Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Check Your Boiler Is Winter-Ready

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Check Your Boiler Is Winter-Ready

Article excerpt

THE clocks go back tonight - another reminder that winter is on its way. With up to 12 million boilers breaking down in any given year according to energy supplier npower, many homeowners are worrying they could be left with a chilling repair.

Having sat unnoticed for the past six months, it's not uncommon for boilers to experience problems when the heating is first switched back on. There are some simple steps which might mean you do not have to call an expert.

Emily Stagg, marketing manager for npower hometeam 50, which provides boiler and central heating care, said: "Because homeowners don't pay a lot of attention to their boilers through the summer, it can be tempting to call out an engineer at the first sign of trouble.

"We would never encourage people to tinker with their boiler if they suspect a breakdown, but there are some simple checks that could help solve the problem before they call for help. If homeowners follow these simple steps, they could help save themselves some money this winter."

Before calling a plumber or engineer, follow this checklist: Is your boiler on? THIS might sound obvious, but many engineers get called to boiler "breakdowns" where the boiler has simply been switched off or the gas and electricity supply to the home has stopped working. Check your supply is still up and running.

Then check to see if your pilot light is on.

If your pilot light has gone out, you should be able to relight or reset the boiler manually. Look at your user guide for instructions.

Get to know your boiler MAKE sure you know how your boiler and central heating system works by reading through the user guide. Has the temperature on your thermostat been turned down too low? Or is your thermostat programmed incorrectly? Prevent a freeze-up CONDENSING boilers proved one of the biggest problems last winter. This is due to the fact that most of them have a condensate pipe that runs outside the house and is prone to freezing. …

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