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Whether you’re using it just to heat water for bathing and washing up, or you’re heating your entire home with it, your boiler is a critical component. If you’re thinking about installing a new one in your home, you may be on the fence about whether you should go with gas, oil, or an electric boiler. Electric models offer quite a few benefits, but it can be difficult to determine how much you’ll spend in operating costs over the course of the year. We’ll help explain what you should know below.   Type First, you’ll need to consider the type of boiler. There are several options out there. Direct boilers are the simplest, cheapest, and smallest, but they lack any type of storage, so you cannot heat a large volume of water at one time. Storage boilers come in vented or unvented cylinder types and allow you to heat many litres of water at once, but require more space for installation and usually cost a bit more. There are also dry core storage, solar compatible boilers, and electric combined primary storage units. With all that being said, unvented cylinders are the most frequently recommended for UK homes.   Energy Rating It is also important to understand that different boiler designs, models, and even brands will affect the price that you pay to operate the unit over the course of a year. The simplest way to compare these is to look at the energy rating for each unit. In general, an energy rating of C means that you will pay less in electricity costs over time than an energy rating of D. Some units also have different energy ratings for different functions. For instance, an unvented cylinder might have a C rating for hot water, but a D rating for heating.   Your Consumption Rate No matter how efficient your water heater is, the rate at which you consume hot water will also affect your costs over time. Two homes with an identical unvented cylinder but dramatically different usage rates will incur drastically different electric charges over time. Simply put, the more hot water you use, the more frequently the cylinder will need to heat cold water from the mains, which means more energy consumption.   Cost of Electricity in Your Area Another factor that will play a role in how much you pay to operate an electric boiler is the cost of electricity in your area. The cost of electricity per unit varies throughout the UK based on several different factors, including the local distributor charges, the amount of energy purchased from generators in the area, and the volume of energy sold by the supplier. Ultimately, it can be difficult to determine your average operating costs for an electric boiler on your own. Our expert plumbers can help. Call EasyFlow today on 0161 941 5571 to schedule an assessment of your home, your usage needs, and more. We can also help you understand what you might be looking at in terms of annual operating costs.   Source: https://www.boilerguide.co.uk/articles/electric-boiler-vs-gas-boiler-pros-cons-running-costs https://sse.co.uk/help/home-services/types-of-boiler https://www.boilerguide.co.uk/articles/best-electric-boilers

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Hot water is one of the most important creature comforts available to us today. You can take a hot shower whenever you want. You can have hot water at the tap just by turning the handle. There’s no need to kindle a fire and wait for the water to warm up. However, that convenience comes at a cost. Whether you have an electric water cylinder or a gas-fired model, heating the water that serves your home requires energy, and you must pay for that energy. Because water cylinders will cool without access to constant heat, it can seem like you should just leave the hot water on all the time rather than setting a timer for it. Is that the case? Actually, it’s not. Here’s what you should know about it. They Myth Explained The myth about leaving your hot water on goes something like this: because the water in your cylinder cools over time when the element or boiler is not working, you’ll use more energy to get the water up to temp when the timer kicks over. This will increase your costs. You can decrease your costs by just leaving everything on. The truth of the matter is this: yes, you will use a little more energy initially when getting the water back up to temperature. However, you will use far more energy over the course of time because you’ll be heating the cylinder for hours on hours when no one will be using the hot water. This is just money down the drain, as they say. Modern Technology With modern water heaters, you have a cylinder that holds heated water. The cylinder should be well-insulated to help maintain the proper temperature. This works in your favour, because the water can be held at or very near optimum temperature for many hours without having to run the electric elements or boiler to warm the water. Set Your Timer As you can see, it makes little sense to leave your water heater on all the time. Why pay for the energy required to warm the water while you are asleep, or while the family is out at work and school? Instead, use your timer so that you always have access to plenty of hot water when you need it most. You’ll need it when you shower, and you’ll also need it when you’re cooking and washing up. However, check your appliances – some modern dishwashers, for example, are capable of heating water on their own and don’t need a supply of hot water from your cylinder. Not Sure? Not entirely sure how to set your timer? Perhaps you want to consider upgrading your current cylinder. Whatever the case, get in touch with us at EasyFlow. Call us on 0161 941 5571 and we’ll be pleased to send a qualified, professional plumber around to speak with you, discuss your options, provide maintenance, or anything else you might need.

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If you have a thermal store water cylinder that heats water for use throughout your home, chances are good that you have run out of hot water at least once in your memory. Perhaps everyone in the family got a shower before you did, leaving you with tepid water for your bathing. Perhaps you jumped in the shower after running the dishwasher, only to find that your dishes had consumed most of the hot water. In these situations, the boost setting on your water cylinder could come in very handy. What is boost all about? What Does the Boost Setting Do? The function of the boost setting varies from one type of water cylinder to another, but they all work in a roughly similar way. When the boost kicks in, it heats only a portion of the water in the cylinder to your specified temperature, and it does so very quickly, at least in comparison with the time it would take the immersion heater to warm the contents of the entire cylinder. The primary difference between various water cylinder types is how much water is heated and how long that heating process takes. For instance, with an E7 system, the boost setting would heat water for about 60 minutes, and it would warm about 10% of the water in the cylinder, giving you enough for a standard shower before the water would run cold once more. If your system is a non-E7 setup, then it would run for about 30 minutes and provide the same 10% of the cylinder’s contents warmed. In addition to system types, you also need to consider the location of the boost element. If it is located in the top of the cylinder, you will usually only get about 10% of the cylinder’s contents heated within the operating window. However, if the system has an element located midway down the cylinder, you could see 30% heated within 30 minutes. With a boost element near the bottom, you could feasibly warm 90% of the water in 30 minutes. Why Use the Boost Setting? If you have a modern water cylinder, then it should be equipped with a thermostat. When left on, this ensures that you always have a full cylinder of hot water. Why would someone choose to use the boost setting instead of the thermostat? There are a couple of reasons here. First, the boost setting is useful for situations in which most of the cylinder’s hot water has been used but you still need more hot water and don’t have time to wait for long periods. Second, the boost setting is useful for situations where you want to conserve energy and do not have significant hot water demands. You could simply use the boost setting to ensure there was enough water heated for your bathing and washing needs, without having to heat the entire cylinder, thus reducing your energy usage. As you can see, the boost setting on your water cylinder is actually quite handy and can provide several benefits.

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Water too hot?

Your hot water cylinder helps ensure that you have access to a ready store of hot water for bathing, washing dishes, or any other task. However, sometimes the water inside that cylinder just isn’t the right temperature. Do you open the tap to find that your water just isn’t hot enough? Perhaps you’re worried that very hot water might scald someone and want to turn the temperature down. Don’t worry – it’s actually very simple to do this.  1. Locate the Thermostat If you have a water cylinder, as opposed to a combi-boiler, you’ll have a thermostat on the unit itself. You will need to locate this in order to change the temperature. In most instances, you’ll find the thermostat between 1/3 and 1/4 of the way up the cylinder’s body from the bottom and will usually take the form of a plastic box with a dial and a temperature scale on it.  2. Adjust the Thermostat Once you have located the thermostat, you will just need to turn the dial to the temperature that you prefer. The temperature scale is marked on the thermostat’s body, and it is simple to determine what temperature has been set. If your water is too cold, turn the dial toward the higher end of the scale. If your water is too hot, turn the dial toward the colder end of the scale. As a note, you should ideally set the temperature of the water between 60 and 65 degrees Celsius.  3. Have Patience It is important to note that changing the temperature on your thermostat will not result in an instantaneous temperature change to the water within the cylinder. It takes time for water to heat up or cool down. If you are increasing the temperature of your water, you will likely need to wait around an hour or so before the water reaches your desired temperature. However, if you are turning your water temperature down, you will likely need to wait a longer period. Modern water cylinders are well insulated and can maintain their internal temperatures for long periods. To speed up the process, run a load of dishes, or wash clothes that require hot water. The cylinder will then refill, and the water will be heated to the new temperature set on the thermostat.  A Note on Temperatures You likely noticed the specific temperature range suggested above – 60 to 65 degrees. Why is that range selected? There are two reasons. First, that is warm enough to kill most pathogens that might be in your water. Turning your water cylinder temperature too low could leave you at risk of becoming ill. A minimum of 60 degrees helps you avoid this. On the other hand, 65 degrees is not hot enough to cause severe scalding injuries, so you avoid getting the water too hot and injuring someone in your home. As you can see, changing your water cylinder temperature is not all that complicated. With a little bit of time, you can ensure your water is just the right temperature.

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Your water heater ensures that you and your family always have hot water at the taps. That’s vital for everything from taking a shower in the morning before work to washing up after supper. However, it comes at a cost. The more your water heater works, the higher your electric bill is. Here are six tips for reducing how water electricity consumption to save some money. 1. Set a Lower Temp One way to reduce the amount of electricity your water heater consumes is to set it to a lower temperature. However, you need to keep it within the safe range defined by the UK’s Consumer Product Safety Commission. A lower, yet safe, temperature would be around 49 degrees C. This helps reduce the number of times your heater turns on to keep water at a specific temperature. 2. Use Less Hot Water Another way to reduce electricity related costs is to use less hot water in the first place. Cut your showers shorter, run the dishwasher only when necessary and the like. Wash your hands with cold water. 3. Cut Out Baths If you take baths regularly, you’re driving up your electric bill. It takes a great deal more water to fill up a tub than it does to wet you in the shower. All that hot water must be replaced, and that requires electricity. Cut out baths and switch to showers – you might be surprised at how much money this can save you over time. 4. Wash Clothes in Cold Water Washing clothes is important, but many consumers use hot water for this. While hot water can sometimes be necessary, cold water usually does just as well, and you’re not draining the water heater to clean your clothing. Unless you’re washing clothes with grease or oil stains, or something that needs to be sanitised, then cold water is more than sufficient. 5. Maximise Dishwasher Efficiency Dishwashers can be very convenient. They save time and effort, and are actually a bit better on your water usage than washing dishes by hand (modern models only). However, if you’re not using this appliance correctly, it may be costing you a lot of money per year. Run only full loads, and make sure that you load the trays correctly to maximise cleaning power. Never run partial loads, as this is just a waste of hot water, electricity and money. 6. Invest in a More Efficient Water Heater Finally, you may find that your water heater is old and outdated. If that’s the case, then it likely does not have enough insulation to maintain water at your desired temperature for very long. Investing in a more efficient unvented water cylinder can be a very smart move. Interested in learning more about your options when it comes to modern water heaters? Get in touch with us at EasyFlow. You can reach us at 0161 941 5571 and we’d be happy to discuss the available models. Source: https://www.energy.gov/energysaver/articles/15-ways-save-your-water-heating-bill https://www.thebalanceeveryday.com/save-money-water-bill-1388209

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