Hot Water, Heating, Boiler and Energy Saving Advice

There are plenty of things that can go wrong around the home, but when your boiler or heating stop working it can be a real catastrophe. No hot water or heating, especially in the winter months, can throw a real spanner in the works.

Thankfully, when your hot water or heating stop working, there are things you can do!

Boiler Tips: How to check if your boiler is working?

If you are suspicious that your boiler might be the culprit, we’d recommend you to investigate.

Before you pick up the phone and decide to call your local plumbing and heating engineer however, we’d advise you to follow these steps:

If the light on your boiler is on, then you still have electricity.

Check that the meter valve is open and the valve under the boiler is open. If you aren’t sure, try checking any other gas appliances (such as your cooker), to see if they still work.

If the gauge is between 1.0 and 1.5 then the pressure is correct. Check for sploshing sounds inside and make a note of the sound before you call.

If the pipe has frozen then you’ll need to pour warm water over the whole pipe until it thaws out.

If you are still unsure whether or not your boiler is working, feel free to contact us and we can talk to you about your heating and/or boiler issues.

Heating Tips: How to save energy?

If you are looking to reduce the amount you spend on gas and electricity bills, please read our list of top tips for saving energy:

  • Get a room stat fitted – Without one, your boiler will certainly use more energy.
  • Turn your stat down – Try turning it right down to 1 degree C, rather than leaving it on 17-22 (average). If your home is still comfortable to live, there’s no reason for it to be so high.
  • Put more clothes on – Put the heating on and spend money or put more clothes on for free? This is a no brainer… You could even take the chilly opportunity to snuggle under a blanket with a loved one.
  • Check your loft insulation – This will make sure the heat stays in your home, rather than exiting through the roof.
  • Improve radiator efficiency – By fitting reflective sheets behind the radiator, you can make sure the heat bounces back into the room, rather than heating up the walls.
  • Have your boiler serviced – Boiler servicing will make sure the settings on your boiler are right, and that it is running smoothly. A boiler service will help you to save money in the long run as minor faults can be detected before they turn into major faults.
  • Turn electricity off at the plug – TV’s and other appliances left on standby will still use energy. Turn them off at the wall while you sleep or while you are out the house.
  • Speak to your energy supplier – There might be a reason why your energy bill is so high each month. It’s worth speaking to them or asking other suppliers for quotes.
  • Check for deals – If your supplier charges less for ‘off peak’ times then why not take advantage of this? Try using all powerful machines (such as your washing machine and tumble dryer) during the off-peak times. If it helps to keep some money in your pocket, it’s another no brainer in our eyes.

Frequently Asked Questions

A: When there is air trapped near the top of your radiator, it will need venting out. When this happens, it can make mean the radiator is warmer towards the top and colder at the bottom. Follow these steps:

  • Making sure the radiators are cold so you don’t burn yourself.
  • Get a tea towel and a vent key, the tools you will need for the job.
  • Make sure the pressure of your boiler is at or around 1.5 bars.
  • Proceed to bleed both your upstairs and downstairs radiators.

A: If you are unsure how to bleed a radiator, you will need to follow these steps:

  1. Hold a tea towel underneath or around the vent and apply the key.
  2. Unlock the vent by twisting the key anticlockwise half a turn.
  3. If water comes out, shut the vent, the radiator is OK.
  4. If air comes out the vent, continue to bleed until water appears. Then close the vent again.
  5. Return to your boiler and set it to 1.5 bars again.
  6. Repeat steps 1-5 for all the downstairs radiators.
  7. Repeat steps 1-5 for all the upstairs radiators.

To keep on top of your radiators, you should bleed them at least once a year, especially if they aren’t heating through properly.

A: This is because the average temperature of the water passing through your boiler in the winter is much cooler than water passing through in the warmer summer months. In the summer average temperatures can be around 15 degrees celcius, compared to just 6 in the winter months.

As you can imagine, your boiler will need to work harder to heat the water up in the colder months. Try turning up the hot water temperatures to the max setting on your boiler (if it isn’t already) and turn down the flow rate of your tap. This means the water will have more time to get hot as it takes a longer time to pass through.

How can we help?

Solutions Plumbing are here to help in any way we can. Whether you are having hot water, heating or boiler problems, we can assist you moving forward. Our plumbing and heating engineers offer a range of services that includes boiler installation and servicing, as well as central heating repairs and installations.

Feel free to call us if you would like us to visit your property or if you want a repair/installation quote. We hope to hear from you soon.