Retrofitting a filter will reduce repairs

Ensuring a brand new boiler is protected with a magnetic filter is considered standard practice, but more installers should consider the benefits of fitting filters on all sludge-related repair jobs, says Dr Neil Watson, Chief Technical Officer at ADEY.

Magnetite makes up more than 98% of all system debris, making it the single biggest cause of heating system issues. Due to their incredibly small size, magnetite particles travel easily around a heating system and deposit in low flow areas. Regardless of age, magnetite will always eventually become a problem for a boiler and household heating system, unless it’s properly maintained and protected against corrosion.

Every year, around 1.6 million new boilers are installed in UK homes at a cost of between £2000 and £3000 each. Therefore, we understand it may be easier for an installer to help customers see the benefits of fitting a magnetic filter at the same time because they’ll be keen to protect the significant investment they’ve made for comparatively little extra cost. In addition, it’s more likely they’ll also be interested to hear that not only will it provide ongoing protection, but it will boost heating efficiency, reduce household energy bills and cut maintenance costs too.

We know this because, according to our own research, 83% of installers say they almost always recommend installing a filter when they’re fitting a new boiler. For most installers it has become second-nature and an obvious opportunity to upsell.

In comparison, we found that when installers are called out to repair a boiler, just 13% recommend fitting a filter. With any issues highly likely to be sludge related, this means they could be missing a big opportunity to properly protect their customers’ heating systems and significantly reduce the need for repeat repairs.

Common issues
We also recently commissioned a survey of 2000 UK homeowners. More than a third of respondents said they currently have issues with their central heating systems including noisy pipework, cold spots in radiators and low or inconsistent heat levels. All of these common issues are symptoms of a build-up of sludge within the system and the corrosion of components. The most effective remedy is for an installer to fit a magnetic filter, providing long term protection and preventing future sludge-related breakdowns, associated costs and inconvenience for the homeowner.

However, we understand that when a system needs repairing, it’s usually an unplanned distress purchase for the customer and this can make it difficult for an installer to feel comfortable in recommending a fix that, although beneficial, comes at further additional cost. We are therefore happy to support installers with material they can use to help educate customers on the benefits of having a well-maintained system and the return on investment that long term protection can deliver.

For example, should an installer need to replace any heating system components, it makes sense to ensure new parts are protected from future corrosion, which means installing a filter should be considered best practice as much as it is when installing a whole new boiler. In addition, our filters are the only ones available on the market that are independently proven to collect and remove virtually all magnetite from a system, and save 6% on household energy bills year on year.

Best practice
There are around 23.6 million boilers installed in UK homes and as the market leader and pioneer of magnetic filtration technology, our filters are currently fitted in more than four million homes. Potentially, this leaves almost 20 million household heating systems unprotected and at risk from the damaging effects of magnetite.

While there are many benefits in fitting a filter on every sludge-related boiler repair job, installers who consider this as part of a holistic best practice approach will reap the biggest rewards.

As a business started by a heating installer, we understand that an effective maintenance cycle – such as that outlined by ADEY’s best practice approach – ensures heating systems are properly protected for the long term. As such, we’ve designed a range of products, from cleansing kits and magnetic filters to chemicals and water testing solutions, that work hand in hand.

This ‘belt and braces’ approach helps installers ensure they can do the best job for their customers by saving them money and, in return, this can help build a business on a great reputation through customer satisfaction and referrals.

In addition, when customer budgets are tight, using products that are built to go the distance is critical. This is why we put our products through comprehensive and rigorous materials testing which includes simulated 10-year system cycle testing for temperature, pressure and thermal-shock, hydro-static destruction testing, performance testing for magnetic and non-magnetic capture, and simulated flow testing, in addition to independent testing by BSI. As such, ADEY is the first filter manufacturer to provide a 10-year warranty on the whole product.

We will continue to equip installers with innovative tools and practical support to help them defend every household heating system from the damaging effects of magnetite.

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