Look after your heating this winter

As temperatures start to drop, there's lots of simple changes you can make around the house to stay warm in more cost effective ways. 

  • Use timers on your central heating - The Centre for Sustainable Energy advises that programming your boiler to turn the heating on a little earlier – such as 30 minutes before you get up in the morning – but at a lower temperature is cheaper than turning it on just as it's needed at a higher temperature. This is because a boiler heats up at a constant speed whether the thermostat is set to 20°C or 30°C
  • Turn down the dial -  Research shows that turning your thermostat down by 1°C could cut your heating bill by up to 10%
  • Rearrange things - Arranging furniture such as sofas, chairs and dining tables away from chilly walls and windows will make things feel warmer.  Also keep furniture from blocking radiators as this will absorb the heat that could be warming your home. Moving it away from the radiator, allows hot air to circulate freely
  • Use your curtains – Open your curtains to let the sunlight in during the day. If you close them before sunset, they will act as another layer of insulation, keeping warmth in and night-time chill out.

During particularly cold weather snaps your external pipes connected to your boiler may also freeze. Here’s what to do if this happens.

In particularly cold weather your boiler’s condensate pipe may freeze, which can lead to a blockage, and could cause the boiler to shut down. You can find the pipe on the wall outside your home leading from the boiler to drainage in the ground.

If you hear bubbling or gurgling noises coming from the pipe, the pipe could be frozen. You may also see error messages on your boiler, or warning lights, which will be explained in your manual.

If the pipe is frozen, it will need to be thawed. The easiest way to deal with a frozen pipe is to put it in contact with warm water. A couple of jugs of warm water poured over the exterior of the pipework works well. Boiling water could cause the pipe to crack.

To read more tips and advice to keep your boiler working this winter visit our advice pages.

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