How to get your boiler ready for winter
According to a recent study by BoilerGuide.co.uk, 15.56% of all boiler repairs and breakdowns happen in January each year, closely followed by 12.01% in December.
It’s mid January and the UK has moved to the big boiler switch-on. The warmer months are a distant memory, and people from every region we cover have been clearing the dust from their gas appliances and set up their central heating systems once more.
Last year, HomeServe found that half of all Brits turned their boilers on either in or around October 13th, so if this year is the same, the majority of households have had their boilers working hard now for 3 months. So what should you do to make sure your home remains warm this winter?
Annual boiler services
Gas safety checks are the best way to avoid boiler breakdowns. We think that the months leading up to winter and winter itself are the best times for boiler services and safety checks; months of disuse can create problems in gas appliances, and these problems can lead to central heating system failures when the appliance begins operating in winter. Boilers should be serviced every year in order to ensure that they are safe and efficient.
Insulate your pipes
When the weather drops below zero, standing water in your pipes can freeze, which can block up your plumbing system. As water expands when it turns into ice, frozen pipes are also particularly likely to rupture and break. Pipe insulation is a simple, cost-effective solution to this problem.
Similar to boiler services, plumbing insulation will not only reduce your likelihood of home emergencies, but will also improve the energy efficiency of your central heating and save you money in the long-term.
Check your pressure and radiators
Take a look at your boiler’s water pressure to see if you need to re-pressurise your boiler, or if you need to call out an engineer to take a look at it. If the pressure is too low, you may be able to bring it back up to the right pressure without any difficulty, but if it is too high, you might need to speak with a Gas Safe engineer.
Winter is also a good time to bleed radiators. This will ensure that your central heating operates efficiently – if there is air trapped in the radiator, then it will not warm up as well as it would if it was full of water, and might not even properly warm up at all.
Run a preliminary test
The days are cold and the nights are colder, so why not take the opportunity to run your central heating system for a few hours of an evening? This will allow you to discover whether or not it is working properly, enabling you to arrange central heating repairs.
Can you believe that 48% of over 55’s have never asked for the service history of a boiler when they’ve moved house?