Winter is the time of year during which our heating systems are under the greatest strain.
If you haven’t taken steps to keep your heating efficient, then it can also be an expensive time – thanks to fuel inefficiencies, and the likelihood of an essential component breaking down.
Let’s take a look at the steps you might take to minimise wear-and-tear, address problems quickly, and keep your heating bill as affordable as possible.
Dealing with frozen pipes
One of the defining characteristics of water is that, just as it’s approaching freezing temperature, it will expand slightly.
This is bad news if the water happens to be running through a pipe in a cold spot in your property.
By insulating any exposed pipework, you’ll minimise the chances of this happening, and limit the heat you lose.
If you’re going out for a long period during winter, then it makes sense to keep the heating running on a timer. This will ensure that your supply never freezes.
Covering the boiler
The boiler is the single most elaborate and expensive device in your heating system.
If it hasn’t been properly maintained, however, then it won’t run as efficiently as it might. It’ll also be more vulnerable to sudden breakdown.
Issues can often reveal themselves during winter, while the boiler is under strain – and thus it’s worth scheduling an annual check-up at this time of year.
Of course, when issues do arise, it’s critical that they’re seen to quickly. Arrange boiler cover ahead of time, and give yourself peace of mind for when issues do arise.
Over time, air may find its way into your heating system.
Should these bubbles of air find their way to your radiators, they may become trapped there, and thereby limit the amount of warm water that can get into the radiator.
This effectively makes your radiators smaller and less efficient. Fortunately, this is an easy problem to solve – by bleeding the radiator.
You just need a radiator key (or a screwdriver) and a cloth to soak up any water that emerges.
Use the Heating Early
It might seem slightly wasteful to turn the heating on before you really need to.
But doing this for an hour or so in autumn can help you to assess whether the system is performing well, and to tell you whether any problems are likely to arise during winter.
By identifying issues early, you’ll be able to solve them before the weather starts to get really cold.