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How to avoid those common winter central heating problems

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Let’s face it – the colder and wetter months can be a stressful time for many of us for a wide range of reasons. You’ll therefore hardly want to add issues with your central heating system to your list of stress factors this season. 

Thankfully, there are ways to ensure your own home’s central heating system is well looked-after this year without having to call our Croydon plumbers to undertake emergency remedial work due to it having stopped working altogether. 

Here are a few of those courses of action that you could take. 

Bleed the radiators 

An early indicator of what could later become more serious problems with your central heating system may be cold patches in your radiators, which might fail to heat up fully after barely being used during the summer and autumn. 

The good news is that you can get rid of those air pockets relatively easily, simply by bleeding the radiator using nothing more than a radiator bleed key and an old towel. 

Start by ensuring the radiators you intend to bleed have their valves open. You will then need to warm up the system, followed by holding the towel just below the bleed valve of the radiator furthest away from the boiler. 

At this point, use the radiator key to gradually loosen the bleed valve. Air will then escape from the radiator, hissing as it leaves, until finally, the radiator is full again – the sign of this being a little water flowing from the valve. Bear in mind that the water may be quite hot, which is why the towel will be invaluable for protecting your hands. 

Now, repeat the process for the radiator that is next furthest away from the boiler, working your way through your property’s radiators – including on multiple levels of the property if necessary. 

Only turn the heat up gradually 

While it’s inevitable that you will find yourself feeling the need to switch your heating on more often at this time of year, suddenly cranking up the heating really high after months of barely using it could put a lot of pressure on your boiler. 

That’s why our Croydon plumbers would urge you to minimise the likelihood of a winter breakdown by initially operating your boiler at low temperatures, and only then gradually turning up the heating as and when you require it. 

Turn on your taps to guard against burst pipes 

Water’s expansion when it freezes could pose a risk of fracture to the pipes in your property, which is why you may have had Croydon plumbers like our own tell you not to allow your home’s pipes to be exposed to sub-zero temperatures for any extended length of time. 

As for how you can avoid this, all that you have to do is turn on any taps that may be at risk from time to time; just a trickle will be sufficient to prevent freezing. Pipes that may be especially susceptible to freezing include those in your garage and other remote areas of your property, so now is the time to pay close attention to them as the temperatures drop. 

The good news is that whatever services you might require in relation to your central heating system or boiler this season – repair, servicing, powerflushing, the lot – you can always count on our Croydon plumbers here at PGS Plumbers being available to answer your every need. 

Simply call 0203 370 0066 for free advice and quotes from our friendly and capable professionals. 

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