Time to Sweep Your Chimney

Now is the perfect time to think about having your woodburning or multi fuel appliance/ chimney swept and serviced.

It is recommended that this is done at least once a year for your safety and to insure that you are using your stove to its maximum potential!

If you would like to take us up on this essential service please call 01264 850742 with your preferred month of service, and we will endeavour to accommodate your request.

We generally sweep from the beginning of April until the end of August.

We look forward to hearing from you and becoming sooty!

We’re a Dogs Trust Food Donation Point

bob

Bob’s in charge!

We’re all potty about our dogs here at Sarsen Energy – it’s virtually a condition of working with us!

So when we saw an appeal from the Salisbury branch of the Dogs Trust for companies to become dog food donation points of course we couldn’t resist.

We now have two bins and we’re inviting people to donate tinned dog food which we deliver regularly to the Dogs Trust.

It’s the first time the Dog’s Trust has had to do this so we’re keen to help.

Lots of lovely people have already dropped in with dog food and treats and we’ve taken them to Salisbury for the dogs to enjoy.

Thank you from all the team at Sarsen Energy, doggy or otherwise.

Alarming News

This article was recently published on the HETAS website and we liked it so much we have decided to share it with you:

 

Which? CO Alarm Testing

HETAS and The Council of Gas Detection and Environmental Monitoring (CoGDEM) are urging customers to purchase audible carbon monoxide (CO) alarms from well-known and recognised brands after a recent Which? report revealed a number of cheap and imported CO alarms to be unsafe and unreliable.

Which? recently put a number of CO detectors through rigorous lab testing based on the EU safety standard (EN 50291) for carbon monoxide alarms. The CO gas detection tests revealed that a group of cheap and imported CO alarms widely available online failed to detect the killer gas in more than a third of the tests.

In contrast, 13 CO alarms from leading brands that carry the BSI Kitemark™ (showing they meet the optimum standards for quality and reliability) passed every one of the tests.

Following pressure from the Which? investigation, Amazon and eBay have removed the defective alarms from sale. Which? has also alerted Trading Standards and CoGDEM regarding its findings.

HETAS CEO Bruce Allen said:

“Carbon monoxide is a highly dangerous gas that has no smell, taste or colour. We urge customers to purchase high quality audible CO alarms from reputable brands and retailers that meet European Standard (EN 50291). This is essential to helping protect individuals and families from the effects of CO poisoning.”

How can you protect yourself against CO poisoning?

  • Fit a quality audible CO alarm that meets European Standard (EN 50291) and is made by a trusted brand carrying the BSI Kitemark™.
  • Keep rooms well ventilated when using a heating or cooking appliance fuelled by gas, oil or solid fuels such as coal or wood, and use the appliance correctly.
  • Have all appliances, flues and chimneys installed and serviced by reputable and appropriately registered engineers, for example Gas Safe Registered engineers for all gas appliances.
  • Never use outdoor appliances such as barbecues, camping stoves and paraffin heaters indoors.
  • Ventilate garages when running a car or petrol generator.
  • Have your chimney swept at least once a year.
  • Ensure your landlord provides the legal annual safety check on installed gas appliances.

Part 4 of the HETAS Guide lists a range of carbon monoxide alarms supplied by members of COGDEM which are claimed, or certified, to be manufactured to BS EN 50291 and which are suitable for use with solid fuel heating appliances.

If you are unsure about any aspect of this please contact Sarsen energy on 01264 850 742.  We will be delighted to help you.

Baked Potato Cooker for Stoves

Look at this fabulous baked potato cooker especially for stoves!

The Natural Heating cast iron baked potato cooker is designed to sit on top of all cast iron wood burners and multi-fuel stoves.  A hot plate is NOT required – it simply sits on top of your stove.

Basically it makes use of the surface heat, which in turn, transfers to the cast iron pod. The pod gets hot and evenly cooks your jacket potatoes. It’s also very easy to open to have a look and see what’s happening inside.

sarsen-energy-potato-cooker-closed

After all, if you already have your stove lit, why bother turning the oven on?

It’s not fast, but it’s the most green and energy efficient way of cooking that you will ever find…

This cast iron baked potato cooker is small enough to fit on top of practically any stove, yet big enough to hold up to FOUR medium (250g / fist sized) potatoes or two gigantic spuds.

The cooker measures 310mm / 12.25″ wide x 160mm / 6.5″ deep x 160mm / 6.5″ high

The time taken to cook your potatoes is very variable, as it depends on how hot your fire is burning.  We generally put some on the showroom stoves around 9am and they are perfectly done by lunchtime. On the odd occasion we’ve been really busy and forgotten about them, the potatoes have still been perfectly good even an hour or two later. The more space you give them, the better they cook. Three cook beautifully in this. Four cook well, but need a bit more cooking time.

sarsen-energy-potato-cooker-openThe cooker is not in full contact with the top of your stove and as the potato is totally encased in cast iron, this creates a lovely, even bake without the mess. This potato cooker is also ideal for cooking roast chestnuts – delicious at this time of year.

 

How to Use the Potato Cooker

Use a little sunflower or vegetable oil on some kitchen roll and lightly oil the inside of the cooker. Sit the cooker on top of your stove for at least two evenings when the stove is being used before cooking for the first time. This is to allow the cooker to become hot enough to bake the external stove paint on to the pot.  Be aware the paint may smell as it cures, just as it does with a new stove.

sarsen-energy-potato-cooker-with-potatoes

Lightly oil the potatoes before putting in the pot. You can cut slits in the potatoes to help them cook faster.

The baked potato cooker should never need to be washed but wipe it over if required and lightly oil inside with sunflower or vegetable oil on kitchen roll to protect and prevent rust.

 

Buy Now!

The baked potato cooker is only £40

Call 01264 850 742 to reserve yours

or come into our Showroom and see one in action!

 

PLEASE NOTE – BAKED POTATO COOKERS ARE NOT SUITABLE FOR USE ON BOILER STOVES OR STOVES WITH CONVECTION TOPS AS THE SURFACE OF THESE UNITS DOES NOT BECOME HOT ENOUGH.

Carbon Monoxide: What is it and what does it do?

The brain injury charity Headway is warning about carbon monoxide poisoning as the Autumn chill hits us, but what is carbon monoxide and what exactly does it do?

According to NHS Choices, carbon monoxide is a poisonous gas that has no smell or taste. Breathing it in can make you unwell, and it can kill if you’re exposed to high levels.

Every year in the UK, more than 200 people go to hospital with suspected carbon monoxide poisoning, which leads to around 50 deaths.

After carbon monoxide is breathed in, it enters your bloodstream and mixes with haemoglobin (the part of red blood cells that carry oxygen around your body), to form carboxyhaemoglobin.

When this happens, the blood is no longer able to carry oxygen, and this lack of oxygen causes the body’s cells and tissue to fail and die.

The symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning aren’t always obvious, particularly during low-level exposure. A tension-type headache is the most common symptom of mild carbon monoxide poisoning. Other symptoms include:

headache• dizziness
• nausea (feeling sick) and vomiting
• tiredness and confusion
• stomach pain
• shortness of breath and difficulty breathing.

The symptoms of exposure to low levels of carbon monoxide can be similar to those of food poisoning and flu. But unlike flu, carbon monoxide poisoning doesn’t cause a high temperature (fever).

The symptoms can gradually get worse with prolonged exposure to carbon monoxide, leading to a delay in diagnosis.

Your symptoms may be less severe when you’re away from the source of the carbon monoxide. If this is the case you should investigate the possibility of a carbon monoxide leak, and ask a suitably qualified professional to check any appliances you think may be faulty and leaking gas.

The longer you inhale the gas, the worse your symptoms will be. You may lose balance, vision and memory and, eventually, you may lose consciousness. This can happen within two hours if there’s a lot of carbon monoxide in the air.

Long-term exposure to low levels of carbon monoxide can also lead to neurological symptoms, such as difficulty thinking or concentrating and frequent emotional changes – for example, becoming easily irritated, depressed or making impulsive or irrational decisions.

Breathing in high levels of carbon monoxide gas can cause more severe symptoms. These may include:

• impaired mental state and personality changes (intoxication)
• vertigo – the feeling that you or the environment around you is spinning
• ataxia – loss of physical co-ordination caused by underlying damage to the brain and nervous system
• breathlessness and tachycardia (a heart rate of more than 100 beats per minute)
• chest pain caused by angina or a heart attack
• seizures – an uncontrollable burst of electrical activity in the brain that causes muscle spasms
• loss of consciousness – in cases where there are very high levels of carbon monoxide, death may occur within minutes.

What causes carbon monoxide to leak?

Carbon monoxide is produced when fuels such as gas, oil, coal and wood don’t burn fully. Burning charcoal, running cars and the smoke from cigarettes also produce carbon monoxide gas.

Gas, oil, coal and wood are sources of fuel used in many household appliances, including:

• boilers
• gas fires
• central heating systems
• water heaters
• cookers
• open fires.

Incorrectly installed, poorly maintained or poorly ventilated household appliances – such as cookers, heaters and central heating boilers – are the most common causes of accidental exposure to carbon monoxide.

The risk of exposure to carbon monoxide from portable devices may also be higher in caravans, boats and mobile homes. Other possible causes of carbon monoxide poisoning include:

• blocked flues and chimneys – this can stop carbon monoxide escaping, allowing it to reach dangerous levels.
• burning fuel in an enclosed or unventilated space – for example, running a car engine, petrol-powered generator or barbecue inside a garage, or a faulty boiler in an enclosed kitchen.
• faulty or blocked car exhausts – a leak or blockage in the exhaust pipe, such as after heavy snowfall, could lead to a build-up of carbon monoxide.
• paint fumes – some cleaning fluids and paint removers contain methylene chloride (dichloromethane), which can cause carbon monoxide poisoning if breathed in.
• smoking shisha pipes indoors – shisha pipes burn charcoal and tobacco, which can lead to a build-up of carbon monoxide in enclosed or unventilated rooms.

Treating carbon monoxide poisoning

Seek medical advice from your GP if you think you’ve been exposed to low levels of carbon monoxide. Go immediately to your local accident and emergency (A&E) department if you think you’ve been exposed to high levels.

Your symptoms will often indicate whether you have carbon monoxide poisoning, but a blood test will confirm the amount of carboxyhaemoglobin in your blood. A level of 30% indicates severe exposure.

People who smoke can often have higher than norma l levels of carboxyhaemoglobin in their blood, which can sometimes make it difficult to interpret the results.

Mild carbon monoxide poisoning doesn’t usually need hospital treatment, but it’s still important that you seek medical advice.

Your house will also need to be checked for safety before anyone returns. Read more about what to do if you suspect a leak.

Standard oxygen therapy
Standard oxygen therapy in hospital will be needed if you’ve been exposed to a high level of carbon monoxide, or you have symptoms that suggest exposure.

You’ll be given 100% oxygen through a tight-fitting mask (normal air contains around 21% oxygen). Breathing in concentrated oxygen enables your body to quickly replace carboxyhaemoglobin. Therapy will continue until your carboxyhaemoglobin levels decrease to less than 10%.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) floods the body with pure oxygen, helping it overcome the oxygen shortage caused by carbon monoxide poisoning.

There’s currently insufficient evidence regarding the long-term effectiveness of HBOT for treating severe cases of carbon monoxide poisoning. Therefore, standard oxygen therapy is usually the recommended treatment option.

HBOT may be recommended in certain situations – for example, if there’s been extensive exposure to carbon monoxide and nerve damage is suspected. The use of HBOT will be decided on a case-by-case basis.

Recovery

The length of time it takes to recover from carbon monoxide poisoning will depend on how much carbon monoxide you’ve been exposed to and how long you’ve been exposed to it.

Complications of carbon monoxide poisoning

Prolonged significant exposure to carbon monoxide can cause serious complications, including brain damage and heart problems. In very severe cases, it can result in death.  Effects of severe carbon monoxide poisoning include:

• breathlessness
• chest pains
• seizures (fits)
• loss of consciousness.

Around 10-15% of people who have severe carbon monoxide poisoning develop long-term complications.

Brain damage

Prolonged exposure to carbon monoxide can cause memory problems and difficulty concentrating. It can also cause vision loss and hearing loss.

In rare cases, severe carbon monoxide poisoning can cause Parkinsonism, which is characterised by tremors, stiffness and slow movement.

Parkinsonism isn’t the same as Parkinson’s disease, which is a degenerative neurological condition linked to ageing.

Heart disease

Coronary heart disease is another serious condition that can develop as a result of long-term carbon monoxide exposure.

Coronary heart disease is where the heart’s blood supply is blocked or interrupted by a build-up of fatty substances (atheroma) in the coronary arteries.

If the blood supply is restricted, it can cause angina (chest pains). If the coronary arteries become completely blocked, it can cause a heart attack.

Harm to unborn babies

Long-term exposure to carbon monoxide gas can also damage an unborn baby. Babies exposed to carbon monoxide during pregnancy are at risk of:

• low birth weight
• perinatal death (stillbirth and death that occurs within the first four weeks of birth)
• behavioural problems.

Preventing carbon monoxide poisoning

It’s important to be aware of the dangers and identify any appliances in your house that could potentially leak carbon monoxide.

Maintaining and servicing appliances

Boilers, cookers, heating systems and appliances should be installed and regularly serviced by a reputable, registered engineer. Don’t attempt to install or service appliances yourself.  Anyone carrying out work on installations and appliances in your home must be registered with a relevant association, such as the:

• Gas Safe Register (for gas appliances)
• Heating Equipment Testing and Approval Scheme (HETAS) (for solid fuel appliances)
• Oil Firing Technical Association (OFTEC) (for oil appliances).

Maintaining chimneys and flues

Make sure all chimneys and flues are swept regularly by a qualified sweep who’s a member of the:

• National Association of Chimney Sweeps (NACS)
• Guild of Master Chimney Sweeps
• Association of Professional Independent Chimney Sweeps (APICS).

Engine exhaust fumes

To protect you from carbon monoxide poisoning caused by exhaust fumes:

• don’t leave petrol-fuelled lawnmowers or cars running in the garage
• make sure your car’s exhaust is checked every year for leaks
• make sure your exhaust isn’t blocked before turning the engine on – for example, after heavy snowfall.

Carbon monoxide alarms

Install a carbon monoxide alarm in your home to alert you if there’s a carbon monoxide leak. However, an alarm isn’t a substitute for maintaining and regularly servicing household appliances.

You can buy a carbon monoxide alarm from a DIY or hardware store. Make sure it’s approved to the latest British or European Standard (BS Kitemark or EN50291).  Call Sarsen Energy on 01264 850 742 if you are unsure and we will advise you.

Other safety tips at home and in the workplace

Follow the safety tips below to help protect yourself at home and in the workplace:

• Never use ovens or gas ranges to heat your home.
• Never use oversized pots on your gas stove, or place foil around the burners.
• Make sure rooms are well-ventilated and don’t block air vents. If your home is double-glazed or draught-proofed, make sure there’s still enough air circulating for any heaters that are in the room.
• Don’t use gas-powered equipment and tools inside your home if you can avoid it. Only use them in a well-ventilated area, and put the engine unit and exhaust outside.
• Always wear a safety mask when using chemicals that contain methylene chloride.
• Don’t burn charcoal in an enclosed space, such as on an indoor barbecue.
• Don’t sleep in a room that has an unflued gas fire or paraffin heater.
• Fit an extractor fan in your kitchen (if it doesn’t already have one).

What to do if you suspect a carbon monoxide leak

If your carbon monoxide alarm sounds or you suspect a leak:

• stop using all appliances, switch them off, and open doors and windows to ventilate the property
• evacuate the property immediately – stay calm and avoid raising your heart rate
• call the gas emergency number on 0800 111 999 to report the incident,or the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) Gas Safety Advice Line on 0800 300 363
• don’t go back into the property – wait for advice from the emergency services
• seek immediate medical help – you may not realise you’ve been affected by the carbon monoxide, and going outside into fresh air won’t treat any exposure by itself.

Being aware of the signs

It’s very important to be aware of the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning and to look out for warning signs.  You should suspect carbon monoxide poisoning if:

• other people in your house, flat or workplace fall ill with similar symptoms
• your symptoms disappear when you go away – for example, on holiday – and return when you come back
• your symptoms tend to be seasonal – for example, if you get headaches more often during the winter when the central heating is used more frequently
• your pets also become ill.

Other possible clues of a carbon monoxide leak include:

• black, sooty marks on the front covers of gas fires
• sooty or yellow/brown stains on or around boilers, stoves or fires
• smoke building up in rooms due to a faulty flue
• yellow instead of blue flames coming from gas appliances
• pilot lights frequently blowing out.

At-risk groups

Carbon monoxide is a danger to everyone, but certain groups are more vulnerable than others. These include:
• babies and young children
• pregnant women
• people with chronic heart disease
• people with respiratory problems, such as asthma.

Pets are often the first to show signs of carbon monoxide poisoning. The smaller an animal or a person is, the faster they’ll be affected.

Investigate the possibility of a carbon monoxide leak if your pet suddenly becomes ill or dies unexpectedly, and their death isn’t related to old age or an existing health condition.

Call Sarsen Energy

If you have any questions or worries about carbon monoxide please call Sarsen Energy on 01264 850 742 and we will do our best to advise you.

Warm and safe winter.

Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) for Self-Build Homes

Good news!  This is from the YouGen blog posted by Gabby Mallett:

We all know that the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) is designed to encourage the retrofit of renewable heat (RH) technologies into existing properties. However, there is a clever little exception which will help more RH technologies to be installed and it relates to new build.

Generally new build properties are not eligible for the RHI, but individual ‘custom builds’ are.  So where an individual pays for the construction of a new property, or commissions an architect or builder to do so on their behalf, or gets their hands dirty and actually does it themselves (DIY self-build) then this is classed as a ‘custom build’ and the RH system will be eligible for the RHI.

There are two clear criteria for eligibility. Firstly ‘the property must have been built principally using the labour or resources of the first owner’. They could have paid for it with a mortgage, but they have to have financed it themselves.  Secondly ‘the first owner and all subsequent owners of the property must be individuals’.  This means that it couldn’t be a development company building the house and then selling it on.

This custom build rule only appliers where the RH system was installed before the property was first occupied.

It is worth also noting that a conversion, such as a barn conversion, would normally count as a custom build. This is because it would not have been occupied previously. Therefore an individual could put in a completely new RH system as part of the conversion and commission the system prior to occupation.

On the other hand a renovation, where a building may be stripped right back to a shell, may have been occupied previously and the RH system would therefore count as retrofit and the usual RHI eligibility criteria and application process would apply.

For more information about RHI please click here

Don’t Rely on Electricity for Heat this Winter

The news is full of warnings that the National Grid has just 4% of spare electricity capacity for the UK this winter, sparking stories of potential power cuts throughout the winter months.

While power cuts aren't ideal at any time, in winter they pose a particular threat as many of us rely on electricity for heat – without it we'll soon feel the chill.

With a wood burning stove there's no need to worry about your home's heat being cut off by a lack of electricity. As long as you have wood to burn and a match to hand, you can enjoy energy-efficient heat throughout the winter months.

 

Electricity-Free Log Burning and multi fuel Stoves

 We have a huge selection of wood burning and multi fuel stoves to choose from including freestanding and fireplace inserts. Complement your home with a stunning log burning stove that fills your home with comfortable heat while reducing your reliance on electricity – therefore reducing your bills!

At Sarsen Energy we know that one of the main reasons people choose to have a stove in their home is to enjoy watching the flames within. That’s why we supply and install wood burning stoves with large glass windows so you see the wood burn without compromising the efficiency of the stove. Each log burning stove that we supply burns wood at approximately 80% efficiency.

Contemporary and Traditional Fireplace Inserts

Soapstone and cast iron are the material of choice for wood burning stoves that provide heat for hours without the need for re-filling, which is why we at Sarsen Energy have a selection of stoves made from these heat retaining materials. We also have a collection of freestanding stoves that can be installed pretty much anywhere in your home – who says stoves have to be traditional?

For more information please contact Sarsen Energy on 01264 850 742 and check out the range of electricity-free wood burning and multi fuel stoves we have to offer.

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