Updated on 23rd August, 2023 by Martin Astley
The 22nd December officially marks the first day of winter, and with the dreaded expense of Christmas just around the corner, it can be a daunting time for those who encounter a boiler breakdown.
A recent study found that a boiler breaks down every 20 seconds in the UK, and it often takes homeowners by surprise. What’s more, it can cost almost £350 to repair a broken boiler, and only one in three homeowners will have the funds to pay for it.
A boiler is also more likely to breakdown during the winter, and with the recent news that Storm Eva is set to batter Britain in a matter of days with torrential rain and 70 mph gales, now is the ideal time to plan ahead and follow some easy tips on beating the chill.
Tip 1: Draught-Proof your Doors
Keep heat in by ensuring any leaks around your home are sealed. Use draught excluders by your doors to prevent the warm air from escaping—if you don’t have one, then create a makeshift draught excluder by rolling up some old towels or pillows.
Tip 2: Draught-Proof your Windows
Block cold air from entering the home by ensuring draughty windows and door cracks are covered. Plug any little gaps to prevent the cold air from getting in. Letterboxes are notorious for letting the cold air in, so it’s worthwhile investing in a brush seal to keep your house cosy.
Tip 3: Make Room for Heat Circulation
Think about a reshuffle! Avoid placing large pieces of furniture in front of your radiators. Rearrange your room so that the radiator is clear of obstructions; this will make it easier for the heat to circulate the whole room. If you move your sofa, keep it away from a cold, external wall.
Tip 4: Replace old curtains with Thermal curtains
Consider thermal curtains for your windows. Thermal curtains can reduce heat loss by up to 25%, so hang them in the rooms you use the most.
Tip 5: Leave your oven door open
For an extra boost of warmth, leave your oven door open after cooking and use this heat to warm up the house (be vigilant if you have small children). Or, leave the bathroom door open while running a bath or shower, as this could allow the steam and heat to travel into nearby rooms.
Tip 6: Wear warm clothes
Don’t forget to layer up. To save money on your heating bills, wrap up warm around the house and invest in some cosy slippers. Keep the temperature of the house at a reasonable level, and keep blankets on standby!
Tip 7: Eat right
Keep yourself warm with food! Making hot chocolate or hot soup will ensure your mind is kept off the cold, and it can help you keep warm from within. Winter is the perfect time for hearty food too—from stews to porridge—so now is the time to get cooking.
Tip 8: Maintain your boiler
Ensure you have your boiler and appliances checked regularly. Every gas appliance should be checked once a year by a Gas Safe-registered engineer. Poorly maintained appliances can be extremely dangerous, so arrange a check as quickly as possible to ensure your boiler is working efficiently.
It’s worth considering taking out appliance cover, boiler insurance or home emergency cover for peace of mind. Homeowners can pay a hefty unexpected cost to call someone out to check on their boiler or central heating, especially during the colder months. We offer a range of cover insurance or one-off repairs. Have a look at our special offer boiler service, boiler repair and boiler replacement now!
Tip 9: Invest in a Smart Thermostat
Investing in a smart thermostat is a wise decision this winter. Not only will it save you money on your energy bills by reducing consumption, but it will also adjust to your home’s heating patterns. Additionally, it can give you greater control over your home’s temperature, creating a more comfortable and energy-efficient environment.
Tip 10: Always stay prepared for power cuts.
Power cuts are quite regular during the winter. So it’s better to be prepared rather than sorry. What you need to do to prepare for power cuts is to do the following:
- Get a power bank to keep your necessary electrical gadgets charged, including laptops, mobile phones, smartwatches, and rechargeable flashlights.
- Check your food supplies and stock up on non-perishable foods and bottled water to ensure you are prepared for any emergency. Consider what you already have on hand, such as an outdoor grill, to cook with during a winter power outage. If you don’t have access to a grill, there are still plenty of options, including dried fruit, nuts, cereals, instant coffee, powdered milk, and canned goods. By stocking up on these items, you can ensure that you and your family are safe and secure in an emergency.
- Lastly, ensure that all doors and windows are securely closed. Gather essential items such as flashlights, candles, and lanterns to provide light in a power outage. Additionally, it is essential to switch off any electrical items such as televisions, gaming systems, microwaves, and washing machines to avoid potential damage.