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Joe Bradbury examines whether renewable technologies can offer additional benefits to help landlords, such as reduce maintenance costs. 

We live in changing times. Public opinion on how we harness and use energy is leading industry down a more efficient and environmentally-friendly path.

Riding the crest of the paradigm shift, the discerning landlord looks out to the future - and sees nothing but gruelling and expensive maintenance of the outdated heating system they never got round to replacing.

… Should have fitted heat pumps! 

Landlords are under increasing pressure to adhere to new and existing Government legislations that outline how homes should be maintained in order to keep residents happy, as well as help reduce the UK's emissions.

Joe Bradbury Assistant Editor of Housing Association Magazibe

Reduced costs

As the old adage says; a stitch in time saves nine! The use of inefficient heating systems over prolonged periods of time can cause extensive damage to a property. Mould and damp is unhealthy, unsightly and damages furnishings; at its worst, it can render a house entirely uninhabitable and unprofitable. Repairing its damage is a time-consuming and needless expense because without addressing the underlying cause of the damp, you only serve to lay hard work and money to waste.

Heat pumps are already recognised as a low-carbon alternative to traditional heating systems such as direct electric, gas and oil. Essentially an air source heat pump is an electric heating system that harvests free energy from the air (as opposed to using a fuel like gas or oil) to provide heating and sanitary hot water in your home.

Because heat pumps are best suited to continuous running, they provide a more constant level of comfort for tenants when the house is occupied and reduce the chance of mould, damp and damage occurring within the property when it is vacated. By allowing tenants to heat all of their homes cost-effectively, rather than just one or two rooms, the property incurs less damage and requires less maintenance. This reduces the risk of it falling into a state of disrepair. 

For the vast majority of ‘Monobloc’ systems, there should be little more required than an annual visual check of the electrics and connections (inside and out) from an appropriately trained maintenance engineer, along with perhaps the clearing of any debris or garden waste that may have accumulated around the outdoor unit, and maybe a reminder of the heating controls for the occupier.

If there is ever an issue with the outdoor unit meaning this closed refrigerant circuit needs to be breached – such as a compressor change, the manufacturers have trained F-Gas engineers in place to carry out these works.

This contrasts somewhat with the maintenance of an oil or gas heating system, which also comes with the added requirement for an annual gas safety certificate.

With a professionally maintained Ecodan air source heat pump unit offering an average lifespan of 15 to 20 years, savings on maintenance can be made and disruptions to your property are very infrequent.

Increased efficiency

Housing Associations play an important role in helping to deliver national carbon reduction targets. Taking steps towards reducing annual maintenance is a proven way of cutting carbon whilst simultaneously lowering tenant’s bills.

Landlords are under increasing pressure to adhere to new and existing Government legislations that outline how homes should be maintained in order to keep residents happy, as well as help reduce the UK's emissions. Being energy efficient is a big part of this and the benefits to residents with renewable heating systems like Ecodan are not just lowering fuel bills but reliable heating and hot water all year-round.

For the Housing Association, changing an existing heating system to a renewable technology like Ecodan can reduce properties carbon footprint because the running costs are reduced and for new housing stock, renewable technology assists in meeting the demand made in the Code for Sustainable Homes. 

In summary

Heat pumps, such as the market-leading Ecodan range, help create a healthy indoor environment for both tenant and structure alike. They also reduce running costs, which saves money on future heating bills and further adds to their eco-credentials. Ecodan has an A++ ErP rating - making it the most efficient on the market.

HAs that implement renewable solutions such as heat pumps are safe in the knowledge that they are taking care of their assets as well as their tenants, providing warm homes and reducing unnecessary and avoidable expense.


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