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Cut out limescale and cut your energy bills
3:00pm Thursday 14th March 2013 in Lifestyle
Many Worcestershire householders believe they need to spend big money on investments such as solar panels and double glazing to cut their bills.
But energy adviser Colin Priest says one cheaper option which can bring dramatic savings is to clear the limescale out of their domestic water systems.
Colin, who lives in Quarry Bank and works for green energy company Noreus in Stafford, said most of the UK has hard water, apart from Cornwall, western areas of Wales and parts of Scotland which has soft water.
When the hard water is heated calcium carbonate deposits are formed in pipes as well as washing machines, dishwashers, shower heads, kettles and other appliances. It is easy to get rid of the off-white, chalky deposit in the bathroom or the kitchen, but the more serious damage is in the pipes and the heating system which is harder to see and more costly to remove. Calcium carbonate reduces the efficiency of a heating system and even wrecks pumps and other equipment.
Research at the University of Plymouth discovered that a boiler with no limescale took 90 minutes to supply an average home with hot water while one with 10 millimetres of limescale took more than six hours to do the same task, adding hundreds of pounds to a resident’s annual energy bill.
The Carbon Trust, which gives advice on energy efficiency, says that every millimetre of calcium carbonate on a boiler system increases energy consumption by seven per cent.
But Colin, pictured, says there is an easy, simple way and cheap solution to the problem.
He is offering a free thermal imaging camera survey which shows where householders can reduce their energy bills and which radiators have high limescale content. The camera also reveals air leaks and moisture in cavity wall insulation, water problems in flat roofs, defects in pipes or under-floor heating systems and inefficient seals around door and windows without having to cut into plasterboard or concrete or search through the attic.
“It is amazing,” said Colin, “the camera shows radiators where the temperature is 10 degrees higher at the top than at the bottom because of all the calcium carbonate.”
After the camera inspection Colin is offering to flush the impurities out of the whole radiator system and then put in a de-calcifying product to get rid of the limescale from £150 upwards, depending on the size of the home. He will also advise on putting in water softener systems.
In 2006, new homes in hard water areas had to have water softeners installed and now several local councils are putting them when they carry out council home refits.
For more details about other energy saving ideas call Colin on 0845 474 6641.