Central Heating Maintenance: Keeping The Elderly Warm in Their Homes
We’ve learnt over the last few years to stop using the term ‘global warming’ when referring to the effects of industrialisation and the use of fossil fuels on the weather. Although average temperatures are indeed rising, what we are actually seeing is more extreme conditions of all kinds, meaning that we are now more accurately talking about ‘climate change’.
What this means in practice is that we should not become complacent about the potential for cold winters and what effect they could have on the most vulnerable in our community. In the winter of 2021/2022, the UK saw 13,400 excess winter deaths, but the numbers involved can vary quite significantly depending on the weather. For instance, the winter of 2017/2018, a relatively cold one, saw 49,410 excess winter deaths.
Given that most of these excess deaths will have been among the elderly, ensuring that they can stay warm during the winter is a prime concern for those caring for them.
We have an ageing population in the UK, with the number of people aged over 85 expected to double in the next 25 years, according to The Health Foundation.
As we approach winter 2023/2024, energy bills are not as high as they were a few months ago, but they are still considerably up on where they were previously. At the same time, even with the triple lock still in place on pensions, people are struggling with other rising costs, especially food.
In other words, the cost of keeping older people safe and warm in their homes is a significant consideration. So what can be done to ease the burden?
Check Your Energy Efficiency
The starting point for any review needs to be ensuring that your home has the kind of energy and thermal efficiency that will make the most of any warmth generated by your heating system. This could include upgrading to double or triple glazing and ensuring that all seals are fully airtight. Using thermal curtains and blinds over all windows will also help to keep a lot more of the warmth you’re paying for inside.
You should also consider installing cavity wall insulation and making sure that your loft insulation is at least at the recommended minimum depth of 300mm. You may be eligible for government help in doing this – you can find useful advice here on checking what support might be available.
Get the Right Heating Solution for Your Home
If your heating system is old and in need of replacement, make sure you get advice from an experienced and independent heating expert as to what the most appropriate solution for your property might be. With so many different boilers available from so many manufacturers, it’s essential that you get the correct advice from your heating engineer. Try to avoid installers who seem to be tied to one manufacturer.
Boiler installers offering a wide range of manufacturers, including top brands such as Baxi, Vaillant and Worcester, will usually have a far more informed and balanced view on which boiler will be the most effective and efficient for your budget and your building.
Ensure Regular Boiler Servicing
No matter how new or old your heating system is, it’s essential that you don’t become complacent or avoid regular boiler servicing as a means of cutting costs. Your annual service will ensure that your boiler is running as efficiently as it possibly can, while it will also give the engineer the opportunity to identify and fix any developing issues. That should help reduce the potential for a more costly breakdown in the future, which could have even more serious consequences if it were to happen during the winter months.
A&D Plumbing is a leading provider of a wide range of central heating services and solutions in and around Colchester, although our engineers also work in the wider Essex, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire areas.
With over 30 years of combined industry experience, our heating engineers can do everything from installing, servicing and repairing boilers to ensuring your radiators are working at maximum efficiency.
If you’d like to know more about what we do, or discuss having a new boiler installed or setting up a servicing schedule for your existing boiler, please get in touch with us today.