by Harriet Bond
All boilers can be susceptible to a breakdown, especially when the mercury heads below zero in the bleak mid-winter. However, there are a number of steps you can take to reduce your chances of suffering with such a problem, especially in the weeks and months before the chilliest part of the year sets in. From investing in insulation to getting central heating cover ,here’s our top 5 tips for keeping your heating in tip-top shape.
1. Get your boiler serviced
It’s recommended that you get your boiler serviced annually to make sure it’s working safely and efficiently. However, it’s no good to just get any old engineer to come out and have a look at your boiler. It should be someone who’s on the Gas Safe Register, the official body for gas safety in this country, which ensures that its members are fully trained and qualified.
2. Invest in insulation
One of the biggest causes of boiler breakdowns, especially during the winter, is frozen or burst pipes. It doesn’t take a science degree to work out what can happen – when the mercury falls below zero, any water still in the pipes freezes, expands and eventually bursts the pipe. Insulation ensures that your heating system can withstand the cold, however.
3. Use your heating all year round
Although it may not seem obvious to put your heating on during the summer, it needs to be done from time to time to keep the system ticking over. A good idea is to set it to come on at the coldest point of the night, or take the chance to give it a couple of hours’ worth of use on a typically rainy and chilly British summer’s day. When you leave your home for a period of time, don’t forget to use the timer switch to make sure your heating comes on regularly.
4. Don’t use radiators as clothes driers
Trying to save on electricity bills by avoiding using your tumble drier? Well, this tactic is false economy as it forces your heating to work harder than it needs to. Not only will it increase your bills but over time it can put a strain on your boiler, making it more likely to break down.
5. Get boiler insurance
One of the best ways to avoid breakdowns in the long term is to make sure that when your boiler is fixed, it’s done so by a fully trained and qualified professional. Getting boiler cover is one way to ensure this is the case – it protects your finances while also ensuring you get the right man for the job, rather than an engineer plucked almost at random from the phone book.
Follow these tips and you should enjoy a warmer, cosier winter – and one that doesn’t end up costing you the earth, too.