Where are boilers more likely to break down?

New research suggests a link between hard water areas and the frequency of boilers breaking down. After a thorough examination of properties across Great Britain, 2020’s UK Boiler Breakdown Study ranks areas from best to worst when it comes to boiler reliability:

  1. Scotland (1.79%)
  2. Yorkshire and the Humber (1.97%)
  3. North West (1.92%)
  4. South West (1.97%)
  5. Wales (2.05%)
  6. South East (2.11%)
  7. East (2.17%)
  8. East Midlands (2.21%)
  9. North East (2.42%)
  10. West Midlands (2.75%)
  11. London (2.91%)

Interestingly, boilers in Scotland are the most resilient against breakdowns, in spite of the fact that average temperatures across Scotland are decidedly lower when compared than the rest of the UK mainland. In 2019, the average temperature north of the border was just 7.9 °C, compared to England (10.4 °C) and Wales (9.7 °C), suggesting that: either Scottish boilers are more resilient to the colder conditions or residents are more reluctant to turn them on when it gets cold.

London properties are shown to have experienced the largest number of boiler-related problems over the course of last year. In general, Northern regions fared better than the rest of the UK when it came to reliability.

Just behind Scotland in the rankings are North West (1.92%) and Yorkshire and the Humber (1.97%) – also the areas with the softest water in the country.

There is also a link between home ownership and the percentage of boilers breaking down, according to the study, with areas dominated by rental properties (such as London, the North East and the West Midlands) experiencing more frequent breakdowns. This is likely due to tenants not keeping a close eye on the condition of their boiler or not living in a property for a long enough time to notice any changes.

David Holmes, the founder of Boiler Guide, says: “…when looking at areas towards the other end of the scale, London is synonymous with having an abundance of ‘older’ residential and commercial properties, with many containing older heating systems that are in dire need of repair. Coupled with the higher occupancy rates and the dense population of the region, the strain put on boilers and other home heating systems is hard to ignore.”

It’s imperative that boilers are serviced at least once a year by a Gas Safe engineer so that irregularities can be picked up and fixed before any major breakdown occurs. Whether you’re a home owner or managing a commercial property; maintaining  your boiler will ensure that it works efficiently, effectively and safely.

For all your energy related questions, feel free to contact the CH Systems team on 0208 302 8149 or

Source: Pham News

Boiler Installation

A recent commission saw the team at CH Systems working in a small plant room to replace two floor standing Potterton Kingfisher boilers with two 50Kw Potterton Sirius condensing boilers. As the existing system was of some age we also installed a plate heat exchanger along with new pumps and gas line. Check it out…

Walthamstow SSL

The CH team was briefed to fit two new Hamworthy Wessex ModuMax mk3 boilers (alongside the existing Hamworthy boilers) in a recent Plant Room upgrade for a national supermarket Chain in Walthamstow.

Our welders had to fabricate a number of spool pieces to enable us to connect to the Imperial Table D flanges. We also had to fabricate a 6-inch header to which all 4 boilers then connected on to. The gas run on this installation was all carried out in 108mm Geberit Mapress Stainless and was slightly challenging as we had to run this on the underside of the first floor slab; the work was all carried out on a SkyJack SJ19, which greatly helped in reducing the installation time.

The heating coil that serves the shop floor air handling unit was also changed over during the course of the project and we’re happy with the final result.

How innovative installation makes your business energy efficient

One of the biggest energy-related challenges for owners of businesses that operate out of commercial buildings – schools, restaurants, supermarkets, offices, gyms etc. – is finding a heating and hot water system that can keep up with the demand, at a reasonable price. Saving energy, for ethical reasons as well as money-saving targets, is no mean feat. But there are ways…

Thinking outside of the box with innovative installations is one way to cut overheads. Heating manufacturer Vokèra is currently working with UK business owners to reduce usage and costs, as reported by Two recent projects include the replacement of a 43-year-old oil roof-top boiler with a floor standing modular unit, which enabled the building in question to be heated to temperature in a mere 20 minutes.

Another project saw oil boilers replaced with the energy-efficient CondexaPRO, alongside new insulation, high-efficient glazing and LED lighting; the building now saves almost 980,000 kWh per annum.

Cascade configuration is also a good way to ensure that the output of the heating system meets the demand of a large property. Boilers that have been designed for modular systems will work well in commercial applications. If the demand within the building is high, then all boilers in the system can be working together, but, if the heating requirement drops, each appliance can be individually controlled and turned off to match the lower demand.

Vokèra is just one brand committed to helping business save money with energy efficient installations, there are also others – Worcester/Bosch, Reznor, Vaillant, (to mention a few), which are all committed to making energy efficiency commercially viable for both smaller and larger businesses.

If you’d like further information on how to make energy efficiency commercially viable for your business, feel free to contact the CH Systems team on 0208 302 8149 or

Source: – “Making energy efficiency commercially viable”

IKEA Croydon

CH Systems carried out a purge and decommission of a 200mm gas line feeding the boilers and kitchen on site at IKEA Croydon. The existing Black Teknigas Powerseat solenoid valve had failed and was leaking hydraulic fluid.

The project was completed successfully whilst making sure that client safety was prioritised at all times.







For more information, feel free to contact the CH Systems team on 0208 302 8149 or

Worcester comes out top in Which? award!

Thinking about a new boiler for your business? Need help choosing the right one? Worcester should be top of your list; the annual boiler report for consumer body Which? has just named the brand’s Greenstar gas-fired boiler range ‘Best Buy’ for 2015 – the sixth consecutive year that Worcester has claimed the award!

The Greenstar boilers earned an overall score of 79 per cent based on customer scores and engineer views. The manufacturer scored five stars for reliability, customer satisfaction and build quality as well as achieving the maximum star rating in five of the six categories.

The annual survey compared eleven manufacturers in total.

The results were calculated from the reviews of 10,779 owners and 110 Trusted Trader heating engineers.

A summary of the report noted that Worcester offers: “Fantastic build quality and easy to source parts and spares…[with] extremely reliable products across the range.” In summary “…a Worcester, Bosch Group gas boiler is worthy of its Best Buy status.”

The company’s oil-fired boiler range was also ‘highly recommended’ by the report.

Martyn Bridges, Director of Marketing and Technical Support at Worcester, Bosch Group comments: “The Which? Customer Scores are based on owner’s satisfaction and how likely they are to recommend the brand. The fact we are able to achieve this status for a sixth successive year is a real testament to quality and reliability we consistently achieve, with no other manufacturer scoring higher on these points.

“While products play an important role, installers are vital to helping us retain this award, by maintaining installation best practice and providing homeowners with thorough advice. As we head into the colder months, households will rely on their heating systems more and as such, we are pleased to be recognised as offering highly efficient solutions with consistent support mechanisms in place should they be needed.”

The Greenstar gas- and oil-fired range ( is vast and there are boilers suited to properties of all sizes. CH Systems is a proud installer of Worcester products and would be happy to talk you through the boilers and discuss the options most viable for your business. We welcome any questions!

If you’d like further information, feel free to contact the CH Systems team on 0208 302 8149 or


Could businesses claim VAT reductions on energy efficient materials?

The election is a stone’s throw away and energy issues are hotting up as politicians look to secure votes. Big news of the moment is a statement released by the Energy and Utilities Alliance (EUA), which is calling on all political parties to set VAT at 5 per cent for all energy efficiency materials and the installation thereof.

Mike Foster, Chief Executive of EUA, argues:

“Successive Governments promote energy efficiency measures, encouraging homeowners to install everything from insulation, new boilers to state-of-the-art controls yet there are huge anomalies in the levels of VAT charged.

Installing a new control, as a one-off job, would attract VAT at the lower rate of 5 per cent, making it attractive to the consumer yet installing the same control, as part of a wider system improvement, would attract VAT at the standard, 20 per cent rate. The current system is inconsistent and sends out mixed messages to consumers and it needs clarification.

Green Deal, ECO and other energy efficiency policies have failed to deliver, simplifying the VAT rules around products and their installation is something that could be done reasonably easily, it would provide real help to hard-pressed consumers.”

Foster’s point clearly targets home owners but what about businesses that have turned their companies into ethical and sustainable entities, costing both time, effort and an initial pay-out? If home owners were to receive a VAT reduction incentive should business owners not be afforded the same privilege?

Company VAT is normally chargeable at 20 per cent but your business may be liable for less if it satisfies certain criteria, namely de minimis (low energy consumption), which is applied to businesses with electricity demands below 33kWh per day or 1,000 kWh per month (on average) or gas consumption below an average of 145kWh (5 therms) per day or 4,397 kWh (150 therms) per month – these businesses will qualify for a reduced VAT rate of 5 per cent. (The assessment of your consumption can be made by you or by your supplier, as a meter reading or as an estimate.)

The next question to consider if businesses were to be made eligible for some sort of VAT reduction is what type of energy efficiencies could be implemented (with the added intention of reducing costs in the long term)? Things like state-of-the-art controls (for heating and hot water), new boilers and insulation (around windows, doors, walls, floors, ceilings lofts) have been mentioned but other ideas that will be relevant to your business in context are:

• Wood-fuelled boilers
• Micro combined heat and power units
• Solar panels
• Ground-source heat pumps
• Air-source heat pumps
• Wind turbines
• Water turbines

Again, businesses have not been mentioned in EUA’s reduced VAT proposal but it’s a space worth watching! And in the meantime, for more information on how to up your business’s energy efficiency (products and installation) feel free to contact the CH Systems team on 0208 302 8149 or

Sources: – “Reduce VAT to 5% on all energy efficient materials and their installation” and – “Electricity and Gas Bills – Understanding VAT”.

Five energy-saving tips that will help your business cut costs this winter

The recently announced energy price hikes have sent Britons into a state of slight panic as homeowners and commercial enterprises rack their brains for ideas on how to keep warm without bankrupting budgets. In fact, new research by Bristol-based sustainability company Sustain has revealed that 90 per cent of British consumers are concerned about increasing energy prices this winter.

And if you’re a business owner the stress is likely to be more severe: taking measures to curb costs (like simply turning heating off and throwing on a few jerseys) is just not feasible because if your office is cold, productivity will decrease – the same goes for factories and warehouses; and when it comes to restaurants, shops, hotels or churches, if people don’t feel that warm blast of air emanating from the doors of your establishment, chances are that your enterprise will be a few customers short.

So, the heat has got to be on and the money has got to be spent.

But there are ways to do so efficiently! Here are five tips on what you can do to save your business money this winter:

      • Control your heating system: turn heating (as well as other energy-consuming appliances – lights) off when premises aren’t in use, and reduce heating in areas that aren’t people populated.
      • Contain heat: when heating is on, make sure windows are closed and when the sun goes down close blinds and curtains to prevent heat from escaping through the windows.
      • Consider insulation: insulating windows, walls, pipes and boilers might be an initial expense but could save you money in the long term. There are also some local authorities that offer incentives for businesses that wish to insulate their premises – definitely something worth checking out if you’re keen on the idea.
      • Service boiler system and replace old equipment: inefficient heating equipment will cost your business. Old boilers are reportedly 65 to 70 per cent efficient; a new boiler should up efficiency levels to 90 per cent. There are government schemes (the Green Dead and the Enhanced Capital Allowances scheme) that offer incentives for the installation of energy efficient equipment. Otherwise, just make sure that your boiler is serviced yearly, enabling your heating contractor to find and fix any faults.
      • Position thermostats with care: in other words, not in draughty areas or areas with uneven temperatures (in direct sunlight or near machinery that gives off heat).

Reducing heating by a mere 1 per cent can cut costs by 10 per cent, which is a great incentive for further advice on how your business can get the best out of its boiler.

For more information, feel free to contact the CH Systems team on 0208 302 8149 or