The air outside is fresher than a new born baby and the pavements are littered with golden brown leaves. Choosing the right outfit has become tricky, one minute you’re freezing the next minute your too hot. It’s harder to get up in the morning and its dark when you get home. It’s so long salads and hello hot soups. Autumn is officially upon us.
We are all busy with work, family, friends and staying healthy but whilst maintaining our hectic life styles can be tricky there’s a few simple steps to help maintain your house when the winter elements come banging on your door.
With any luck your boiler is still burning away keeping you warm during these chilly nights, there’s nothing worse than turning the heating on after months of not needing it to find out its had enough and decided to give you the cold shoulder. The downside of a working boiler is your energy bills will go up, so while the energy suppliers bleed us dry, bleeding your radiators is a good way to make sure you are getting the best out of your central heating.
Trapped air bubbles inside the system prevent hot water from circulating effectively so radiators aren’t as hot as they should be and take longer to warm your home. First of all you need to get hold of a radiator key and ensure your heating is turned off. It’s best to bleed all of your radiators at once rather than just the one that’s cold, starting with the radiator furthest away from the boiler. Ensure that both the intake and exit valves of the radiator are turned to the ‘open’ position. Then, insert your radiator key (or screwdriver) into the bleed screw in the bleed valve at the top of the radiator, turning it counter clock wise to open the valve. You should hear a hissing sound as air escapes from your radiator (If this scares you a little bit you would be absolutely useless during a bush tucker trial).
This trapped cold air is replaced by water which will eventually start to sputter from the bleed valve so make sure you have a kitchen towel handy. When a steady stream of water starts to come out you have released all of the air trapped in your radiator. Re-tighten your bleed valve and ensure there are no leaks. By releasing excess air from your radiators you’ve lowered the overall pressure of your house’s heating system, if the pressures fallen too low heat might not reach some of your radiators (especially the ones upstairs).To restore the pressure it might be necessary to top off your boiler with water if it doesn’t have an automatic fill system.
Did you know turning the thermostat down by 1C could cut heating bills by 10 per cent and save around £55 a year.
You’re probably more worried about your house being burgled or it burning down than you are about water damage but there’s nothing more annoying and costly than water leaks. Make sure all of your pipes are lagged to prevent them from freezing when the really cold weather creeps in. It might be time to repair that dripping tap that keeps you awake at night otherwise water can freeze in the pipes during sub-zero temperatures. It’s always a good idea to leave your heating on low if you go away for a few days to stop your pipes from freezing. There’s nothing worse than coming back from being boiling in Barbados to freezing in a house that has its heating on the blink.
Gutters & Drains
There’s nothing quite like the smell of morning dew from the flowers in a garden or rain drops twinkling in the sun light as they drip from giraffe patterned leaves high up in the trees. All those golden leaves might look pretty while they’re on the trees but once they start falling they’re only going to clog up your gutters and drains!
Blocked gutters means the water has nowhere to go, apart from spilling over and running down the walls causing damp and possibly internal leaks. So it might be time to borrow that tall ladder from the builder down the road or get someone in to check and clear your gutters. Old and rotten fascia boards which hold your gutters in place might also need replacing if your gutters are clear and you still notice water damage on the walls.
You might have a fear of heights or that builder mate might need his ladder back so whilst you’re getting your gutters checked it’s a good idea to have a look at your roof. December is usually one of the wettest months of the year so before it really starts raining cats and dogs its worth checking for any loose or broken tiles and getting them fixed before you have a major leak on your hands (and heads).
There’s nothing worse than getting caught in a torrential down pour without an umbrella or choosing the wrong jacket for a stroll around the park in the bitter wind, or leaving your woolly hat at home during a snow blizzard. When we’re out and about we can sometimes catch our selves unprepared for the unpredictable British weather, so make sure your home is prepared for all the elements this winter. The weather man (or woman) might let you down this winter but Balma Building services won’t.