Winter is coming: How to prep your heating for first use

Winter is coming: How to prep your heating for first use

With the thought of winter’s imminent approach on the horizon our minds turn from keeping the house cool for summer to instead keeping it toasty and warm for the cooler months ahead - here we look at what you should do when turning on your heating for the first time.

Now turning on your heating sounds simple enough, it’s just a flick of a switch… right? WRONG! Never assume it’s going to be as simple as that - if your heating has been off and asleep for the last several months then it’s going to need some waking up, just like we all do in the morning, your heating system is no different after waking up from a long slumber.


Steps you should take when switching on your heating system for winter

1. Get your boiler serviced

A boiler service will help to keep your boiler in the best possible condition and keep it running as reliably and efficiently as possible - making sure it is ready for any weather. You give your car an annual MOT check so consider your boiler the engine for your home and pencil it in for an annual health check to make sure it’s operating correctly and any potential issues are detected and addressed as soon as possible.

2. Bleed the radiators

Not sure what bleeding the radiators means? Rest assured that this step requires no leeches and should be relatively blood free. Bleeding the radiators refers to removing any wayward air that may have made it into your system. You’ll need a towel or plumb tub at the ready to absorb or catch any water that could come out as you’ll be bleeding air from the radiator. To do this you’ll need a radiator bleed key or a universal radiator & valve key.

3. Check the thermostatic radiator valve (TRV)

What’s a thermostatic radiator valve I hear you ask? Well it’s that numbered knob thingy on the side of your radiator that you turn to change the flow of hot water to the radiator. If you’ve had a nice long warm spell and you’ve subsequently not used your heating and your TRVs have been closed for several months then it’s possible they could be stuck in that position and you may end up with a bit of a challenge on your hands to get them open again. If you find they’re stuck closed you can get them working properly by removing the TRV head from the valve body (sounds complicated but we promise you it isn’t!). Underneath you’ll find a small pin. Using the flat face of an adjustable spanner - like the ones in your home DIY plumbing repair kit, use your spanner to push the pin and and check it is moving freely up and down so to ensure it can open and close like it should. Once you’ve got it freely moving again so it can open and close properly, replace the TRV head and you’re good to go! Happen to be in the market for a new TRV? Well take a look at the different styles we have online. We have a wide variety of thermostatic radiator valves to suit any taste or budget.

4. Check your room thermostat

Sounds fairly obvious but if it hasn’t been used for any significant period of time like a whole summer season then it’s worth checking. When it comes to older room thermostats you’ll likely find that when you open and close it you’ll hear a clicking sound - try this and keep your ear out for the tell tale click. If however you have a digital room thermostat skip this as you won’t be able to check it for the tell tale clicking sound as they don’t have it. Thinking you might be needing a new thermostat after doing your check? Well we’ve got you covered with a range of heating controls and thermostats online.

Are you ready to turn your heating back on? I know we are! If however you have further Qs about anything you’ve read above or perhaps you have a query relating to heating that isn’t mentioned above, just give us a call on 01862 808040 - we’ll be happy to chat with you about all things plumbing and heating.

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