‘Crucial’ jobs to do before winter or risk boiler ‘breaking down’

Heating expert shares top tip on using radiator valves

1. Get a boiler service

Dave Lines, heating expert at HomeHow.co.uk, explained: “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 breaking down.”

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2. Bleed your radiators

After a period of time, air can build up in radiators and become trapped.

A major sign this is happening is when there are cold spots on the radiator, typically at the top or bottom.

To bleed radiators, make sure the heating is completely off before opening the valve with a radiator key.

Britons should hear a hiss which indicates the trapped air is escaping. This is a job which should be done regularly, according to the expert.

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3. Insulate your home

The expert said: “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.”

Other areas of the home which can be insulated include the loft as this is where a lot of heat is lost.

4. Invest in a smart thermostat

Dave continued: “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.”

While there is no escaping the cold weather, with the right amount of preparation, Britons can keep their homes warm without having to fork out hundreds more on heating bills.

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