There’s nothing worse than waking up to a freezing cold house. Sure the temperature drops this time of year but if you’ve ever felt like you’ve swapped your English abode for the Antarctic, then something’s gone horribly wrong. But don’t despair just yet. There are a few simple things that you can do to keep a warm house this time around. You know what they say, if you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail!
Tips for a warm house
Bleed that radiator!
This should be priority number one. It’s fast, it’s simple and it’s effective – a triple whammy. You’ll be able to tell whether you need to do this by feeling the tops and bottoms of each radiator. Any difference in temperature and you turn into Mr/Mrs Bleeder. A very subtle difference won’t cause any problems but if the top part’s cold while the bottom part remains hot, then this is a flashing warning sign telling you that this should be your first port of call. Here’s a quick how-to:
1. Turn the heating off! You don’t want to let any more air inside the system.
2. After you’ve found the bleed valve (it’s normally square shaped and on the upper right hand side), you should lay a towel underneath that side of the radiator. No-one fancies a soggy carpet!
3. Insert a bleeding key or small screwdriver into the bleed valve and slowly turn it until some of the air escapes. If your radiator sounds like an old I’m A Celebrity favourite (clue: hiss hiss) and drips off water fall onto your towel, then you know everything’s gone to plan.
4. Tighten the valve again, switch the heating back on and get your partner to make you a cuppa!
Service your boiler
Have you given your boiler a helping hand for the tough months ahead? If the answer’s no, it’s worth contacting a heating engineer for a routine boiler service even if your boiler seems happy. Any faults will be dealt with and you’ll find out if any of the parts are on their last legs. Sometimes a power flush is a good way to go. A combination of chemicals combine to remove rust, sludge and limescale. A sludge crust breaker and remover removes the rust and sludge, a descaler breaks down the limescale and a corrosion inhibitor prevents more rust from building up. The six hour clear-out could save weeks of heating related hassle through making sure your water circulation is at its best.
Nobody wants a break-down when the ground outside is whiter than the shorts in a Daz commercial.
Block out the cold
Anyone feeling the pinch can breathe a big sigh of relief with the news that buying – or making – a few draught excluders can be a god-send. Filling in any floorboard and skirting board cracks with silicon sealant will stop the cold air from getting through and you should watch out for those pesky little keyholes too! A tiny hole can make a big difference to room temperature. Introducing some key-hole covers will go a long way to solving your heating blues.
It’s not all as dull as it sounds however, there are plenty of products out there to make insulating your home more fun than foul! Take these ‘Robin Red’ draught excluders:
Just looking at one of the £18.00 pieces might be enough to warm you up! Placed in front of a door, the winter warmer will put the brakes on the cold snap – at least until you brave the outdoors. Investing in a pair of heavy curtains will also do the trick, forming a barrier between the big chill sneaking in through the windows and your cosy interior.
If you embraced a light fabric to complement the summer season, now’s the time to pop your winter cap on and revert back to a heavier and warmer style. If you’re not sure where to start, The Natural Curtain Company are worth a look. You can order up to eight free samples to make sure that you’ve picked the right fabric for you. Not only that, you can even choose a thermal lining to really make sure that no heat escapes!
I’m a big fan of ‘Battleship’, a luxurious deep blue with grey tones and just the right amount of what the company call ‘velvet shimmer’. You’ve got to admit, it has a certain twinkle about it…
For those of you spending a lot of time away from home this winter, your job isn’t done either! Many people turn their heating off while they’re away to keep the bills down. The bad news is that you’re leaving yourself open to an unwelcome and expensive gift of frozen pipes upon your return. Avoid the pitfall by exercising your boiler regularly. The temperature doesn’t have to be high. In fact, a moderate level is actually much better for the system.
So come on guys, let’s all follow the tips and leave the huddling to the penguins!
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