Not that we wish to deprive our valued and trusted contractors of work at this time of year but nor do we want to spend our landlords’ money unnecessarily.
Here are some top tips for getting through the cold snap. We are by no means experts in this field so if in doubt, do call in the experts or ask your managing agent to deal with this on your behalf and leave yourself free to browse holiday brochures for warmer climes.
1. Keep your heating on low
Sudden cold temperatures can freeze your boiler’s external condensate pipe, which could cause your boiler to stop working. Insulating the pipes and/or keeping the heating on constantly, but low, when it’s very cold, can help.
2. Bleed your radiators
If your property isn’t getting as warm as you think it should be, there may be air trapped inside the heating system bleeding the radiators helps.
Releasing air from the system is simple but you will need a key which can slot into the radiators bleed valve. If you still have a problem after doing this, you may need to call in the professionals.
3. Keep your boiler maintained
Make sure you service your boiler and keep it maintained in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations. Check regularly for any warning signs such as leaks, cracks or noises as the sooner you can identify a problem, the easier it will be to fix.
4. Turn off services when property is unoccupied
If you do have an unoccupied property for longer than 30 days then it’s worth draining the water system and switching the utilities off. However, if it’s in the winter months then keeping your central heating system on at a minimum temperature can help prevent frozen pipes.
Landlords are legally responsible for securing a safety certificate for gas appliances each year and they also need to ensure the heating and hot water systems are maintained and functioning properly.
If your boiler is making a loud banging noise, there could be a reason why. According to 24/7 Home Rescue there are several noises you need to look out for which indicate there is a problem with your boiler.
If your boiler starts to leak water or makes a loud banging noise this could be a sign of a serious problem so call in the contractors asap!
As the cold snap is likely to hit in February have a thought for our friends who live outside. Provide fresh water. Clean water and food will encourage visiting hedgehogs to return regularly to your garden. Minced meat, fresh liver, tinned dog food (not fish based), or even scrambled eggs appeal to these prickly creatures.