Installer’s Head of Content Joe Sharpe looks at how the role of heating and plumbing engineers is so essential.
There’s a lot of talk in the industry of net zero, energy efficiency and the future of our heating systems. Heat pumps, hydrogen, solar, EVs, and smart homes are some of the most-read articles on our website.
While the transition to a low-carbon future is vitally important, and should absolutely be getting a lot of attention, it does feel like sometimes we have to take things back to basics a bit.
When we hit a cold snap, and temperatures drop to minus degrees, that’s when the role of heating and plumbing engineers becomes so apparent. Their job is to provide heating and hot water, and they are very good at it.
I experienced this first-hand in December. My thermostat stopped working which left us without heating (although luckily we still had hot water). When it’s sub-zero temperatures, this isn’t fun, so when the engineer turned up with a shiny new stat, and got everything working again, it was a big relief.
I was talking to heating engineer and regular installer columnist Andy Gibbs about this. As consumers, we take heating and hot water for granted, until it’s not there. Then getting it fixed becomes the priority of the day (or week if you’re unlucky).
It seems a bit funny to write, but the installer becomes a superhero, with the knowledge, skills and products to get everything fixed. Then they’re quickly off to the next customer, who’s been experiencing the same situation that you were in.
I think it’s important to highlight the significance of our heating and plumbing engineers. Whatever products we have in the here-and-now, and in the future, will be fitted by the engineers. They’re the ones who work on these systems and with customers every single day. They’re the experts on the front line, and should be treated as such.
Let’s hope as an industry, and as end users, we don’t lose sight of that until next winter.