Something that you really want to be sure of as we get into the colder months is that your home is as warm as possible when you need it to be. Although this is an essential, it can be surprising how many people fail to really understand how to make sure of it, and so many people end up being cold in their own homes throughout the winter period, or at least for a short time. The truth is that keeping the home warm can be more complex than you would like it to be, and you need to understand a number of things to be able to ensure that you are going to keep your home as warm as possible. Let’s look at some of the things you will need to consider to keep your home warm this coming winter.
First of all, you need to make sure that you actually have a functioning and working boiler, as without that you will find it much more of a challenge to keep the house warm. Unless you have oil tanks or some other kind of system, you will probably have a standard combi boiler. Boilers are generally pretty sturdy and effective these days, but there are still a whole host of common problems which can crop up from time to time, and which you should know how to fix if you are keen to try and keep your home warm. The truth is that most of the common boiler problems are relatively straightforward to solve, but you do need to be aware of how to do so in the first place. Let’s take a look at some of the most common boiler problems and their simple solutions now.
First of all, you might find that your boiler is not quite reaching the necessary desired temperature required for your radiators to work. More often than not, this means that there is a faulty thermostat in the boiler. Sometimes a simple reset will fix this, or you might find that you need to call someone out to take a look at it and work their magic. Either way, it doesn’t usually take much to fix this particular problem. Alternatively, it might be that the pilot light is not on. If this happens, you will simply need to relight it, for which you should read the guide for your specific model of boiler, but it is going to be easy no matter what. If your boiler’s pilot light goes off a lot, then there might be a more serious problem to do with the pressure of the water in the boiler, so you will again need a professional to come and look at it.
Another common problem with a boiler is that it might simply not be doing anything at all. Check that it is turned on and that the settings are correct, and if so consider a reset, or calling out someone to help you with it. No matter what, the problem is always fixable, so that is important to bear in mind. Once you have a working boiler, you should find it easier to keep the heat flowing through the home – but there are still other things you might need to attend to to be really sure that your home is going to remain as warm as necessary throughout winter.
It doesn’t matter if the boiler is working flawlessly if you are not able to trust the pipes, so this too is something that you need to look into if you’re struggling to heat your home in winter. Probably the most common cause of pipe problems is that one has burst or frozen in the cold weather. This is actually quite a serious problem and one which requires a professional as soon as you can find one, especially if you smell gas. Even if you don’t, you will need some help to get your pipes repaired, so make sure that you get that help as soon as possible.
You should of course be careful to prevent freezing in the first place, and the best way to do that is to keep some warmth flowing through them at most times. If you are going away and leaving the home for a while, be sure to have the heating on on a low temperature, to keep the pipes functioning. Some modern boilers have a special function for this too – it might look like a symbol of a snowflake on your boiler panel if you look. As long as your boiler and your pipes are working, you should be on your way to a heated home – but we still have the radiators to look into as well, and they can’t be overlooked.
The next most important part in the process is the radiators, as they obviously actually ensure that the home is going to be heated at all. If your radiators are not getting warm, but you have ruled out any problems with the boiler or the pipes, then chances are you will need to bleed them. A lot of people have never bled a radiator before, so it is something you might want to learn at some point anyway. Once you know how to do it, it is actually very easy to do, and you will find that you can keep your radiators working as well as possible at most times.
To bleed a radiator, you will need a radiator key, which hopefully you have in a sensible place already. If not, they are easy enough to come across. All you are actually then going to do is bleed out the fluid from the bottom of the radiator using that key to open the valve, and using something to collect it. It is as easy as that, and yet it is necessary if you are going to have functioning radiators, so make sure that you are doing it whenever necessary. It’s a good idea to do it at the start of winter and the end of winter, regardless.
As you can see, the process of keeping the home heated is simple, provided that you actually know what you’re doing.