Keep cast iron radiators working and homes warm this winterThursday, 27 October 2011 01:26
With cold winter weather forecast to hit the UK in the next few months, homeowners can perform a few tasks to help keep their heating bills manageable.
Furthermore, Brits can keep their boilers, radiators and heating systems working efficiently over the festive season if they have their systems regularly checked and serviced, it has been claimed.
Keep covered this Christmas
When the mercury drops many people will be turning on their heating systems, which have been out of use during the summer months.
The problem is not many people consider the fact that their radiators or boilers may be faulty or broken, according to energychoices.co.uk.
Jon Ingram, product director at the website, stated that taking out adequate insurance can be cost-effective and help provide a safeguard for Brits in case their systems break down.
Mr Ingram said: "If your boiler fails it can be frighteningly expensive to replace - an extra outlay that consumers can ill afford in the run up to Christmas.
"Furthermore, if the money to pay for repairs is not immediately available then you can be left without basic amenities like hot water for some time."
The company added that people should make sure their insurance policy covers their heating system and ensure that cast iron radiators and pipes are included in this.
Cutting down costs this winter
According to the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA), there are a number of simple solutions that can help keep heat in people’s homes.
Firstly, insulating walls can provide Brits with huge savings on their energy bills, as the walls harness the warmth given off from boilers and heating systems and retain it in dwellings.
Secondly, adding draught stripping around windows and doors can significantly cut the amount of air permeating into a property or heat being lost, saving homeowners money.
Thirdly, replacing an old boiler can help reduce carbon emissions and cut bills considerably. Also making sure pipes are clad, which cuts the risk of heat loss and of freezing in case the country is hit with a cold snap, is advisable.
"It is important that homeowners are aware of the options available to them when looking to make their homes warmer this winter," said Peter Bolton King, chief executive of the NAEA.
"With bills on the rise, these measures can make a real difference, as well as having the welcome side-effect of increasing the carbon efficiency of their property."
Prevention is better than cure
The old saying "better safe than sorry" should also be applied when it comes to keeping homes warm during the winter months.
HomeServe advised property owners that with boiler breakdowns on the rise when the mercury dips, it is important to carry out checks and have cover in case of any unforeseen problems.
The organisation added that people should not just rely on their insurance policy, as this only helps when things go wrong. Instead, they should have their boiler serviced annually before winter starts.
John Hancock, engineer at HomeServe, said: "And while your boiler is being serviced, take time to give your home a bit of an MOT – simple things like bleeding your radiators, checking your property for draughts and leaks, insulating pipes with lagging or newspaper and clearing your gutters can help prevent some of the most common home emergencies.
"Prevention, as the saying goes, is better than cure and it can save you time and money in the long run."
So, home owners can perform a few routine tasks to make their dwellings more efficient this winter, which also help keep their energy bills low and their homes warm.