Dealing with anger caused by failing heating systems
Joe Bradbury looks at how HAs can mitigate tenant anger with failing heating systems…
British people have a lot to be angry about.
The number of people using food banks since 2010 has gone from the tens of thousands to the millions.
More than 2.3 million families are living in fuel poverty in England alone – the equivalent of 10% of households, according to government statistics.
Almost 60,000 households in Birmingham alone cannot afford to heat their homes.
Shelter figures show 1.15 million households on waiting lists last year with only 290,000 homes made available, with homelessness in England now amounting to more than 250,000 people.
Meanwhile, more than 11,000 homes across the UK have been empty for 10 years or more, research by the Liberal Democrats has found. The figures, from 276 local councils, show there are more than 216,000 homes across the country, which have been empty for six months or more.
We live in a time of great frustration; there’s a lot of it in the country at the moment as the EU elections clearly demonstrate. This frustration builds and spills into everyday life – so we all need to make sure we are doing our bit to keep Britain pleasant.
HAs dealing with tenants with problems sometimes face anger. One way of mitigating that is to make sure that HAs are able to solve tenant problems quickly.
For example, no-one wants to be without heating or hot water, so when a heating system isn’t working, HAs need to be able to establish what is wrong and fix it fast – before anger builds! That’s where modern heat pump systems such as Ecodan can help, because the technical helpdesk can often interrogate systems remotely (if given permission by the tenant) and see if it can be fixed online or whether an engineer does need to visit the site – also usually being able to forewarn the engineer so that they can bring any necessary parts with them when they do visit.
Heating happy homes
Housing Associations are always looking to reduce carbon and increase renewable credentials, whilst also attaining maximum tenant satisfaction.
Replacing aging heating systems with renewable alternatives will not only be efficient and sustainable, but it will also significantly improve comfort levels and offer a level of control craved by many tenants.
This level of efficiency and control also helps reduce frustration.
The use of inefficient heating systems over prolonged periods of time can cause extensive damage to both a property and the emotional wellbeing of the person inside it.
With unsightly mould and damp not only damaging the property, often rendering a house uninhabitable, it can also affect tenants’ health. Treatment must be carried out swiftly but it can be time-consuming, inconvenient for the tenant and expensive.
However, as heat pumps are designed to run continuously, they provide a more constant level of comfort for tenants when the house is occupied and reduce mould, damp and damage occurring within the property when it is vacated.
By allowing tenants to heat all of their homes cost-effectively, rather than just one or two rooms, the property incurs less damage and requires less maintenance. This reduces the risk of it falling into a state of disrepair and affecting their mood adversely.
What to look for
The best heat pumps help create a healthy indoor environment for both tenant and structure alike. They also reduce running costs, which saves money on future heating bills and further adds to their eco-credentials. Ecodan heat pumps have an A++ ErP rating - making them some of the most efficient on the market.
HAs that implement renewable solutions such as heat pumps are safe in the knowledge that they are taking care of their assets as well as their tenants, providing warm homes and reducing unnecessary and avoidable expense.
Look for a heat pump that is easy to design and install, reducing installation time and minimising any disruption to your property.
You should also focus on maintenance which is much, much simpler than gas and also does not need any annual safety certificate.
A professionally maintained air source heat pump unit offers an average lifespan of 15 to 20 years or more, so savings on maintenance can be made and disruptions to your property are very infrequent.
Joe Bradbury writes a regular column for Mitsubishi Electric’s blog site The Hub, which contains a host of informative, energy and environment related articles