New research has revealed the impact of limescale on the average heating bill in the UK, costing households in hard water areas an extra £180.
Approximately half of UK households (a total of 13 million) currently suffer from hard water. Households in these areas can accumulate a staggering 1.5mm of limescale within their internal plumbing over a year, which can increase average gas costs by 28%.
The findings by Harvey Water Softeners demonstrate how limescale build-up can cause a significant strain on finances for many households, particularly as a third lockdown means people are spending more time in their own homes during the darker and colder winter months.
Limescale deposits within heating systems can cause blockages in pipework and boilers, reducing heating efficiency by 12% over a year. Water softeners draw out the magnesium and calcium ions which make water hard and limit the accumulation of scale and scum, preserving the efficiency of heating systems. Given that UK households spend on average £12.30 a week on fuel, this means that households in hard water areas could save a combined total of £2.3 billion a year by switching to a water softener.
As well as disrupting household heating systems, limescale is a household menace when it comes to cleaning, as it causes difficult stains around baths and basins, sinks, toilet bowls and showerheads. Switching to softened water which combines more effectively with soap and washing detergents to create a proper lather, will reduce cleaning times and leave surfaces looking shinier for longer.
Tony Jones, General Manager at Harvey Water Softeners, said: “Households will be surprised at the small steps they can take to significantly reduce their energy bills this year, particularly with wholesale energy prices predicted to rise in 2021. Therefore, to mark Big Energy Savings Week, we are raising awareness of the impact limescale build-up can have on household finances and the energy efficiency of appliances.
“With the cold weather set to stay for some time yet, and lockdown forcing many families to stay home, households will need to be savvy with saving on energy costs. Longer lasting appliances, savings on fuel, and a shinier home may be the antidote households need to survive this difficult winter period.”