Cold Weather Approaches


The weatherman tells us that a very cold spell is on its way and we could see the worst winter since 1947.  Apart from making sure you have your snow boots, bobble hat and sledge, there are a few things you should consider about your house.

A couple of years ago, I lost count of the number of home owners that had replaced their boiler just a few months before moving house – not only that, but they were replacing modern boilers.  Why?  Because they hadn’t insulated their condensate pipe from their boiler.  The cold weather had resulted in this freezing and before they knew it, their boiler was broken.

I’m sure a plumber out there will tell me that they probably didn’t need to replace the whole boiler, but my point is, before the cold spell hits us, make sure you lag all water pipes that are in unheated parts of your house (i.e. the roof space, garage or other outbuilding) or outside your house (i.e. plastic condensate pipes or warning pipes from tanks and water softeners).  Check your cold water and boiler expansion tanks.  Are they insulated?  This sort of thing is not expensive to do, but a burst pipe or broken boiler will be very expensive.

Since we’re on the subject, why not also upgrade the insulation in your loft.  Most people only have 100mm thick insulation quilt.  Doubling this, will have a big impact on reducing heat loss.  Or you could insulate your cavity walls (if you have them and it’s appropriate).  With rising fuel prices, this sort of action now could even help save you money in the long run, and it’s usually better to do it before the cold weather as opposed to after.

Hopefully, the snow will be fun for all those who enjoy it and not too disasterous for those not looking forward to it.  Stay safe on the roads and keep warm in your houses.

Phil


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