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How Do I Get My Boiler Winter Ready?

Autumn is here again which means colourful leaves, harvests of fruit and vegetables, Halloween, and shorter days. This means many homes around the UK may start firing up their central heating system again following the summer months. These periods of inactivity mean that our home can develop faults, it’s only natural. 

These faults can lead to breakdowns leaving you without hot water and heating. We want to ensure that this never happens to you. 

Even if we don’t want to admit it, the cold weather is right around the corner which is why now is the prime time to ensure that your boiler is fully functional and ready for the freezing winter weather. What exactly are you looking for and what checks should you make before the cold weather kicks in this year? Keith’s Plumbing is here to help you!

How Do I Check My Boiler? 

First things first, you need to do a test turn-on. It seems very simple but testing your heating prior to the cold weather coming is essential and is an ideal time to check if your boiler is healthy enough for the winter. 

Next, we would recommend insulating your pipes. Insulating your pipes will give you thermal support to prevent the pipes from freezing over and this will reduce the chance of your boiler freezing on you when you need it most. The months ahead of winter are the perfect opportunity to complete this work and preparation. 

After this, we would recommend you feeling the bottom of your radiators when they are on. If they are cold at the bottom this could mean that there is trapped air within the radiator. You can fix this by bleeding your radiator if the issue persists, however, this could be a sign of a sludge build-up which could hinder your heating system in a huge way. If not checked the cost could rise. 

How To Bleed Your Radiators 

From time to time radiators need to be bled in order to keep them working at their best. This is an incredibly simple piece of maintenance that many homeowners forget to do. To check if a radiator needs to be bled, turn it on and check if it’s colder at the top than the bottom. 

  1. Place a towel under the valve on your radiator
  2. Turn off your heating 
  3. Use a radiator key to turn the value anticlockwise by about a quarter of a turn

If the radiator was in need of bleeding it would hiss as trapped air escapes and will start to flow out. Shut the valve by turning it clockwise back to its original position. 

Boiler Pressure

Most boilers come kitted out with a boiler pressure gauge. A quick glance will tell you if the pressure is green or red. Reduced pressure may negatively affect the hot water traveling through your heating system. If your pressure is too high we would again recommend bleeding your radiators. We would always recommend getting in touch with a professional as sometimes DIY jobs can become more costly in the future if not done correctly the first time. A professional can help you with your boiler repairs with ease!

Safety First 

A Carbon Monoxide leak is incredibly dangerous and can be a life-threatening event. Purchasing an alarm can save you and your family’s life. 

Arranging An Annual Service

An annual boiler service is a must-have service for any owner. A professional can pick up on problems a non-qualified person may miss. A professional will ensure that any issues are stopped straight away and receive the attention they deserve straight away without any hesitation. 

These services also ensure that your boiler is gas safe to protect the health and safety of your home and everyone in it. If you think there is a problem before your annual service, do not wait to arrange a call out as soon as possible with a qualified professional, like the team at Keith’s Plumbing and Heating.