Preparing your Home for Heating and Plumbing this Spring

As the days get longer during spring, homeowners should be thinking about how to get the most out of their Heating & Plumbing over the next few months. With rising energy costs impacting everyone across Ireland, deploying a few essential tips to save money could make all the difference to household gas and electricity bills. So, how should you prepare your home for the new season and be ready for next Winter?

Give your Heating System some care and attention

Your heating system has worked hard over the winter months, and, as the days and nights get a little warmer, it’s worth giving it the once-over to make sure it hasn’t struggled or suffered because of the demand.

This includes:

Radiator Checks

Test your radiators to see if they need bleeding and make sure that they are free of sludge, If any of your radiators take ages to heat up or have cold spots at the bottom, the system could need cleaning. Radiators need to be switched off to be bled, so warmer months when you don’t need them to be on all the time is a great time to do this.

Turn Down the Heat

Turning down your heating system to reflect the fact that it is getting warmer.

When it comes to saving energy, it’s a good idea to have as many controls as possible. turning down your boiler thermostat by just 1ºC can save on your annual heating bills.

Boiler Service

Check when your boiler last had a service, If it’s due, book an appointment for a system check-up. Make sure a registered engineer does this service to keep your family safe, this should be done annually.

Leaking or Dripping Water

Check your plumbing –  taps, showerheads, toilets, and pipes for any drips or leaks.

It is not uncommon for things to break down over the winter months, Determine whether your plumbing and heating system is working as expected, and if not, get it fixed before it becomes a bigger problem, Pipes can burst in cold temperatures and excessive demand can strain heating system so it is best to keep a close eye all is in working order and save money in the long run.

Even the Little Things Help

Try getting rid of any radiator covers, removing any blockages, and installing some draft excluders around cold doors, If you have old windows, fix the seals with a draught excluder to help cover the gaps.

Also, while your Thermostatic Radiator Valves (TRVs) should automatically shut off at a set temperature, it’s worth checking that they are all set to the desired position. You could also introduce zone control systems, with rooms that are frequently used set to a higher temperature and unused rooms kept to a minimum heat or turned off.

Upgrading the Heating and Plumbing

As it isn’t as cold outside, Spring is a great time to test and improve your heating and plumbing.

This could be by installing new TRVS, smart meters, going for a full heating upgrade or investing in some new taps and showers. Whatever improvements you decide to make, spring is the perfect time to give your bathroom a refresh and say goodbye to winter with a stylish, fresh new look!

Last but not least take advantage of what the Government offers in 2023 and be Winter ready.

The Government is acutely aware of the effect that high energy prices and the cost of living are having on families, businesses and the most vulnerable. In recognition of these ongoing challenges, the Government agreed in February 2023 a new €1.2 billion package of measures to help with the increased cost of living.

This builds on supports introduced in 2023 to lessen the financial impact on families, households and businesses.

Supports available to help those most affected by rising energy costs include:

€600 Electricity Credit available to all Irish households, the final payment of which will be made in March 2023

The Temporary Business Energy Support Scheme will be extended, to 31 May 2023, and enhanced, including by reducing the threshold for qualification from a 50% increase in electricity or gas costs to 30% increase (to apply retrospectively from 1 September last year), and by increasing from 1 March the level of relief from 40% to 50% of eligible costs, subject to a monthly limit which will also be increased from March to €15,000 per month per trade or profession, subject to an overall cap of €45,000 where the business is carried on from more than one location. These changes are subject to state aid approval from the European Commission.

A new grant for businesses using LPG or kerosene

€700 – €8000 grants available for attic and cavity wall insulation depending on the upgrades selected

37,000 home energy upgrades including 6,000 free upgrades under the SEAI Energy Poverty Scheme

€64 estimated savings through the extension of VAT reduction on energy bills, which has now been extended to 31 October 2023.

€89 estimated savings from the PSO Levy Reduction

The information above is correct at the date of publishing.

There is a range of organisations ready to help you stay warm and well.

SEIA or CRU  or MABS or ALONE  – whichever suits your needs best..

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