These easy measures will safeguard your heating system and keep your home warm and cosy throughout the winter.
With temperatures starting to plummet this winter, it’s time to focus on the essential home appliance that will keep us warm.
How to Stay Warm in Your Home After a Cold Snap
A healthy boiler is the beating heart of your home’s central heating system, so it’s critical to maintain it in good working order, particularly because neglecting it can lead to draughty living spaces, burst pipes, and damp and mould.
We’ve assembled a rundown of seven quick steps you can take to secure your boiler and remain one step ahead of the harsh winter weather.
Cleaning the outside of your boiler any time you do housework will help to keep dust from accumulating on it. It might not seem like much, but this simple and easy job will help keep the appliance’s tubes and pipes clean.
Remember that you can never try to clean the interior of the boiler yourself; instead, hire a Gas Safe registered engineer to do so.
Keep an eye out for signs of leakage.
A quick visual inspection can reveal whether your boiler has any cracks or is leaking.
Rusting or oxidation of the tubing, as well as any puddles or signs of evaporated water in the boiler casing, are red flags. If the boiler is leaking greatly, call a plumber.
Ensure all the radiators are bled.
This fast and simple job would not only improve the productivity of your radiators, but it will also lower your heating bills.
Air bubbles are sometimes caught within the central heating system. Pockets of trapped air rise and accumulate at the tops of radiators. This will keep the radiators from achieving their maximum heat output over time.
To start, switch on the heat and decide which radiators need bleeding by examining which ones (if any) have cold patches around the surface. Then, turn off the central heating system. Place a rag under the radiator valve to trap any water that escapes until the radiator has cooled.
From here, use a radiator key to open the radiator bleed valve – you’ll hear a hissing sound as air is expelled, followed by water trickling out. When the water runs slowly, it means that much of the air has been expelled.
Shut the lever, re-start the heating, and ensure that the radiator is heating evenly from top to bottom.
Increase the temperature.
When you turn on your boiler after it has been inactive for an extended amount of time, it is more likely to lock up. Even in the summer, it’s worth turning on the heating for 15 minutes once a week to save the system from freezing.
During the winter months, switching on the heating for only 20 minutes a day, or for as long as it takes for all of the radiators to heat up entirely.
Examine the strain
Another common source of central heating problems is low boiler pressure, which is often caused by lost water in the system. The good thing is that it is a straightforward dilemma to overcome.
Check the pressure scale on your boiler first – anything between 1.0 and 1.5 bar suggests a safe pressure, but various vendors can prescribe different optimum pressures.
If the pressure is too low, you can raise it by using your boiler’s filling loop – detailed instructions can be found in your operating manual. If the issue remains, it may be due to a leak in your pipes, in which case you can contact a specialist.
If you are feeling high pressure, you can need to bleed the radiators or request the assistance of an engineer.
Wrap your pipes in insulation.
Through insulating your pipes with simple-to-install foam tubing, you can prevent valuable warmth from leaking from your heating system. The additional layer of protection, known as lagging, would minimise heat loss and keep water cooler for longer.
Pipe insulation lagging is available at every decent hardware store – just make sure to double-check the size of the pipes first. Taking this simple measure to maintain your heating system would also help you save money on electricity bills.
Don’t forget the annual service.
Last but not least, when it comes to ensuring the health of your boiler, scheduling an annual service is important.
A routine servicing from a Gas Protected certified engineer will protect the boiler from seizing up over the winter, and any minor problems will be identified before they become major issues.
As part of the operation, your engineer will inspect all of the components and repair those that are worn or defective. Additionally, the elements will be brushed to prevent dust from accumulating and clogging the appliance.