Winter is nigh! Is your home ready? An emergency boiler repair or burst pipes would be a sure way to ruin Christmas, and yet a survey carried out in London reveals that less than half of us check our heating before the first cold snap is upon us, and barely two-fifths of boilers are serviced before winter. As a result, when people discover they need a heating engineer, lots of other people do too, and there may be a long cold wait until one can get to you. An amazing 57% of Londoners have endured a cold shower in the past five years while waiting for a boiler repair.
Here Are Some Ways to Avoid Disaster
Book an engineer to do boiler maintenance as soon as possible. If you have a service contract, it needn’t cost you any extra, but diaries are already filling up with service and repair appointments, so the sooner the better. You’ll struggle to find one on Christmas Eve!
Be energy efficient – older boilers cost more to run than new ones. If yours is ready for an upgrade, the sooner you do it, the more you will save on fuel bills. Bleeding your radiators is another tip to keep your central heating working efficiently.
Be energy smart. Energy isn’t cheap, but the latest smart meters make it easy to monitor your usage. This will help you decide if you need boiler maintenance or other improvements so that keeping your home warm doesn’t put you on the street. If you don’t have one, speak to your energy provider to see if you can have one fitted.
It Isn’t Only Your Toes You Need to Keep Warm
Check your pipe lagging and boiler insulation. Any water pipes that are exposed to the cold without insulation can freeze, and when they do they may burst. If it’s a hot water pipe it may not freeze, but you will be losing heat to the cold air and push up your bills. Pipes, boiler and other water tanks should be covered with insulating jackets. Even if you already have these, you still need to check them. If you go out in cold weather with your coat hanging open, it won’t protect you much – your tanks feel the same way. Worn-out jackets need replacing.
Check your outflow pipes and drains. These can freeze too. If water freezes in the pipes that collect wastewater from your washing machine, the next time you use it you may flood the house. Another place to check is the drains outside. Any debris around the openings will help them freeze over, spilling waste water across your garden or even causing freezing water to back up into your home. The leaves are still falling from the trees, so you need to watch them regularly for the next few weeks.
Don’t forget your gutters. The same applies around your roof – any debris that slows water flow encourages it to freeze and block roof drainage. Icicles hanging from your gutters may look Christmassy, but when water comes through your ceiling it’s less romantic.
If you are concerned about how your central heating might perform through the festive season, why not get yourself booked in for a service or appointment with one of our Gas Safe registered boiler engineers? Or if you are time poor, try one of our new virtual appointments via Skype or FaceTime.