How to Winter Proof Your Home

With the cold weather in full swing, you will find these winter proof -ing tips useful. It has been predicted that winter this year will be one of the coldest, and perhaps you have already started to experience the frost bite leading up to December. Here are our winter proof -ing tips to keep your home warm and cosy throughout the rest of the c0ld season. Winter Proof the Outside of Your Home Roof: Check your roof and replace cracked or missing tiles. These can let rain in, causing the roof to become damp and rot. Gutters: Clean your gutters and remove leaves and other debris so that melted snow can flow freely to help prevent damp from getting into your walls. Walls: Seal the cracks in the outside walls of your home and use weather proofing to seal the openings or gaps in roof openings. Vents: Regularly remove snow that may be blocking your vents that are bringing air into your home for your heating system. Pipes: Make sure that the pipes are not cracked, repair ones that are damaged. Insulate pipes that are exposed to the elements to prevent them from freezing. Winter Proof the Inside of Your Home Draught proofing: Draught proof your windows, doors and floors. Even the keyholes on your doors can cause heat loss. Use draught sealant on your doors and windows and draught excluder for your doors. Loft, basement or attic: Make sure these rooms are properly insulated. Adequate insulation can help reduce heat loss inside your home. Just having your loft properly insulated can save you up to £175 annually. Curtains: Close your curtains,...

What is Economy 7 Tariff

Are you on Economy 7 Tariff? Learn more about it and how you can make the most out of it. What is Economy 7 Tariff? Economy 7 Tariff is a differential tariff offered by electricity providers in the UK. This electricity plan offers two different rates to its users: one during the day and another in the evening. Simply put, it work very similar to the way peak and off peak hours work for phone service providers. Customers will receive 7 hours of cheaper electricity in the evening, hence the term ‘economy 7’. The specific hours that are charged lower will depend on where you are located in the UK, and your electric provider. In general, the 7 off peak hours are typically sometime between 10 pm and 8:30 am. If you are not sure about the exact times of when economy 7 applies for you, call your energy provider or check your most recent energy bill Economy 7 users have a different meter that separately shows the electricity usages during the days and the evenings. This helps them track their energy use more accurately. Find out if you are an Economy 7 Tariff user The easiest way to find out if you are using economy 7 is by looking at your energy bill. Basically, if you see two charges – one for daytime use and one for evening use – you are on economy 7 tariff. If you don’t have a bill available, check your meter. If you see two different numbers, then you are on economy 7. These numbers are usually indicated as “normal” and “low”. How to make...

Winter Boiler Tips

Get your home ready for the cold weather with these winter boiler tips from RJ Gas. Winter Boiler Tips: Regularly check you boiler’s ability to heat up. If you have not used your central heating since last year, now is the perfect time to do a test run on it. Regularly checking on your heating system to make sure it is working will help avoid surprises when winter hits. You certainly don’t want to be caught on a freezing night only to find out that your boiler is not working properly. Check the boiler’s pressure. A sudden change in the boiler’s pressure is a common boiler problem. Check the pressure gauge, which should read between 1 and 1.5. Learn how to increase a boiler’s pressure here. Bleed the radiators. Trapped air in your radiators can prevent parts of it from heating. Check you radiators and see if the top or bottom part remains cold. “Bleeding” the radiators simply means getting that pocket of air out. You can learn how to bleed the radiators yourself, with no need to call for an engineer. Insulate the condensate pipes. – Condensate pipes are the ones that take the condensation out and are located outside the building. Hence, they are exposed to the elements, and during winter, they can freeze and become blocked. You can insulate the pipe to avoid freezing, or you can relocate it inside or replace it with a wider pipe. Thaw your condensate pipe. Learn how here. This will come in handy if the pipes freeze. Read the manual. Keep your boiler manual in your home and remember to follow the instructions...

Central Heating Service

More organizations and local groups are making the effort to raise awareness on the importance of doing a regular central heating service. The dangers of unchecked gas appliances cannot be underestimated. There are also steps that a homeowner can make to maintain their central heating and help ensure it is running safely and efficiently. A central heating system typically includes a boiler, pipes, radiators and controls, and sometimes, a hot water storage cylinder or separate pump. Here are some central heating service tips: Bleed your radiators regularly. Bleeding the radiators will remove pockets of trapped air that are taking up space that hot water should be using. This results to cold spots in the radiators that will cause it to not heat properly. Learn how to do this here. Regularly check the pipes. The pipes take a lot of strain from the pressure. Make it a habit to check the pipes and look for leaks. Be aware of the sound coming from the system. Clanking sounds can be a sign that the boiler is kettling, which means that there might be limescale build up in the heat exchangers causing the water to become too hot. Read more about what to do when you have a noisy boiler. Check the water tank.  Water tanks that are tucked away in basements or lofts and it is not uncommon for them to be forgotten. It is important that you check your water tank every few months for leaks, cracks or other irregularities. Prevent the pipes from freezing during cold weather. Extremely low temperatures can cause bursting or leaking of central heating pipes. You can insulate the...

How to Recognize Boiler Problems

If you know how to recognize boiler problems, you can identify them early and possibly avoid more costly repairs. Your heating system is one of the most important appliances in your home. It is also one of the most expensive to buy and to repair. Hence, you want it to last a long time. And it will – provided that you use it with care and maintain it properly. Aside from getting an annual boiler service done, you can help prolong the life of your boiler by learning how to recognize boiler problems. If you know how to tell if your boiler is not functioning properly, you can provide a quick fix right away or call an engineer sooner rather than later. Letting a broken boiler sit without getting fixed and ignoring that it needs repair will only cost you more. That small problem will only get bigger and your boiler will perform poorly and slowly deteriorate. What may have been a need for a little tuning on the thermostat or pressure gauge can turn into a need to replace parts or even the entire boiler if the problem is ignored. How to recognize boiler problems Here are five signs that your boiler is not working okay: There is no heat or no hot water (or both) – Perhaps this is the biggest sign that your boiler is having a problem, and it’s hard to miss. If your boiler is not heating, it does not always mean that is broken. This may be solved by doing simple DIY troubleshooting, such as simply checking your thermostat. The flame in the...

Gas Boiler Banging

Listening to your gas boiler banging can be annoying – and concerning. And you have every right to be both annoyed and concerned. A noisy boiler should be addressed right away. Ignoring this common problem may lead to more costly repairs in the future. Gas Boiler Banging – What’s the culprit? The most common culprit here is scale build up. Water contains minerals, and over time, those minerals accumulate at the bottom of the boiler tank, causing hot spots. The water boils rapidly and sends bubbles up the tank. The bubbles then dissipate violently when they reach the top of the tank, producing loud, banging noises. A noisy boiler is also known as “kettling”, as the limescale blocks water flow and causes the water to boil, steam and expand, just like boiling water in a kettle. This is not something that you should fix on your own. Only a gas safe registered engineer should handle the problem. Gas Boiler Banging – Other causes There are a few other things that may be causing boiler noise. Water temperature: If the water gets too hot, it can cause similar rapid boiling in the tank, sending bubbles of water to the top of the tank. Lowering the boiler thermostat can solve this problem, although this will also make your home less warm. Check if your thermostat is defective and needs replacing. You can learn how to calibrate a thermostat too. Low pressure: If the boiler pressure is too low, the boiler will not get enough water supply. With not enough water supply, the heat will not dissipate fast enough and will cause the water to boil. You...
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