Autumn is a season of change. The landscape changes from the beautiful lush colours of summer with many shades of green, to the more brooding and sombre reds, oranges and golden yellows of autumn. The weather starts to change too with temperatures often lowering, an increased amount of cloud and rain and the hours of daylight lessening. During the autumn months (widely considered to be September, October and November) it is important to maintain your home and perform checks on your heating systems to ensure any problems are sorted. If you do not, it will be winter before you know it and as we know winter can be unforgiving.
Radiators – A brief summary
Radiators are heating systems that are stationed at various points in your house to provide a flow of heat when the room reaches below a certain temperature (if it is on a thermostat). These self-contained systems are usually sealed and filled with hot water. This hot water then cools down as heat is given out into the environment and is passed out of a pipe as cold water to be circulated back into the boiler.
These heating systems are commonplace and it is easy to find more detailed information about them on the internet or from a gas or electric company. Problems that can arise with radiators mainly involve the circulation of water in the pipes and trapped air that can block the pipes causing the heat to not rise properly. Depending on weather your radiators are water based, or the older steam based, there may be additional problems that are relevant to either type of system only.
Other problems that can arise are the radiator valves that may need to be replaced, and this is always best done if you can before the heavy radiator usage of winter sets in.
What checks should you perform?
There are some simple checks you should perform on your radiators and boiler to ensure that your heating system is in working order or to identify any issues that need attention before the winter months;
1. Check for any leaks around the pipes both on the radiator and boiler.
2. Check the valves and stops on the radiators to ensure they are functional.
3. Bleed all of your radiators to ensure a proper circulation of water and to remove any trapped air.
4. Check the pressure gauge on your boiler (Should typically be between 1 – 1.5 bar).
5. Perhaps give the whole heating system a test to ensure proper heat flow.
If you make a list of the above and check them all out during the Autumn months then you should be able to identify any problems in your heating system and get them sorted well in advance of the cold winter season. It is much more prudent to find and solve any issues with your radiators BEFORE the cold weather hits your home, rather than be stuck with no heating or let the problems grow worse. Be safe and be prepared!