During the summer months you may not need your central heating, even when it’s not hot and sunny outside.
However as the light fades and the darker nights draw in, the chill in the air means most people will reach for their on switch for their central heating.
If your boiler breaks down in the middle of winter, you’ll not only end up with no hot water, you’ll feel the freezing temperatures too so it’s a good idea to try and keep everything in proper working order.
Here’s some ways in which you can help to ensure your heating is in tip top condition.
Take care of the pipes
When it’s cold outside, the pipes themselves could suffer leaving you without heating when you need it the most.
Arctic temperatures mean that your pipes could freeze so providing them with an extra layer of protection is worth considering, particularly when it’s so cheap and easy.
Pipe lagging slips around the pipes, insulating them from the cold and preventing them from freezing. You can purchase ready-made lagging which is easy to apply, and can just be slipped around the pipes in a matter of minutes.
Use the settings on your boiler
To get the maximum efficiency out of your central heating make sure you are using the settings on your boiler to keep your house warm when you need it.
Use the timer and the thermostat to provide heating and hot water when you’re around but switch off when you’re out of the house, saving money and unnecessary expense. Use the timer to make sure the house is warm when you get up in the morning, and also when you get back in from work. But there’s no need wasting valuable energy to keep a property heated when there’s no-one there during the day.
You can also have different settings for days of the week, so at the weekend for example, you might want to have your heating switch on later in the morning to reflect the change in your habits.
Check your radiators
If your home feels chilly even though the heating is switched on, take some time to check your radiators individually to see if they feel warm both at the top and at the bottom.
If you find cold patches on your radiator, it’s a sign that air could have gotten into your central heating system. Bleeding your radiators to release this is a quick and easy job that will make your home feel significantly warmer.
If you can’t find the key to bleed your radiator, you can purchase a replacement for just a pound or two in most DIY stores.
Watch the pressure
In order for your boiler to be running at maximum efficiency you need to keep an eye on the pressure.
This isn’t as complicated as it sounds as there’s a gauge on the front. Make sure the bar is set between 1 and 1.5 and check it periodically to make sure it’s within this range.
If the pressure drops you may need to top your boiler up; this is usually a very simple task once you know how to do it. If you don’t have an instruction manual or aren’t sure of the procedure, ask your plumber to show you how to do it. Once you’ve seen it demonstrated once, you’ll be able to do it yourself next time it needs adjusting.
Carbon monoxide is one of the most deadly risks associated with a boiler, releasing toxic fumes into the home. If your pilot light turns yellow it’s a warning sign; call your plumber in to get it checked over and serviced.
A carbon monoxide monitor is a good idea as it will alert you to the presence of the silent and odourless fumes, and could be a potential lifesaver.
The above simple steps are easy to implement and follow but could make a vast difference to the efficiency of your central heating system. Regular servicing with your plumbing is also vital and will ensure that you get the maximum efficiency from your heating.
Image Credits: Waterfront Agent and Scott Adamson