As September arrives, so does the promise of cooler weather. While we may not have had the chance to bask in the summer sun this year, it's time to shift our focus to reviving the trusty heating system as the evenings grow chillier.
You might think it's a bit premature to start thinking about your heating, given the current steep energy prices. However, after several months of hibernation, it's wise to prepare now rather than face heating-related issues in the dead of winter. Being proactive ensures you enjoy a cozy, toasty transition into the colder months.
Join us below as we share our expert tips for getting your heating system ready.
1. Radiator Maintenance
Regularly bleeding your radiators is a smart move, even if you haven't noticed any issues like cold spots or strange noises. Doing this well ahead of winter ensures your radiators work efficiently when you need them most, preventing any uncomfortable downtime due to necessary repairs.
Bleeding your radiators means releasing trapped or excess air that can hinder their performance. This trapped air tends to rise to the top of your radiators, leaving them cold and inefficient. Here's a simple step-by-step guide:
Turn off your heating and allow your radiators to cool.
Place an old towel on the floor and position a cloth or container beneath the bleed valve (usually at the top of your radiator).
Insert a bleed key (easily available at your local hardware store) and turn it counterclockwise until you hear a hissing sound, indicating the release of air.
When water starts to escape, tighten the bleed valve.
After bleeding all your radiators, turn your heating back on to ensure even and efficient heating.
2. Gradual Boiler Activation
You might not need to heat your home for another month or so, but now is an excellent time to start occasionally switching on your boiler. Gradually increasing the temperature prepares it to handle the colder outdoor temperatures.
Fire up your boiler once or twice a month for an hour with the thermostat set to low. This practice helps detect potential heating system issues before regular use and prevents the buildup of dust, grime, and corrosion in the pipework, all of which can lead to a boiler breakdown.
Assuming no problems arise, you can slowly increase the temperature and duration of heating, allowing for a smooth transition into winter without excessive stress on your boiler. This also helps you save on energy bills by finding the most comfortable temperature for your needs.
3. Schedule a Service
Just as you bleed your radiators annually, booking an annual boiler service is crucial. A professional gas engineer can inspect your boiler for issues that may have arisen during the summer shutdown and ensure it operates safely and efficiently. Additionally, many boiler warranties require annual servicing, so it's a must-do.
Rather than waiting for colder weather to book a service, schedule it now, so any necessary repairs can be addressed before you heavily rely on your heating. If your boiler is nearing the end of its lifespan, professionals may recommend a replacement, and having it installed before winter is ideal.
Modern boilers in the UK are highly efficient (A-rated), which not only keeps you warm but can also lead to energy savings compared to older models. This is particularly valuable during the costlier winter months.
4. Assess Your Home's Energy Efficiency
Your home's energy efficiency directly impacts your energy bills, especially during winter. Every home in the UK receives an energy performance certificate (EPC) rating, ranging from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient).
A low EPC rating suggests your property is not only less environmentally friendly but also costlier to heat. Several factors contribute to poor energy efficiency, such as inadequate insulation or an energy-intensive heating system.
Check your home's EPC rating (here Scotland or here England) and explore options for improving it. If your rating is low and you qualify for certain benefits, you might be eligible for free heating upgrades through government-backed schemes like ECO4. Even if you are not on benefits we can help secure funding through Local Authority funding or other schemes. These upgrades not only reduce your monthly utility bills but also ensure you stay comfortably warm in winter.
5. Connect with Direct Savings
In conclusion, by following our guide, you can confidently prepare for the upcoming colder season, ensuring efficient and problem-free central heating.
If you believe you qualify for the ECO4 scheme and could benefit from it as part of your winter preparation, Direct Savings can assist you.
Feel free to check your eligibility by completing our quick and easy form.
If you're curious but need more information about the ECO4 scheme, visit our website, where we explain it in detail.
In the meantime, if you have any questions or would like to learn more about our services, don't hesitate to contact our friendly team today.
We're here to help you make the most of your heating system as you embrace the warmth and comfort of the upcoming season.