1. Stop your home losing heat
•Did you know your home loses a third of its heat through the walls? Insulating wall cavities could save you around £110 a year, and insulating your loft could also save you up to £145. British Gas is currently offering free loft and cavity wall insulation for its customers, click here for more information: http://www.britishgas.co.uk/freeinsulation
•Hang heavy, lined curtains at windows to help keep the heat in and close them as soon as it starts getting dark. If you have Venetian blinds tilt the blades so they face down.
•Make sure all of your home’s windows and doors seal properly to stop warm air escaping. For those that don’t, fitting draft excluders, which you can buy from most DIY stores, is a quick and cheap way to cut down on your energy bills.
2. Make sure your radiators are working properly
•If your radiators have cold spots, this means you have air in the system, so you will need to bleed them to get them working efficiently.
•To do this, turn the system off and then turn the radiator key until the air stops and water runs consistently. Once you have turned the system back on, the problem should be solved.
3. Closely control the temperature of your home
•Make sure your timer is set to coincide with your schedule, to ensure your radiators only come on when you need them to.
•Ensure your thermostat isn’t set too high – the optimum temperature is around 21c. Turning your thermostat down by just one degree saves around £60 a year, according to the Energy Saving trust.
•Radiator Valves allow you to control the temperature of every room independently, which means you could save money by not heating every room of your house unnecessarily. These are sensitive to temperature, so do not cover the valve with anything.
4. Insulate your pipes
•Burst pipes were a huge issue for UK households during the cold spell last winter. To help prevent burst pipes, ensure all pipes are properly insulated using lagging, which can be bought cheaply from most DIY shops.
•Not only can this help prevent burst pipes, but insulating hot water pipes can also save you around £15 per year, according to Energy Saving Trust.
British Gas’ HomeCare range, covers everything from boilers and radiators through to internal plumbing and external drains and even your home’s electrics. The service offers customers a comprehensive service with the unlimited call outs, no hidden charges for parts or labour and the expertise of British Gas’ fully qualified engineers, who fix 95% of boilers on the first call out.
British Gas has put together some practical advice on what you can do if things go wrong:
1.What do I do if my central heating and hot water stop working?
•Firstly, check to see that there are no other causes – are the other gas appliances and electric sockets working?
•Check your isolation switches are on and that the trip switches in your fuse box are also on.
•If you are a pre-pay customer, you should also check that you are not out of credit.
•Check your thermostat – it may simply be a case of turning it up.
•Check appliance controls on your boiler, is the temperature dial turned up?
•Your boiler pressure should read between 1-2 bar – If the pressure is too low, carefully turn on the valves next to your boiler until you see your pressure gage rise.
•Reset your boiler’s timer. If you’re not sure how to set it, check the manufacturers guide.
•Check your boiler’s pilot light – if you have a pilot light and it has gone out, check the manufacturer’s instructions as to how to relight it.
2. What do I do if the pipe on my boiler freezes?
•Condensing boilers create condensation as a by-product, which runs through the condensate pipe. In extreme weather, this pipe can freeze and cause the boiler to shut down.
•To thaw the condensate pipe, dilute some boiling water from your kettle with some cold water, (never use boiling water directly) and pour this water into a hot water bottle and cushion it around the pipes or use a watering can to pour hot water over the pipe to thaw.
3.What can I do about frozen pipes?
•First, locate your main stop tap. It is usually under the kitchen sink or in a utility room closest to where the water supply enters your property.
•Apply a hot water bottle to the pipe, towel soaked in hot water or use a hairdryer in short bursts and held at a distance. Please note you should never use a naked flame near the pipes or apply constant intense heat.
If you are ever unsure, British Gas always has professional help on hand. Click here for more information www.britishgas.co.uk/Homecare <http://www.britishgas.co.uk/Homecare> or call 0800 524 4282.
For British Gas’ handy ‘How To’ videos, visit: http://www.youtube.com/user/britishgas?feature=mhee#p/c/3/oL9G_P8b0ow <http://www.youtube.com/user/britishgas?feature=mhee#p/c/3/oL9G_P8b0ow>