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Joe Bradbury explains why summer is arguably the best time to repair, upgrade or even replace aging heating systems.

It may seem strange to talk about heating systems in the midst of what is one of the hottest summers on record; however, with tenants less likely to be needing heating throughout the warmer months, the summer is arguably the best time to repair, upgrade or even replace aging heating systems and introduce more energy efficiency into the stock.

Sun’s out, old heating system’s out!

One of the most important things to consider when undertaking planned maintenance is a new heating system. Ask yourself 3 simple questions:

1.     Is the current heating system as efficient as it could be?

2.     Is it providing adequate comfort and quality for my tenants?

3.     Is it costing more money than it should to run?

If your answer to one or more of these questions causes you concern, then it’s time to reconsider the way you heat your housing stock.

The use of inefficient heating systems over prolonged periods of time can cause extensive damage to a property.

Joe Bradbury Joe Bradbury Assistant editor of Housing Association magazine

Environmentally-friendly comfort and efficiency

Housing Associations are always looking to reduce carbon and increase renewable credentials, whilst also attaining maximum tenant satisfaction.

Replacing heating systems such as solid fuel, direct electric and storage heaters with renewable alternatives will not only be efficient and sustainable, but it will also significantly improve comfort levels and can offer a level of smartphone control craved by many tenants in this, the age of technology.

Planned maintenance saves you money

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.

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 can help reduce 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.

Air source heat pumps such as the market-leading Ecodan 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 one of 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.

Heat pumps require less maintenance going forward

Air source heat pumps are easy to design and install, reducing installation time and minimising any disruption to your property.

Maintenance on a system is also much simpler than gas or oil and doesn’t need any annual gas safety certificate, and with a professionally maintained system offering an average lifespan of 15 to 20 years, savings on maintenance can be made and disruptions to your property are very infrequent.

In summary

Maintenance of outdated heating systems and the eventual replacement of the entire system is an unavoidable expense faced by all landlords and housing associations.

By wisely planning these works over the course of the year and taking steps to avoid being hit with expensive repair costs in the winter, we can ensure we are conducting our business in an ethical, environmentally-friendly and economically wise manner.

Enjoy the summer and don’t take warmth for granted.

Joe Bradbury is Assistant Editor of Housing Association Magazine.