How to stay warm and save money during winter

Your home

No-one wants a cold shower in the middle of winter – or for the heating to stop working. These simple tips will help you care for your boiler, stay warm and save money.

Warm in winter

Why bother caring for your boiler?

Whether you own your boiler or not, taking care of it will save you money. If you own your home your boiler will be one of the most expensive purchases you’ll make, so you want it to last as long as possible. But it isn’t just about the lifespan of your boiler. Keeping it happy, healthy and working efficiently will keep you warm and save you money on your bills.

Get your boiler serviced every year

To keep your boiler working to its best, prevent breakdowns, give it a long lifespan and keep heating bills low, you should make sure that your boiler is serviced every year. This should be carried out by a Gas Safe engineer who is qualified to check it’s safe and working and identify any small issues before they turn into bigger problems. This will save you money in the long run.

Check your boiler’s pressure

It’s worth checking your boiler’s pressure gauge to see if it needs topping up. The pressure gauge is generally at the front of your boiler. You’ll be able to see low and high pressure indicated by red sections on the dial. Ideally, you want to see a reading between 1 and 2 bars. Anything below 1 bar is too low and you’ll need to re-pressurise your boiler. Every boiler is different so make sure you check your boiler manual.

Turn your heating on regularly

Turn your heating on at least once a month, even in the summer, to keep it running efficiently. This will help keep your boiler pump clear when you’re not using it. Turning your heating on for even 10-15 minutes can help the boiler parts move correctly and reduce the chance of a breakdown.

Bleed your radiators

Over time air can become trapped in your radiators. This will prevent them from heating up fully and there may be cold patches.  Trapped air in your radiators means they won’t heat your home as effectively and will pump up your heating bills – and bleeding them is simple. Make sure you bleed them once a year before the weather gets cold. To do this you’ll need a radiator key, a bucket or mug and a cloth. Place a cloth under the radiator bleed valve and use the radiator key to open the valve and release the air. Make sure once you’re done and the hissing sounds stops that you close the valve.

Check your boiler flame is blue

Make sure your flame is a strong blue colour. You should be able to see the flame through a small hole or window in your boiler’s protective casing. If the flame is orange or yellow, there could be something wrong with your boiler or gas supply and you should call a Gas Safe registered engineer as soon as possible.

Leave it to the professionals

If you think that your boiler may need a repair, you should get in touch with a Gas Safe registered engineer who has the knowledge to maintain a boiler system. Checking your boiler’s pressure and bleeding your radiators is one thing, but anything more should really be left to trained professionals.

If you have any problems with your gas and heating this winter, please contact your supplier or contractor directly, to resolve it faster. Don’t worry - You don’t need to raise an additional repair with us too.

More information

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