Calefy Heating

The difference between hard and soft water

There’s a good chance that you’ve heard the terms “hard” and “soft” to describe water in the past. This can often be somewhat confusing to a lot of people. You may find yourself wondering what causes it and if there are any reasons to be concerned about the hardness or softness of the water in your home. The answer is quite simple: the hardness of water is measured by the levels of certain minerals contained within it.

Hard water

Hard water is defined by the levels of calcium and magnesium contained within it. There aren’t any major health issues associated with hard water and many people live in hard water areas without any issues at all. However, if you have hard water in your home you may notice minor things like slightly drier skin or an itchy scalp after washing your hair with hard water. If this is the case, then you may want to look into water softening systems that can filter these minerals out of the water and make it more gentle on your skin.

Soft water

Unlike hard water, soft water is water with higher concentrations of sodium, or salt. This means that using soft water will be gentler not only on your skin but also on your clothes and dishes. Not only that but your skin will often be better pH balanced and less irritated. Unlike hard water, soft water doesn’t leave any mineral deposits in your pipes which means that the water pressure in your home is likely to be much more consistent.

Why your home might not stay as warm as it used to

Losing heat at home is never pleasant. Suddenly, draughts become an unwelcome guest at the dinner table, and the cold accompanies you to the sofa, too. This is a problem that most definitely points to an issue elsewhere, and it’s something you’ll want to address as soon as possible.
The good news is that, if you achieved warmth once, you can most definitely get there again, however it does mean that you’re going to need to take action before that’s possible. But what exactly should you do when you notice your rooms aren’t getting as warm as they used to?

What you can do

Before you contact the professionals, consider whether you can do anything to turn the heat back up. While severe problems do need a professional touch, some simpler steps could save you the hassle, and they include –
  • Bleeding your radiators
  • Draught-proofing
  • Use a hot water bottle at night instead of leaving the heating on.
  • Checking your thermostat
  • Maximising insulation

What professionals can do

Failing this, it’s time to call the professionals for safe solutions. After all, while they don’t necessarily mean that a total boiler replacement is on the cards, issues with heating certainly point towards the need for some kind of expert repair. The most common causes for this problem include –
  • Clogged radiators
  • Leaking pipes
  • Faulty boiler parts
  • Performance issues
Trained engineers can both troubleshoot and address these issues and may even be able to save you the need for a totally new boiler if you contact them fast enough when you notice this escalating issue!

What to Do If Your Water Pipes Freeze

Preparing your home for the colder months is a step to prevent any freezing pipe surprises. However, when such a problem occurs, it is important to prevent them from causing further damage. Read on to learn a few tips you can adopt when your water pipes freeze.

When experiencing a frozen pipe, the first step is to open your taps if they are closed and switch the main water supply to the home off. Doing this would prevent water damages such as a leak, or water from building up in the pipes when the ice has thawed.

Next, you would want to apply heat to the frozen pipe by wrapping it with an electric heating pad. You can also wrap the frozen pipe with towels soaked in heated water. Whatever approach you adopt, avoid using a blowtorch, propane, kerosene or any open fire device.

Continue applying the heat until your water pressure is completely restored. In case you can’t locate the part of the frozen pipe, or that area is just not accessible, thawing your pipe may be impossible. At this point, you will need to seek expert support to prevent bursting your pipes and ensure you and your home are safe.

A robust plumbing plan will save you from frozen pipes. But in case your pipes do freeze, the smart approach is to manage and figure out how to fix them. If it’s an emergency repair, help is just a call away. Contact us via telephone at 01372 879 787 or visit for more info.

How to save money on your gas bill

If you’re trying to reduce costs at home, your gas bill is one of the best places to start. The gas bill is often one of the biggest outgoings in a home, but there are some ways that you can lower your gas bill, without having to make big or costly changes around your home.
  • Turn down your thermostat. Lowering the temperature by just one degree can save energy and money, without changing how warm you feel.
  • Don’t dry clothes on the radiators. Covering them lowers how much heat the radiator can release. This causes your boiler to run for longer just to heat the room to the same temperature, using up more fuel.
  • Use a hot water bottle at night instead of leaving the heating on.
  • Change to a different supplier. You could be able to find a cheaper option, especially if you’ve used the same supplier for more than three years. You could also use this lower price to negotiate a deal with your current supplier.
  • Move your furniture away from your radiators. The foam in upholstered furniture like your sofa will work as an insulator, stopping the warmth from getting into the room.
  • Use the sun. This is the cheapest and most readily available source of heat. Even in Winter, when the sun comes out, make the most of it by opening doors inside and letting the warm air move around the house.
  • Draw the curtains at night to keep warmth in and cold out.

What to Do If Your Water Pipes Freeze

Preparing your home for the colder months is a step to prevent any freezing pipe surprises. However, when such a problem occurs, it is important to prevent them from causing further damage. Read on to learn a few tips you can adopt when your water pipes freeze.

When experiencing a frozen pipe, the first step is to open your taps if they are closed and switch the main water supply to the home off. Doing this would prevent water damages such as a leak, or water from building up in the pipes when the ice has thawed.

Next, you would want to apply heat to the frozen pipe by wrapping it with an electric heating pad. You can also wrap the frozen pipe with towels soaked in heated water. Whatever approach you adopt, avoid using a blowtorch, propane, kerosene or any open fire device.

Continue applying the heat until your water pressure is completely restored. In case you can’t locate the part of the frozen pipe, or that area is just not accessible, thawing your pipe may be impossible. At this point, you will need to seek expert support to prevent bursting your pipes and ensure you and your home are safe.

A robust plumbing plan will save you from frozen pipes. But in case your pipes do freeze, the smart approach is to manage and figure out how to fix them. If it’s an emergency repair, help is just a call away. Contact us via telephone at 01372 879 787 or visit for more info.

How to save money on your gas bill

If you’re trying to reduce costs at home, your gas bill is one of the best places to start. The gas bill is often one of the biggest outgoings in a home, but there are some ways that you can lower your gas bill, without having to make big or costly changes around your home.
  • Turn down your thermostat. Lowering the temperature by just one degree can save energy and money, without changing how warm you feel.
  • Don’t dry clothes on the radiators. Covering them lowers how much heat the radiator can release. This causes your boiler to run for longer just to heat the room to the same temperature, using up more fuel.
  • Use a hot water bottle at night instead of leaving the heating on.
  • Change to a different supplier. You could be able to find a cheaper option, especially if you’ve used the same supplier for more than three years. You could also use this lower price to negotiate a deal with your current supplier.
  • Move your furniture away from your radiators. The foam in upholstered furniture like your sofa will work as an insulator, stopping the warmth from getting into the room.
  • Use the sun. This is the cheapest and most readily available source of heat. Even in Winter, when the sun comes out, make the most of it by opening doors inside and letting the warm air move around the house.
  • Draw the curtains at night to keep warmth in and cold out.

Signs you may need to replace your boiler

Boiler breakdowns can be disastrous. No hot water can mean chilly bedrooms, no baths or showers, leaks, floods, and in the worst cases, they can be dangerous. It makes sense then to replace your boiler before this could occur. There are some key signs to look out for to let you know it might be time to replace your boiler.

If a boiler has been in your home for several years, it may be less efficient than the newer models. The cost of a new boiler may bring down your bills, which could outweigh the rising cost of an inefficient boiler. Always check to see how expensive your bills are getting against the cost of a new boiler.

If you have to continually get your boiler repaired, then this cost can mount up too. Ask the specialist to diagnose your boiler and assess whether a new model may be a better option for the future. Specialists will be able to test your boiler’s efficiency and advise on the likelihood of it breaking down in the near future. The other factor a specialist can advise upon is the ease of getting parts for your model. As manufacturers update their stock, parts for older models can become scarce and costly.

Finally, if you notice that you continually have to adjust the pressure gauge or that some parts of your home are no longer getting fully heated despite your thermostat being at a steady temperature.

Ever found yourself in the situation where you’ve gone to use the hot water tap to find that nothing, but cold water is running through? It can be a little worrying to experience, and we immediately think the worst. However, before you go calling a professional, it’s worth doing these simple checks and seeing whether any of these are causing a lack of hot water.
Check If It’s Isolated
First, it’s important to find out whether it’s an isolated issue or not. With that being said, run the hot water taps in all areas of your home. This should tell you whether it’s simply a problem with the tap you’re using or whether it’s affecting the rest of the home’s water supply.
Take A Look at Your Thermostat
A quick look at the thermostat is something to check because it might have been lowered by accident without you knowing. If it’s too low, then it’s likely that’s why it’s not running hot enough. You should also check whether there are any timers that might be switching off the hot water at a certain time.
Try Resetting the Boiler
Resetting the boiler might work if you’ve tried to above and nothing has worked. It might be that there’s some form of a power cut or technical issue that’s happened, and it just needs a reboot.
If none of the above solve the problem, then it’s probably best to call out an engineer. They can help do any relevant repair work to get you back up and running again.
Power flushing is a process of cleaning out any sludge, debris and dirt that has built up in your boiler, radiators or across the whole central heating system in general.
A high-power flushing machine will be attached to your central heating circulation pump, and a combination of chemicals will then be flushed through the system to break down any debris.

Signs you need a power flush

Any of the following issues may be a sign that your central heating system needs a power flush.
  • Radiators that have cold spots
  • A boiler that is making a banging or knocking noise
  • A boiler that keeps breaking down
  • A boiler that keeps switching on and off
  • Radiators that take a while to heat up
Benefits of power flushing
Here are the numerous benefits of central heating power flushing.
  • Reduction of your energy bills but 25%
  • It can make your boiler quieter
  • Radiator heat is a significantly increased
  • It will improve the efficiency of your system overall
  • Increased circulation throughout your central heating system
  • Extend the lifespan of your central heating system
  • It is a quick and simple process that will give you peace of mind
What if I do not power flush my central heating system?
Your central heating system, like everything else within your home, will need regular maintenance. Power flushing is part of central heating maintenance, but here is what you can expect if you do not power flush your central heating system.
  • The circulation throughout your system will become slow, and radiators will begin to take a long time to heat up, as well as having cold patches when they do
  • Your central heating at the system will become much less efficient, and you will notice this in your monthly fuel bills
  • You might find that you are paying an increased amount when it comes to repairing costs for your boiler and radiator system when a power flush will have helped the issue
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