Freezing cold weather across the UK has seen many keep their heating on far later in the year than they usually would.
But many will be hit by boiler breakdowns, and last year saw a 5.2 per cent increase in claims for faulty boilers compared to the winter before, according to research by Direct Line.
In fact the company has seen the volume of claims for faulty boilers consistently increase for the last five years.
So what can homeowners and landlords do to protect their boiler in cold weather?
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 can help, or try keeping the heating on constantly but low when it’s very cold.
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 so you need to bleed your radiators.
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.
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.
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.
Christina Dimitrov, Business Manager at Direct Line for Business said: “Being caught cold with heating issues in the winter months can be particularly unpleasant, so it’s vital that landlords make sure their properties have fully serviced boilers to minimise the risk of heating system failures.
“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.