THE tide is turning for electricity, oil and gas suppliers, with more and more people returning to solid fuel as an affordable source of home heating and for heating domestic hot water.
The double-whammy of reduced family incomes and the inflationary cost of oil, electricity and gas, has forced people to look around, for the most cost-effective means of having a reliable source of heating for homes and hot water.
Despite the convenience of oil, electricity and gas, consumers are changing back to solid fuel, simply because it is more affordable. They use solid fuel as their main source of domestic heating (for the home and for hot water) and they keep their gas/oil or electricity as their supplementary source, to be used on occasion.
According to Declan Cummins, Director of Heat Craft (Renewable Energy Specialists), “the persistent trend in annual price hikes, for these fuel (oil, gas & electricity) sources, is causing a lot of pain and is becoming out of reach for many families and especially elderly people in Ireland.”
Declan, of Heat Craft has noticed that a huge percentage of people now prefer to be in a position where they can control the costs of heating in their homes. “Basic house-keeping rules of not spending more than you earn, are back with a bang, and are once again a la mode”, according to Declan. “This renewed focus on budgeting and affordability is a positive thing”, believes Declan. “It means that each of us are beginning to watch the pennies and in turn, apply pressure to suppliers across the board, to provide value for money. This is good for the individual, for the business and for the country, as it is the only way to encourage genuine competitiveness and it also highlights to Government the role they must play when doing deals with Energy Companies on behalf of Irish citizens, states the Director Heat Craft.
In terms of value for money and efficiency, solid fuel stoves are proving to be a winning choice, for home owners. Declan states, “unlike, the traditional open fire, where 90% of the heat goes up the chimney and the remainder only heats the room with the fire, solid fuel stoves are the efficient solution, to heat both domestic water and the radiators throughout the home.”
Solid fuel stoves (complete with boiler), can last a life-time and are extremely efficient for heating your home and providing the home with hot water. The price of a solid fuel stove does vary, depending on the brand name, but it is possible to shop around and find value for money. Heat Craft can supply and install the solid fuel stoves or just install, if the homeowner wishes to purchase the solid fuel stove directly.
Declan, of Heat Craft explains that it is the quality installation that makes the difference, in terms of both performance and efficiency, for solid fuel stoves. It is vital that the homeowner is certain that your Installer is a professional and does not skimp on insulation throughout the installation process. Heat Craft assures quality installation and guarantees that every job is only complete when it has been fully commissioned.
A quality Installer, such as Heat Craft, will ensure that all of the pipe-work is insulated which in turn, provides a better performing solid fuel stove for the homeowner. Insulating the pipe-work reduces heat loss, thereby, increasing the heat in the home and the efficiency of your solid fuel stove. Furthermore, the flue is critical to both the high-performance and efficiency of the solid fuel stove. Indeed, from a safety perspective, the flue is vitally important as this is how the carbon monoxide exits the home.
On occasion, Heat Craft have been contacted by upset homeowners who are disillusioned with their Installers, to help them ascertain why their new solid fuel stove is not meeting their expectations. Eight out of ten times, it is because the previous Installer delivered a poor job for the best price - the price was only afforded because they did not insulate and expend the required attention and resources, to readjust and upgrade, the existing pipe-work. This is extremely unfair to homeowners, who then find themselves having to spend more than they would have originally, to get a poor quality job upgraded to the standard they require have hot water and desired heating in their home.
Whilst, the homeowner needs to be certain that they engage a quality Installer, the professional installation process need not involve much disruption. Another factor to be considered is their cylinder, explains Declan, if the homeowner intends to retain gas or oil as their supplementary heating supply, they will need to change their cylinder to dual coil cylinder”. In simple terms, this means their are two access routes to heating the water in the cylinder - the homeowner can choose (at any moment) to heat the cylinder via the solid fuel stove or with their gas or oil supply. Again, it is important that the new cylinder is included in the price and not added on at a later stage to the unsuspecting homeowner, says Declan.
“Based on what we are seeing, I would encourage homeowners to contact Heat Craft who will help you make an informed decision on how and if a solid fuel stove is a step in the right direction for your family”, says Declan. If you are not already, clear on the cost of heating your home (radiators and water), you need to get clear. The UK government are already having to deal with the issue of fuel poverty: a household may be said to be in fuel poverty if it spends more than 10 per cent of total disposable household income on energy (i.e. heating, gas and electricity), and it won’t be long until the Irish Government will also have to sit up and notice the harsh reality of heating homes across Ireland.
With the winter approaching, now is the time for you to ensure that this winter does not mean a cold home environment and high energy bills. Heat Craft are passionate about helping homeowners reduce the cost of their heating bills, by improving the efficiency within the home and making sure you live in a warmer environment.
Heat Craft (Renewable Energy Specialists Ltd) are a local company, based in Axis Business Park in Tullamore and they operate nationwide. Heat Craft also have a Showroom as a facility for members of the public, to call in and see various heating options at work. We would be delighted to meet you here and go through all options available to you.
Lo-call Heat Craft on 1890 25 29 75 or logon to www.heatcraft.ie. We look forward to helping you save money and improve efficiencies within your home.