Winter is just around the corner, and it brings both wonderful experiences and challenges at the same time.
Frosty mornings might be troublesome for some, but they can be incredibly beautiful and majestic, especially in picturesque cathedral cities, such as York. Those cold snaps can also place strain on creature comforts though, making it very hard to get out from under the duvet in the morning, and placing a huge emphasis on heating your home.
As many of us prepare for winter in our homes, we should turn our attention to our heating system. At the start of the year, we asked Should We Turn Our Central Heating Off in the Summer? The article proposed practical steps to keeping your system active when you needed it the least. It is now the time of year when you need it the most, perhaps more than at any other point in the year. In HomeServe’s guide to gas and boiler cover, they explore how a reliable boiler could save you both stress and money in the long run, as well as ensuring your family is kept warm over the winter. Having a reliable boiler is not just down to the brand you buy though; there are things you can do to ensure yours runs for as long as possible without fault.
With The Guardian suggesting that 24% of the UK population is currently working from home, there is even more importance on many heating systems across the country. Whether you return from work or work at home under the current restrictions, a warm home will be a basic requirement for you and your loved ones. Luckily, we have practical tips for you to keep your system functioning and useful during the cold winter months.
Whilst consistent usage is likely to be a feature of the winter months, it is important not to let your system sit for too long unused. If you go away at Christmas, for instance, or live alone and work away for days at a time, it is worth setting the heating to come on, even if just for an hour. If your home is well insulated, you may feel on milder winter days you do not need your heating, but by running it regularly you will keep the system functioning and free from problems.
Your boiler is often tucked away in a cupboard or under the stairs, and the area around it can become a magnet for detritus. The temptation to store coats, clothing and boxes around the boiler might be strong, especially if you are short on space, but this can have a hugely detrimental effect on your system. A boiler needs ventilation and airflow to function properly, and by packing things around the boiler, or indeed the air vent outside, it can cause significant issues to reliability.
Some homes have a fuel supply that comes in automatically, such as gas, so this might not be a problem. However, if you run central heating oil, and are responsible for the fuel, make sure you do not run out. This might sound obvious, but running a system dry of fuel can lead to grit and sediment travelling into the boiler as the tank runs empty, causing problems. An oil boiler than runs dry will also need a professional to come and get it going again, incurring an expense. It should be simple to check, as Hunker suggests using a dipstick if you do not have a gauge in your home, or on the tank.
One way of ensuring continuity of service is to source cover for your system. Policies often protect you against breakdown and offer add-ons such as services for the boiler and repair cover. If you are reliant on your heating and have a family that would suffer badly through a lack of warmth, then some basic cover would offer a little peace of mind.