How Do I Prepare My Radiators For Winter?
There are many things you can do to help prepare your radiators for the colder months that will ensure that your radiators are ready to keep you and your family warm and cosy all winter long.
Leak Proof your radiators
Your radiators might be prone to springing a leak, which is considered one of the most significant issues you could face in winter. Not only can it take your radiators out of commission, but a leak that has gone unnoticed can also damage furniture or your flooring, sometimes to the point where you need to fork out to replace them.
Stay vigilant and keep an eye out for signs that could indicate that there is a problem with your heating system, such as hissing, gurgling or knocking sounds. Puddles of water and even a loss or pressure in your boiler could be a sign your radiators might be leaking.
Check Your Thermostatic Valves
When you come to adjust the valves of your radiators in the winter, and you notice that your radiators are not changing to the set temperature or you feel no resistance when turning the valve, it might be a sign that you need to check your thermostatic radiator valves.
Thermostatic radiator valves
(TRVs) can be prone to getting stuck in the on or off position, especially if they've been in one place for a long time - e.g. over the summer when your radiators are hardly used.
You can check your TRVs and turn them occasionally, and keeping them moving will help ensure that your valves do not get stuck - even in summer.
It is also important to make sure your thermostatic valves are compatible with your boiler; otherwise - you risk them not working correctly. If in doubt, always seek the advice of a certified professional.
Ensure your water tank and boiler are in good working order.
Apart from your radiators, it is equally just as important to turn your attention to the bigger elements – such as your boiler and water tank.
There are some hot water cylinders
that can last up to 30 years, but once they reach around 10 years old, it's good to routinely inspect them so you can catch any issues early.
If you notice that your water is cloudy, discoloured, or smells unpleasant, check your water tank for any rust or sediment that may have built up inside. It is recommended to regularly flush the system to help prevent build-up and help your system save you unnecessary costly repairs.
In the instance your hot water cylinder leaks or does not have enough hot water for your home, It is advised that you should look and inspect the valves, such as the pressure-release valve, to ensure it's working correctly. Additionally, it's wise to also check the thermostat as this may also not be working correctly. If in doubt, call a qualified plumber - they know exactly what to look out for and can help you identify the first signs of valve damage or failure.
Your boiler, on the other hand…
Nobody wants to deal with boiler issues - even less so when the colder months roll in.
When it's finally time to switch on your boiler for the first time in the winter, and you notice your boiler is slow to heat or that you find visible water pooling near it, or if it doesn't even sound right when in use - it might be high time to give your boiler a once over.
It might be that your boiler may have been installed incorrectly, the connections are loose, or even that there is too much pressure in the system. It could also be that the pipework has corroded, but it's important to arrange for a registered gas-safe engineer
to come and inspect your boiler every year.
Additionally, you can check the visible pipework to see if you can spot any signs of corrosion – and regularly make a note of your boiler's pressure.