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How to get the most out of your heating system during colder weather

As the cooler months begin to move in, it’s finally time to start thinking about turning your heating on again. After all, there’s nothing better than coming in from the cold after a long day and being greeted by a toasty house. But after months of sitting dormant during the summer, you might find that your heating system needs a little TLC. Here’s a range of effective ways to get the most out of your heating system.

  • Bleed your radiators
  • Check the boiler pressure
  • Add central heating inhibitor
  • Install smart heating
  • Insulate your home
Bleed your radiators
Bleed your radiators

It’s not uncommon for air to get trapped and create pockets at the top of your radiator, which results in only the lower portions inefficiently heating up. Bleeding out this excess air is a straightforward way to make sure that things are working properly. Turn off your heating system and allow the radiator to cool completely if you’ve used it recently. To open the bleed valve which is located on the top side of the radiator, you’ll need a radiator key or a flat-head screwdriver. Have a jug and cloth ready for when you open the valve, listening for a hiss as the air escapes and collecting the water that follows. Close the valve and repeat on your remaining radiators, until any remaining trapped air pockets are released. For step by step instructions and further guidance, watch our how to bleed a radiator video.

Check the boiler pressure
Check the boiler pressure

It’s a good idea to keep an eye on your boilers pressure gauge to ensure that it’s within the manufacturers recommended bar levels. If you notice any fluctuations, bleeding your radiators may resolve the problem. You should also double-check that the pressure release valve is tightly shut, as these can easily get knocked and loosened over time. If you experience any loud, hissing or banging noises from your boiler, or notice increased frequency in pressure fluctuations, you should not attempt to undertake any checks. Instead, consult a gas safe professional who will carry out a full examination and service.

Add central heating inhibitor
Add central heating inhibitor

To make sure that your central heating is working as effectively as possible, you’ll need to periodically flush out the inside of your radiators. Over time, sludge can build up in the bottom, meaning that your system has to work harder to heat up your home. Adding an inhibitor gives you protection against corrosion and helps preserve the life of your radiator. If you’re having issues with your heating system or suspect that you may have a sludge build-up, we recommend contacting a professional who will carry out a full evaluation.

Install smart heating
Install smart heating

Opting for a smart heating setup makes it much easier to keep an eye on how much energy you’re using and stay on top of things. Control everything from your phone or tablet to set schedules, timers and zones, alongside insight to energy stats. Great for returning to a toasty home, you’re also less likely to accidentally leave the heating on when nobody’s around. There are also a number of great models with options from Google Nest, that learn your perfect temperature and build a schedule around you.

Insulate your home
Insulate your home

To prevent unnecessary loss and help keep your energy bills down, you’ll want to keep the heat in once the boiler or fire is on. There are plenty of quick and easy ways to keep the heat in your home, including closing internal doors, installing draught excluders and fitting heavy curtains over external doors. Adding pipe insulation also makes your heating and hot water much more efficient, while a well-insulated loft will help prevent heat from escaping so quickly.

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