It's that time of the year again – the weather is turning, and the leaves are starting to fall from the trees. As the temperature outside starts to drop, our homes are becoming colder. Soon, it’ll be time to start getting cosy with the central heating on. However, before we put the heating on for the first time, there are a few things to do.
Get a Boiler Service
Regular boiler servicing is important in ensuring your central heating and hot water systems remain in good working order. Getting a boiler service annually can help to ensure your boiler is ready to tackle the harsh winter weather, keeping your home cosy and warm throughout the entire heating season.
When your boiler is well-maintained, it will run more efficiently and will be able to heat your home much easier and quicker. A well-maintained boiler will also help you save money on your energy bills.
A boiler service can help you identify any issues with the boiler and heating system before they become a much bigger problem. This is essential before the heating season to prevent going without heating or hot water if your boiler was to break down.
Bleed Your Radiators
After a while, air can build up in your radiators and become trapped. The most obvious sign of this is gurgling sounds coming from the heating system – this is usually an indication that air is being pushed through the system. Another major sign of trapped air is cold spots on your radiators. Feel all over your radiators for any cold spots that could indicate trapped air.
To bleed your radiators, you must turn your heating off and allow your radiators to cool down. Open the bleed valve with a radiator key. You should hear a hiss, which indicates the trapped air is escaping. Keep allowing the hissing air to escape until you start to notice water escaping. As soon as you notice the first drop spatter of water escape, immediately close the bleed valve. Complete this task for all of the radiators before turning your heating back on.
It's helpful to bleed your radiators regularly to ensure your heating system is running as efficiently as possible. Leaving air in your radiators for a long time could also cause damage to the system.
Insulate Your Home
Next, you will need to make sure your home is well-insulated. Begin with insulating the pipes in your home. This will reduce the risks of them freezing when the temperature drops below zero. Frozen pipes will prevent water flow and could cause bursts, which is not something you want to end up with.
Once you've insulated the pipes in your home, work on insulating the other areas of your home as well. Pay particular attention to your loft, as this is where a lot of heat is lost. A well-insulated home will reduce the strain on your heating system and will also bring down your energy bills.
Invest in a Smart Thermostat
If you haven't already got one, it's worth investing in a smart thermostat. On average, a smart thermostat can help you save around £150 per year on your heating bills. These devices connect to your home's Wi-Fi and give you the luxury of controlling your heating system from your computer, smartphone, tablet, and sometimes even your smartwatch.
Smart thermostats are designed to help you save money where possible. You can view your energy usage much easier so you can see where you're wasting money. You can easily set up routines depending on what you do on a day-to-day basis. You can also turn your heating on or off remotely, allowing you to ensure your home is always warm before you arrive and allowing you to delay your heating schedule if you end up staying out for longer than usual.
Many thermostats can also learn from your habits. They can detect when nobody is home and switch the heating on and off accordingly.
There's no escaping the cold weather, unfortunately. However, with the right amount of preparation, you can ensure your heating system is up to scratch and ready to keep you and your family warm throughout the entire winter season.
* Dave Lines is a heating expert at HomeHow.co.uk *
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