When we bought the property a year ago, the previous owners fluffed and faffed about having the boiler serviced. Rather than hold up the sale, we went ahead, but as things turned out the boiler only worked when the heating was running.
Not familiar with combi boilers, we asked around and arranged for a local guy to come and service it. Ah. All was revealed.
So today, we had our boiler serviced to keep it in warranty (we actually have seven years, not the standard five!) and ensure we have no problems when the weather turns cold.
We’ve had the heating running for about half an hour a couple of times this week as the air had a noticeable nip on it. It didn’t take long to get up to heat and the insulation here is amazing so the house was soon warm. It reflected hardly at all in the weekly readings, and this month sees the first payment of our second reduction in energy payments since we’ve been here. Ever anxious not to run up a bill we can’t pay, I’ve done my own calculations now that we have some concrete figures to work with and the energy company seems to be spot on with our estimated annual usage.
Our guy arrived as promised, in a new van. New to him, not brand new off the forecourt you understand. Apparently he did a central heating job earlier in the year and couldn’t get the longer radiators in his existing van, so was on the lookout for something bigger.
Maggie homed in for fuss and a treat (she knows a soft touch) as he unloaded his kit.
The kettle was on and biscuits out as he set up to business. He’s well known in the area for fair prices, a good job and reliability, so it was no surprise when a neighbour further down the road addressed him by his first name and he responded in kind.
‘You don’t use the heating much, do you,’ he said from the bowels of the boiler cupboard.
‘We had it running a couple of days ago, but it was on all the time in the winter.’ I replied.
He showed me the ignition switch, explaining that usually there was a slight rust discolouration which he could easily clean off. Ours was still shiny.
I explained that during the day, we have the heating set at 18º C and from 9 pm to 6 am it’s 14º C, which was comfortable for us. Thinking about previous properties, our heating was set at about 22º C, so I guess boat living toughened us up a bit! This is also apparent as our water temperature is only 50º which is perfectly adequate for us.
As he was emptying the MagnaClean gizmo, he commented on how clean the water was!
I should point out that when we had this boiler fitted (and the new oil boiler in the cottage), the central heating system was treated to a Powerflush as a condition of warranty, which did exactly that and forced all of the crud out of the radiators under pressure. I remember how thick and mucky that water was so glad to see the back of it!
When MOH was having his central heating boiler problems addressed after Frank had been installed, we asked if he’d had a powerflush to clear out his system. He said he had, but as it turned out, the guy had only drained the system, refilled it and put in new fernox. It came as no surprise last year when we went down just before Christmas that the radiator in the back room where we slept was still cold because not enough hot water was getting to it. I was therefore glad of the extra two blankets and hot water bottles we’d taken down, though Hubby slept in his joggers and jumper, he was so cold. The same guy had told him that he would probably need new pipework to the radiator anyway, and the price of almost another thousand pounds was mentioned. Hubby had already suggested that and said ages ago that he would be happy to give him a hand as it wouldn’t be that difficult with his house layout, but MOH thanked him for the offer and said no. The rad still doesn’t work properly, though he does have a new programmer and thermostat!
For us though, it was all done and dusted at a reasonable cost and as the paperwork was being completed, we said how pleased we were with our purchase and its efficiency (98.7% according to the readings). We both think it was money well spent last year and can look forward to a cosy and worry free winter.
This will be the first year when we don’t have to worry about visiting anyone, so we could actually ‘hibernate’ if we wanted to!