In the UK, temperatures constantly fluctuate- and it’s a roulette to what the weather will be like every day. Although, if one thing is for sure it’s that winter can be a long, cold season for most of us. UK winters tend to be bitter, sometimes hitting below zero, so depending on where you live and the type of house you own, it can be hard to keep warm in winter.
Why should you be thinking ahead to winter now?
If your house isn’t in the best condition before the winter season, you can get cold in your own home- which can cause ongoing illness, no matter how healthy you are. Issues such as hypothermia, pneumonia, frostbite and even heart problems can be created by exposure to cold weather for an extended period. If you think there’s a possibility that your home isn’t in the right state for the winter season, then you should combat these issues sooner rather than later.
One of the most essential issues you should start to fix is your boiler. Boilers are the primary source of your heat for the winter, so making small changes in summer will benefit you in the months to come. Here are our top 3 tips to ensure your boiler is ready for winter:
Bleed your radiators
Are your radiators not getting at warm as usual? This is a significant sign that you need to bleed your radiators. It’s not as difficult as it sounds either; all you have to do is release small pockets of air that would otherwise stop hot water from spreading through the entire radiator. You should aim to bleed your radiators every couple of months, no matter the weather. Although, doing this 5-minute job as the weather starts to decline will save you from a more difficult task in winter.
Check your boiler pressure
No matter how new your boiler is, things can sometimes go wrong. And usually, they are pretty easy to fix. One of the most common issues you’ll find is your boiler unexpectedly turning off and not turning back on. This is usually down to boiler pressure, something that isn’t talked about as much- but definitely should be. The issue can occur when the water pressure is that low that the tank can’t heat it up, or when the pressure is too high that the tank cuts out.
It’s easy to check your boiler pressure. Most combi and system boilers have pressure gauges that are simple to read so you can check at home quickly. Although it fluctuates, this is what you are usually looking for:
1 to 1.5 bars on your pressure gauge ⇨ average pressure level when your central heating is switched off.
Around 2 bars ⇨ average pressure level when your boiler is active/heating up.
If things aren’t looking as they should, it’s time to start thinking about re-pressurising your boiler.
It’s a simple issue that most people don’t think about, which is why you should test your thermostats before the winter season. Faulty thermostats cause your room to be too hot or too cold, especially if the thermostat has blown completely. They can also end up causing you to use more energy than you need to, so even if you haven’t noticed, it’s time to put them to the test. To put the thermostat to the test, set the heating to ‘on’ with the timer, turn the boiler thermostat to the lowest value and see if the boiler switches off. If not, turn off the boiler’s time clock and check again. If the boiler doesn’t respond to the thermostat, it may not be working. If you have any inkling that your thermostat isn’t working as it should, that you should call out your gas engineer.
These three tips and tricks are essential to complete as the weather takes a turn in the autumn months; it’s much better to be safe than sorry. If you are still unsure your boiler will withstand the winter season, it could be the right decision to invest in a new boiler.