The winter months are almost upon us. Be prepared for cold weather by carrying out a few basic checks on your heating system.
If you turned your heating system off over the warmer months, it may be that you notice a couple of problems when you turn it back on. Here are a few things you should do and look for;
Turn your boiler every couple of weeks, even if it’s still warm
Get your boiler used to being used again by turning it on for an hour or so every couple of weeks throughout summer months, even if it’s warm outside.
Doing this keeps water circulating around the boiler and prevents dust and sludge from building up inside the boiler.
Check your radiators
Whilst the boiler is on, check to see if the radiators are heating up properly. Radiators should be hot all over, with no cold patches.
If you notice that a radiator has cold patches at the top, it may need bleeding. You can read our guide on bleeding your radiators here.
If your radiator is not getting hot at all, contact QHS on 01494 795000.
Turn the heating up slowly
When cold weather hits, it’s hard not to want to turn your heating up to maximum straight away. However, this is not the most efficient way to use your heating and might cause you to end up wasting money on your gas bill.
Turn your heating up slowly to find a comfortable temperature. Remember that you can adjust the valves on each radiator to make the temperature of the radiator in each room warmer or cooler.
Avoid the temptation to turn the heating up high as soon as it gets cold. It won’t make your radiators heat up quicker, it will just heat them to a higher temperature.
Keep the area around your boiler clear
Boilers must be well ventilated to make sure that they don’t overheat. Keep the area around your boiler clear from items such as clothes, linen and luggage.
If an engineer attends and finds a lot of clutter around your boiler, it will be very difficult for him to do his job. He may even need to come back another day when you have had time to tidy the clutter away.
Set your heating on a timer
Keep your house warm by setting your timer to come on at the same times every day. This will maintain the warmth throughout the day and save energy.
You might want to set your heating to come on half an hour before you are due to get up each day and go off after you have been up for a few hours. You could set your heating to come back on for a few hours in the evening, when it gets cooler.
Elderly, disabled, very young and vulnerable tenants may need the heating to be on for longer. A room thermostat will help you to make sure that their room stays at a constant temperature.
If you need help setting your timer and controls, call QHS on 01494 795000.
Look out for your neighbours
Look out for elderly neighbours or neighbours with vulnerabilities or mobility problems. When freezing and icy weather hits, they may have trouble getting to the shop to top-up their gas card or key.
If you are fit and able, providing them with your contact number so they can ask for help is a kind gesture. Even those with family close by may face difficulties getting help when roads are icy.
We will always try and reach vulnerable residents as a priority at all times. However, offering to help a neighbour with a simple task such as topping up their gas card will prevent the possibility that they run out of gas at all.