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01.1 - Is your plumbing and heating ready for autumn

Are Your Heating and Plumbing Systems Ready for Fall?

If you want to convince yourself that summer will stay forever, just think back to the last several years’ wide variations in temperature and the problems they brought about. Before you’re ready to put the heat back on, take a few quick actions to avoid some of the frequent issues that can arise as summer gives way to fall.

We need to make sure we’re well-prepared for everything because it’s commonly agreed that climate change is to blame for the growing frequency of weather extremes.

When you switch on the heating for the first time in the fall after having it off all spring and summer, this is one of the seasons when boiler problems are most frequent. Reduce the likelihood that something will break down when you most need it by being proactive now.

What You Can Do Is

1. Turn on your heating right away (for a short while).

Although turning on the heating for a few minutes every month or so throughout the spring and summer may seem counterintuitive in the summer, doing so benefits your boiler by keeping all of its components in good operating order and highlighting any possible problems at a time when it is most convenient to address them.

2. Inspect and bleed all radiators.

Radiators with too much air trapped within will function poorly during the winter but still use the same amount of energy. Even if it’s worth bleeding them occasionally, you can check to see if yours are harmed by turning on the heating and observing how evenly they heat. Once you’ve checked them, turn them on full power and then lower the temperature to the appropriate level for autumn. They need bleeding if they just heat from the bottom rather than the top. Follow these simple instructions to complete it. A powerflush is advised since cold spots could potentially be an indication of sludge in the system.

3. Schedule boiler maintenance.

It’s a good idea to have your boiler serviced before you plan to restart the heating. It indicates that all of your serviceable components and settings have been examined, and any problematic areas, such as sludge buildup, can now be addressed. Additionally, having your boiler serviced in the summer is less expensive, so everything works out well.

4. Examine the exterior piping.

A frequent issue is pipes freezing when temperatures drop. This applies to your boiler’s condensate pipe as well. Examine each joint for symptoms of deterioration and weak places, and replace or fix any that don’t appear to be sturdy. To further protect the pipes from the cold, you should lag them. It truly makes sense to do this now because laminating is inexpensive and available at any DIY store, and frozen pipes can result in flooding and boiler failures. If your pipes are already sluggish, merely make sure they are still capable of doing the job; if not, replace them.

5. Examine stop taps.

The first thing to do in a leak or flood situation is to shut off the water supply at the stop tap. It is never a good idea to discover that anything is a) difficult to access or b) tough to turn in an emergency situation. Find your stop tap right away, and make sure it spins easily. You’ll be glad you did if water starts falling from the roof. If it is challenging to reach or turn, you might want to think about installing a Sure Stop, a remote stop tap that can be set in a more practical location and operates with a straightforward switch.

Just make sure that the supply to your outside tap has a separate stop tap or valve so that it may be isolated if necessary while you’re doing this. This simply implies that you can turn off the supply in the event that a pipe freezes and a joint bursts without having to shut off the supply to the entire house. Consider having it finished before winter if it doesn’t already have one.

6. Verify the carbon monoxide detector.

Thankfully, carbon monoxide poisoning is uncommon, so if you maintain your gas appliances correctly by getting them serviced by a Gas Safe specialist, you shouldn’t need to worry too much. Nevertheless, it is still possible, and turning on the heating in the fall if your boiler’s chimney is obstructed could put you in danger. A CO sensor that can notify you of any CO leaks should be installed in every home. Test your battery, if you have one, to make sure everything is in order. You should definitely get one if you don’t already have one.

All of these measures are merely common sense safeguards that can help you avoid expensive and inconvenient boiler breakdowns, save money, minimize damage in an emergency situation, and even save your life. Definitely worth a few hours of your time right about now.