Although many of us are welcoming a respite from the summer heat, winter brings its own unique concerns. Heating your home during the coming months can also present an issue; particularly if you experience any plumbing or heating problems. This is why it is wise to be prepared well in advance. Some of the suggestions mentioned below might already be familiar while a handful of others could come as a bit of a surprise. Let us therefore look at the top sure-fire winter heating tips to adopt well in advance of the colder weather.
Schedule an Annual Boiler Servicing
A boiler is the most important component when heating the home in winter conditions and, much like a car, should be serviced regularly to maximise its lifespan. Yet, the fact of the matter is that we tend to forget about it during the summer months and only really think of our boiler when winter arrives and the cold nights draw in. Yet, there may be issues that have been festering year round which suddenly come to light when the time to use the heating arrives. This is why it is critical that any issues are spotted ahead of time. Contacting a professional at P. Blackhall will ensure that any hidden problems are identified and corrected within a timely fashion, before the temperature drops and you’re left in the cold with a broken boiler.
Pay Attention to Your Pipes
The pipes throughout your home (especially those associated with hot water) should be wrapped with insulating foam tubes. These coverings will ensure that excess heat is not lost when it is transported from the boiler. Additionally, this type of insulation helps to prevent your pipes from freezing. This would otherwise be a concern if pipes are located in colder areas of the home such as the attic or basement. Foam insulation is extremely cheap and once cut to size, it can be fitted within minutes.
Identifying and Sealing Sources of Heat Loss
Homes tend to lose heat around areas such as exterior windows and doors. So, be sure to check these locations for cracks and holes. Smaller cracks can sometimes be difficult to spot and in this case, one trick is to hold a candle up to the suspect joint. If you notice that the flame begins to flicker, the chances are high that a small gap is present. Caulking can effectively seal joints such as those often found around door and window frames. You may also opt for clear plastic insulation that acts as an additional barrier within the frame of the window. If your windows contain only a single pane, it could be a good idea to consider upgrading to double-glazed windows. These offer excellent thermal qualities; allowing you to save a great deal of money on winter heating costs over time.
Pay Attention to Drains and Gutters
It is always prudent to check your gutters and downspouts for any signs of a blockage before the colder weather sets in. This will help to eliminate drainage problems in and around your home. In terms of kitchen and bathroom taps, never dispose of fats or grease through these pipes. Both substances will build up; eventually leading to a clog that prevents outflow entirely. Never forget that any pipe which becomes blocked could cause more problems within your home heating system. In other words, a bit of prudence goes a long way.
At-Home Boiler Maintenance
Flush out the water tank of your boiler before winter arrives. This is important, as standing water can cause issues such as rust and limescale over time. These substances have been known to damage internal mechanisms; perhaps even leading to an entire breakdown. The same holds true in regards to any radiators. Flushing out these appliances in such a manner will help to avoid problems and once again, this practice ensures years of continuous reliability.
All About Diligence and Common Sense
Each of these winter heating tips will come in very handy if you have been concerned about the state of your pipes and boiler. Furthermore, you will be able to enjoy lower heating costs alongside a greater level of thermal efficiency. It is nonetheless true that certain issues should be diagnosed by a trained professional. If your system has not been functioning properly or should you not be able to recall that last time it was inspected, please get in touch with a technician at P. Blackhall. We are more than happy to examine your boiler and to recommend any additional steps that need to be taken.