Getting Your Gas Central Heating System Ready for Autumn
As autumn approaches, we begin to think about putting our central heating systems on again. However, some people have problems when turning their heating back on after it has been turned off during the summer months.
If you are having problems, here is a list of simple things to check. Dealing with these things yourself will help to prevent the unnecessary inconvenience and cost of calling out the heating contractor
- First of all, if you have a pre-payment gas or electric meter, make sure you have credit on both meters as the boiler requires both gas and electricity to work.
- Make sure the clock/timer/programmer is switched on for both heating and hot water. You may have a single switch for both, or separate switches.
- Make sure your room thermostat is set to the recommended temperature for a living room, which is about 21°c. You can turn this setting down a bit to save money (every 1°c less saves an average 10% on heating bills), or turn it up a bit if you feel too cold.
- Make sure the radiators have been turned on by turning each radiator valve (or TRV) anti-clockwise to open it up.
- If the radiator remains cold at the top but warmer at the bottom, it may require bleeding (i.e., removing air from the radiator). To bleed a radiator, follow these instructions:
- Make sure there is warm water in the radiator, and switch off the central heating system.
- Fit a bleed key onto the bleed valve. The valve is usually at the top, at one end of the radiator; on some designs of radiator, it may be at the back.
- Loosely wrap a piece of old cloth around the key to catch any dirty, expelled water.
- Open the bleed valve by turning the bleed key a half turn anti clockwise – you should hear a hissing noise as the air is expelled.
- When water starts to dribble out of the valve, close the valve by turning the key clockwise. Do not over-tighten the valve.
- Turn your heating system back on. The top of the radiator should gradually warm up!
Ways to Make the Best use of Your Heating – What you can do Today!
Autumn is a good time to reflect on ways to cut your energy use. These simple measures will help you to make the best use of your heating at home. This should lower your energy bills, and also reduce carbon emissions into the environment.
- Close your curtains at night to reduce heat escaping through the window.
- Check that your heating thermostat is not set too high: suggested temperatures are
- living room – 21°c
- bedroom – 19°c
Check your hot-water cylinder (if you have one) to make sure it is set at no higher than 60°c.
- Get to understand how your heating system works. Turn down the thermostatic valves in the bedroom so they do not become too hot by bedtime. Ask for advice if you are unsure, by writing to a surveyor at Hexagon.
- Encourage your family members to wear a jumper at home rather than turning up the heating. Over the past three decades central heating has become a basic part of our lives, but that doesn’t mean a simple jumper can’t help combat the cold!