Is your home ready to take on the Winter?

Here, property maintenance and refurbishment specialist, Aspect Maintenance, offers its tips on ensuring homeowners’ boilers work as safely and efficiently as possible, particularly as we head towards the colder weather.

Install a carbon monoxide alarm

Carbon monoxide is a colourless, odourless and tasteless gas, which is toxic to humans and animals, causing death by asphyxiation. It is cheap and easy to protect your family and tenants from carbon monoxide poisoning by purchasing an alarm for as little as £15. Not only does this give you a vital early warning of leaks from your boiler, but it also gives you peace of mind.

Put your heating on, even if you don’t need it

It sounds counterproductive, but actually putting your heating on for 10 minutes, once a month over the summer and for a few hours each day over the winter (even if you’re not there) can help to prevent costly problems. Months of inactivity for your boiler can lead to moving parts seizing up and pumps being clogged with grit, while chilly temperatures can cause water to freeze in your pipes, which in turn causes the water to expand and crack the pipes.

If your boiler is old, replace it

You often hear the saying “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, and while sometimes this may be good advice, it doesn’t apply to boiler servicing. An old boiler (more than 10-15 years old) will cost you more in the long run, not just for repairs, but also in energy bills. New boilers, especially those with an “A” efficiency rating or higher, can save you as much as 40% on your annual heating bill. According to the Energy Saving Trust, boilers account for 60% of all domestic CO2 emissions, which means that replacing yours also improves your green credentials.

Keep it clean

You wouldn’t expect your dishwasher or washing machine to run efficiently without the occasional clean, and your boiler is no different. Dust and dirt can all make a difference to the efficiency of your boiler, so make sure to give it a wipe down and a once over with the duster between each boiler servicing.

Check the pressure gauge

If you’ve got an older boiler, you may have several gauges, while newer versions will probably only have one. You want to look for the water pressure gauge, which should measure somewhere between 12 and 15 pounds of pressure. If the gauge is over the 30 pounds mark, turn off the boiler and call an engineer immediately. This level of pressure can indicate damage to your boiler and in some cases even be dangerous.

William Davies, managing director at Aspect Maintenance, comments: “Boilers are costly, so it is vital to keep them in proper working order.

“And, when it comes to caring for your entire property and keeping it warm and cosy this winter, there are other areas you should also consider. Remember, routine maintenance will avoid costly repair bills further down the line.”

– Make sure you properly insulate your property, from lofts to cavity fillings to exclude draft. This will prevent heat loss, and conserve energy.

– Check your pipes are insulated to protect from frost and to prevent heat loss.

– Check your roof for missing tiles, and check the flashings to the chimney look intact. Make sure the guttering looks clear with no missing sections. Clear away pebbles, moss and vegetation that may have built up on your roof.

– Clean your drains – from inside and do an external check to ensure there aren’t any blockages.

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