As the cold weather approaches, we thought we’d offer some advice on how to make your home warmer in winter.
There’s nothing worse than your house being like a fridge during a bad UK winter. Last year the ‘Beast from the East’ took a grip of the country and showed us all just how bad the weather can get here, with people looking for ideas on how to keep their home warmer during winter.
Keeping your house warm might seem easy. Whack on the central heating, the fire, the log-burner and you’re sorted. However, for those on a tight budget, the elderly, those with low income and those with old houses, it’s neither a cheap nor easy task.
We are a team of professional tradespeople, including builders and plumbers. In the hundreds of homes we visit each year, we come across examples of problems in houses which cause heat loss. Here is a list of the things we come across and how we can help you remedy them.
Blocked Heating Systems
These days the majority of homes have a combination boiler (combi) in place, as opposed to a tank in the loft or airing cupboard. These types of boilers are great as they are much more energy-efficient for smaller homes. Once a home has a combi-boiler in place, the owner often thinks it will just run and run for years without any maintenance.
There are two things, however, that we recommend you do:
1 – Have your boiler serviced every year
Your boiler probably came with a warranty. If so, to keep it valid, you should have your boiler serviced by a Gas Safe engineer every year. This not only ensures your boiler is safe, but also makes sure it is clean and in full working order. If your home is rented, your landlord has an obligation to do this anyway.
2 – Check your system for sludge
Over time, your heating system (boiler, pipework, radiators) accumulate dirt, which turns into sludge-type water. If you notice cold spots on your radiator, that’s a sign that there is sludge in your system, stopping the heat flow. If this is the case, please contact us and we will help you clean your heating system. We could also fit a device such as a BoilerMag or an Adey Magnaclean system which proactively takes dirt out of your heating system.
Block Out Drafts
This one is just common sense. Blocking out drafts in your home keeps warm air IN and cold air OUT. Doing this well will save you money on your bills and will ensure your home is more consistently warmer.
The obvious places to look out for drafts are as follows:
- Underneath doors
- Loft hatches
- Old windows/doors
Most of those types of drafts can be easily sorted out yourself, using draft-excluders and other products. However, there are some causes of drafts that might require a more professional touch in order to save you money in the long-run:
- Unused chimneys – if you have an old chimney stack in your house, you may want to get it blocked off to stop cold air coming through. Contact us for help and advice on this one.
- Gaps between floorboards – one you might not be aware of. You might not have ever seen your floorboards, but if they are old, warped or badly done, they might be letting drafts through. Again we can help with this.
- Old windows & doors – you may not have double-glazed, energy-efficient windows and doors?
- Gaps in brickwork or roofing – you may have holes drilled out for extractor fans, for example, or missing roof tiles.
Let Us Help
We can offer advice and free quotes for all types of work to help you keep warmer this winter. Whether it be a small job or something bigger such as upgrading your heating system, please get in touch.