there is never a good time to lose your keys. A huge inconvenience in itself, the losing or misplacement of your keys can cause extreme frustration, not to mention the fact you can’t set about doing whatever it is you had planned to do.

If you have lost your keys, then it’s a wise idea to call a local locksmith to change your locks for you. On the off chance that someone finds them and knows where you lives, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Of course, there’s always the possibility that someone stole them and fully intends to enter your home whilst you aren’t there and rob you of all your valuable possessions. Playing it safe and having your locks changed might set you back a few quid, but losing a set of keys and taking the risk to not have them changed could end up being extremely costly indeed.

  1. If you’re moving into a new home

It’s an intelligent move to have the locks changed when you move into any new property. If you fail to do this, you run the risk of potential burglaries by anyone that may have had a set of keys before you, such as the previous residents of your house.

It might also be possible that there are more sets of keys to your property out there than you don’t know about. Chances are that the locks weren’t changed the last time someone moved in, meaning there may have been several residents in the property before you with multiple sets of keys still out there. This might mean that a previous resident still has a set of keys and is waiting for the perfect opportunity to strike.

Changing the locks when you move into any new property will keep you in full control of who has keys and who can get in and out of your home.

  1. If you’ve recently experienced an burglary or attempted break-in

This may seem fairly obvious, but you’d be surprised of the amount of people that don’t think to change their locks after experiencing a burglary or even an attempted burglary. Changing your locks after a burglary is fairly obvious, but don’t neglect to change them when someone has attempted to get into your property for whatever reason.

With an attempted break-in, it’s pretty clear that somebody wants to be in your house. If you neglect to change your locks, it might be that they can simply walk right in with a key that they acquired during their last attempt.

Don’t take any risks. Get your locks changed if you think that someone might want to, has tried to, or has even succeeded in breaking into your home.

  1. If you’re having trouble with an EX partner or EX housemate

It might not spring to might at first, but disputes with someone you used to be close with can spiral out of control. Ex partners are notorious for letting themselves into their previous address and wrecking the home of the person they used to be with.

Chances are, someone you have lived with will still have a set of keys (even if you got the key back off them before they left). Their mum (or other close relative) will likely have a spare key for “just in case”, providing your ex-partner or housemate with the perfect opportunity to break-in to wreck the place or even take what they believe to be rightfully theirs.

  1. If you’ve ever lent someone your key

If you’ve ever let the plumber, electrician or handyman use the key to your home while you nip out or go to work, you don’t always know whether they made a spare set for themselves or not. It’s extremely rare, considering most people will use a trusted source for this type of labour (and especially when giving them free reign of the house while you leave and come back), but is it worth taking the risk?

The key you lent out might even have “gone missing” or “got lost”. When this happens, alarm bells should ring LOUDLY in your head. That key may never have gone missing at all and may have been kept for the perfect opportunity to break into your home and cause mischief.

  1. If your locks have become old or worn out

It’s not all doom and gloom. It’s quite alright for your locks to just get old. When this happens, when your locks start to stick or become faulty, it’s time to get them changed. A lot of locks can be repaired; however, most repairs are just temporary solutions for a worn lock that will eventually need changing further down the line.

  1. If you haven’t changed them in years

Your locks might not have been changed in a very long time, even before you moved into your home, so how old they are might be a mystery. It’s a wise idea to change your locks if they are old or worn out, and replace them with new, more robust locks with tighter security. This will provide you with peace of mind that your locks will continue working for many more years to come and that your house will remain secure during this time.

To Conclude

Depending on the situation, you should consider calling an emergency or local locksmith to change your locks for you.

Lock Solutions is one of the leading choices for locksmiths in Reading, covering Berkshire and the Thames Valley area. When your locks need changing, you can count on them to provide you with new locks that will help you sleep safe in your bed at night.

Blog created and prepared by Checkatrade.com member www.checkatrade.com/LockSolutions/