How to prepare for the winter ahead

As the leaves begin to fall and the nights get colder, many people have already cranked up their heating ready for winter. To save yourself money, keep your property warmer, and ensure everything is running nice and efficiently we’ve got a few tips you can do now to prepare for the winter ahead.

How to prepare for the winter ahead - autumn - Freeflow Plumbing and Heating

Boilers

The household boiler is one of the most expensive appliances in the home, costing homeowners on average £2,500 to buy and install. Despite this, many homeowners fail to undertake central heating water treatment maintenance to prevent a costly boiler breakdown.

Having the correct water treatment will improve your boiler’s efficiency and will extend its lifespan beyond the expected 12-15 years. Moreover, with water treatment you can save up to 15% on your gas bills every time a room is heated.

  1. Arrange a routine boiler service annually

This will help your boiler retain high efficiency and ensure its manufacturer warranty is upheld

  1. Ask your installer to add inhibitor to your central heating system

This coats the surface of the metal in your heating system and stops it from reacting with anything to form rust. Specify that you would like them to use quality water treatment products for the best results.

  1. Install a system filter

These fit easily onto the pipework of your boiler and collect sludge before it has a chance to circulate through your heating system. They prevent the system becoming dirty again and reduce the need for a pricey powerflush in the future. Saving you stress and money in the long term, MagnaClean filters by Adey are proven to cut household heating bills by up to 6% per year and reduce system maintenance call outs by 37% a year.

Radiators

It’s important to keep your radiators in tip-top condition all year round so you can be fully prepared for an unexpected cold snap. The best way to do this is to continually check the distribution of heat in your radiators. If it is not even then they might require bleeding.

The key reason to bleed your radiators is the fact that air has entered your central heating system.

Leading to a reduction in efficiency in the central heating system; there are a few ways to check whether you need to bleed your radiators, the quickest way to check is:

  • With your central heating turned on, touch your radiator. If the radiator is warm at the bottom and cold this is generally a sign that there is air in it.

 Pipework

Ensure pipework in non-heated rooms/areas is correctly insulated. This can reduce heat loss through pipework in areas that don’t need to be heated. It can also stop pipes freezing and potentially causing a water leak. You should also:

  • Ensure your house is correctly insulated as all that heat could potentially just be travelling out the walls/ roof / windows / doors
  • Check valves and pipework for leaks and corrosion – this is one of the most common causes of system breakdown and best to get it sorted before it becomes a major issue.

Thermostats

Smart thermostats can save you up to £150 a year on your heating bill. They connect to your home’s internet and give you the luxury of controlling your heating from your smartphone, tablet or desktop. Designed to stop you spending more than you have to, smart thermostats provide energy usage reports so you can use the data to optimise your consumption. Within two years, you are more than likely to make your money back on your purchase.

Smart thermostats are also perfect for maximising parental control – allowing you to see if your children are cranking up the heating when you are away! The Hive Active Heating thermostat incorporates Holiday Mode and frost protection technology. The Nest Learning Thermostat even detects when no-one is home and will switch off the heating accordingly.

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