Are you worried about how the cold weather will impact your home?
Read on to find out how you can prepare.
Did you know you might be able to access financial support? If you are on certain benefits or over 65, you may be entitled to help with your heating bills. Find out more at: www.gov.uk/cold-weather-payment
Protect your belongings
Insure your contents for theft, loss or damage. Use a comparison site to find the best deal and always check the policy wording to ensure you get the right level of cover for your belongings.
A boiler breakdown can be miserable, especially when it’s cold outside. Before you call for help, take a look through the issues below to see if there is a simple fix.
Central heating systems can vary in specification, but we've listed some of the most common and general fixes.
- Is your boiler switching itself off?
- Is the central heating making banging sounds?
- Are all the radiators heating up correctly?
If you are experiencing any of the above issues - depending on the type of central heating system your home has - it could mean your boiler has low pressure.
On some boilers, you can check the pressure gauge on your boiler control panel. If it reads less than 1 bar, carefully use your valve to increase it to between 1 and 1.5. Finally, reset the boiler to see if this has resolved the issue.
If the issue persists, it's time to get in an engineer.
Issues with your thermostat
- Has your boiler not come on when it should or is it coming on irregularly?
- Is your boiler not firing up?
- Does it have an error code?
If you are experiencing any of the above, it could mean you have and issue with the thermostat. Please double check that your timer setting has not changed. This may occur if you have recently had a power cut.
Check your boiler’s thermostat setting is above 21℃ – settings below this may not fire up the boiler – and adjust it if possible.
If there is no display on the thermostat at all then it may need new batteries.
- There is no visible pilot light on your boiler?
- Your boiler is not firing up?
If the pilot light on your boiler has gone out you can try reigniting it by following the instructions on your boiler.
Please do not try to reignite the pilot light if you smell gas or notice burn marks on or around the boiler. Contact the emergency gas line on 0800 111 999.
If the pilot light keeps going out, it's time to get in an engineer.
During very cold snaps, keep your heating on low when you’re not at home to avoid water pipes from freezing.
Be aware that the following issues could be a sign of frozen pipes:
- Your heating is making a gurgling sound when in use.
- There is no or little water coming from a tap or the toilet is flushing slowly.
- Your boiler is not powering up.
If you have any of the above symptoms, please make sure your condensate pipe is not frozen before contacting the repair line.
- Turn off your main water stop tap. The stopcock will normally be located under your sink.
- Move or protect anything near the waterpipe to avoid damage if it bursts. In the unlikely event the pipe does burst, please make sure the water is turned off (step one) and any excess water is mopped up.
- Open the nearest tap to allow water to run out as it thaws.
For inside pipes: thaw the ice in the pipe with a hot water bottle working your way along from the top end.
For outside pipes: your boiler condensing pipe can usually be found on the external wall to where your boiler is placed. Thaw the pipe using hot water makes sure it is not boiling.
Please make sure the water to the property is turned off as soon as possible. Try and mop up any excess water to minimize possible damage.
If you have a prepayment metre, please ensure that there is credit it on it.
Consider the following if the power goes out;
- Are the street lights on outside?
- Have any of your neighbours got power?
- Do any of the electrical appliances have power to them?
If you answer NO to all of the above then it is likely you are experiencing a power cut.
Call 105 from your mobile or landline and you will be automatically directed to the network distributor’s emergency number for your area.
If there has not been a power cut you can take the following steps;
- Check your fuse board to ensure that it has not tripped.
- If you can’t identify the area of the problem, you will have to unplug everything in your house, and then plug everything back in again one at a time.
Condensation and mould
A mix of central heating, cold weather and drying washing inside often creates condensation, which can result in mould forming. Mould is not good for you and your family’s health.
You can learn more about how to prevent mould and condensation in our repairs tool by clicking here.
Have yourself a fire free Christmas
Read up on the latest safety advice from the London Fire Brigade.
Whilst we don't encourage letting fireworks at home, we want you to stay safe. Read up on the latest advice.