Well, faithful readers, the summer could not last forever! As far away as that glorious heatwave cast our thoughts of the impending gloom, winter is almost upon us. And so we welcome you to the Only Radiators ultimate guide to preparing the home for winter.
All it takes is a few simple checks to ensure you are not caught off-guard when the cold sets in and plumbers are backlogged with a list of bookings as long as their arm, leaving you and your loved ones to shiver.
If you have been putting off replacing one or two radiators that you know are on the way out, why not have a browse of our expansive online store and grab a fantastic new radiator or one of many thousands of home heating components while there is still time?
In the meantime, fortune favours the prepared – so let’s get your home winter-ready…
Bleeding radiators is the first thing that we recommend doing when winter-proofing your home. Why bleed radiators?
Well, like any system containing running liquid, radiators are susceptible to internal build-ups that can clog and affect the performance of your home heating.
By bleeding your radiators you improve their performance and increase their lifespan. Keep loved ones with the sniffles that bit more comfortable and ensure you aren’t worried about having to crank up the temperature too high as heating bills rise in conjunction with the temperature.
Gain some brownie points and flex your DIY muscles using our simple guide to ensure that your radiators are freshly bled before winter arrives in force. Lucky for you, here’s a comprehensive guide that we prepared for you on how to do exactly that.
Cleaning Out Gutters
The outside of your home also requires a little TLC in the lead-up to winter and cleaning out gutters is one vital element of that. Gutters will get clogged up with leaves, branches and all manner of gunk throughout the year – especially in autumn as the trees shed – and temperature shifts throughout the winter months can easily result in gutters becoming clogged or fully blocked.
You may be fine if this occurs but if there is too much of a build-up then you can well expect the gutter to start leaking into the roof. And that is the last thing you want as Christmas comes!
So avoid decorating your home with buckets for catching drips by cleaning out those gutters ahead of time. And you needn’t venture up there if you’re scared of heights – there are many local handymen who will do this for you at very agreeable rates.
Somewhat similar to bleeding radiators, flushing radiators can be performed periodically to effectively reset the performance of your radiators. IA radiator flush is a great trick to perform ahead of winter for the same reasons of improved efficiency and minimised heating bills.
Imagine, if you will, that your radiators are like blood vessels circulating throughout your body – if you do not look after them then all of the bad stuff inside them builds up, sometimes to the point of a serious blockage.
If you find cold spots across the surface of your radiator or that your radiators are taking longer to heat up then you may well benefit from a full radiator flush. Not sure how to flush radiators?
We’ve got you covered in our simple guide on doing exactly that. The benefits are plentiful, including quicker heating radiators, lower heating costs and more uniform room heating, as well as avoiding expensive power flushes further down the line and improving the safety of your boiler – both terrible issues to encounter in the depths of winter.
Get a Thermostatic Radiator Valve
A thermostatic radiator valve or TRV for short is a useful addition to home heating systems that enables your radiators to accurately detect the ambient temperature of their surroundings and adjust their heat output accordingly. Just as you do not want your house to get too cold in winter, you don’t want it too hot either – a TRV provides that peace of mind. Keep separate rooms heated just right and make sure you don’t go overboard on those heating bills. They’re also fantastic during the hotter seasons when you head out for a weekend away and forget to turn off your radiators.
Adding TRVs to your home heating system is an easy fix – simply replace your existing radiator valves with your shiny new TRVs and welcome new levels of heat modulation.
If complementing a traditional décor, why not consider these Phoenix Oxford Thermostatic Angled Valves (left)? At £53.99 for a pair, these traditional radiator valves are chrome finished with a rustic wooden adjustor, featuring full CE approval and a reliable 5 year manufacturer guarantee.
And if your TRVs are destined to accent a modern interior, you might like these Phoenix Thermostatic Straight Radiator Valves (right) for £47.99 a pair. Their slick, rounded chrome bodies are perfect for a range of designer radiator types and their clear numbering makes adjustment super simple.
At Only Radiators we have a fantastic range of TRVs available, produced by a who’s who of the biggest and best names in home heating – find the perfect TRVs for your home now.
Remember to check that you select the right TRVs for full compatibility with your existing radiators, with most of our offerings available in at least one of the usual angled, straight, corner and H-block valve shape varieties. If you need any assistance just reach out to our support team right here.
Draught-proofing the Home
Now there’s no point equipping your home with our fantastic range of radiators and home heating components if you’re going to lose all of the wonderful heat to a few pesky draughts – so take this opportunity as autumn closes to draught-proof your home!
From windows that do not close flush to the back door that rests a tad ajar – these ignorable details during the summer quickly become an endless number of ways for precious home heating to be tempted out into the cold come winter. Seal up any obvious spaces, and ensure that latches and locks are closed to seal windows and doors as tightly as possible. Then consider some draught excluders such as these great ones by Notonthehighstreet.
Not only do they double as great cushions or playthings for your pets – Notonthehighstreet offers a personalisation service so that you can craft heartfelt messages for your loved ones, or simply write “Don’t forget to use me”!
Preparing for Stormy Weather
The cold is not the only dangerous aspect brought about by winter in the UK – there are occasions when storms can hit our shores and these can cause a lot of distress for homeowners.
Tie down or pack away garden furniture as well as swing sets, trampolines and other toys. The last thing you want is one of those crashing through the conservatory window! Group together lone plant pots to avoid them rolling away and smashing.
Most importantly, don’t be a hero and venture out if the forecast is dangerously stormy. Just stay inside and enjoy your wonderfully warm home!
Watch Those Pipes
Frozen pipes are one of the biggest potential catastrophes come winter time, with no plumber in sight and temperatures at rock bottom.
Do your best to prevent freezing by insulating your pipes and water tank, focusing on those exposed areas of pipe. Keep your heating running low throughout the winter so that the contents of your pipes are always slightly warm and avoid freezing spots. Run taps often to stimulate pipe flow, drain your water system and seal draughts around pipes.
And if your pipes do freeze, do not panic. Every thawing situation is unique but entirely possible to solve yourself, and incredibly satisfying when you do! It’s all right here in our handy blog!
Heated Towel Radiators
Creeping into a cold bathroom to get ready in the morning is one of the worst parts about winter. A nice warm bathroom for your morning routine can make a world of difference and set your day off with an entirely different vibe.
Make that vibe the norm with a new heated towel radiator such as this Brenton Sundoro Chrome Straight Heated Designer Towel Rail (left), a stylish and reliable chromed carbon steel radiator that is perfect for larger bathrooms, guaranteed for life and costs just £158.95.
Small bathrooms need heat too – achieve exactly that with the Brenton Avezzano Anthracite Flat Panel Heated Towel Rail (right), which for £89.99 puts out just the right BTU amount for smaller bathrooms, and is presented in a gorgeous dual fuel compatible design with incredibly stylish anthracite finish.
Check out our full range of heated towel rails right here.
Get the Fabrics Out!
Radiators are fantastic – call us biased if you like – but we totally appreciate that there is nothing quite like digging your toes into a lovely thick rug or snuggling down in your favourite blanket.
Get inventive this winter to minimise your heating bills and hark back to those childhood times by creating sofa palaces teeming with warm and welcoming fabrics. And why not even power up a new electric blanket? They’re a wonderful tool for cold nights or when waiting for large rooms to heat up!
Prepare for Power Cuts
The unpredictable UK winter weather is well-known for causing power cuts. And of course, winter power cuts always happen when you least expect them, or when they are least welcome.
Stock your cupboard with some power cut essentials so that you can make the best of a bad situation if you are unlucky enough to get caught out. Some winter spiced scented candles, spare batteries for torches, snacks and a camping stove for some lovely soup will all help you turn an inconvenience into a power cut party!
Keep it Warm
The Met Office recommends that we keep our homes heated to a minimum of 18°c for the sake of our bodies. If we get too cold then our blood thickens in consistency and blood pressure increases, as does risk of chest infections and other maladies.
This is of especial risk to older people so ensure your family avoids any adverse health conditions this winter by keeping your home sufficiently toasty.
Similar to our point about power cuts, take the time before winter comes to stock up on all of the essentials that will benefit your family if you get snowed in this winter. You may think that it’s not worth it with the trusty local convenience store just a 5 minute walk away but that simple stroll can become a precarious mission once snow and ice descend upon your neighbourhood.
You needn’t start running around stripping shelves like those crazed sorts on TV preparing for the apocalypse but it won’t hurt – and may in fact be incredibly appreciated – if you chuck a few extra pints of milk and loaves of bread in the freezer before the world outside takes on the same conditions.
Winter Ready with Only Radiators
We hope our preparing for winter tips have been helpful and that they help keep you and your family warm. It is incredibly easy to overlook any of these basic steps so if we have helped jog your memory, encouraged you to get preparing or shared a tip new to you then we are delighted!
And don’t forget that the Only Radiators team is always here to help, whatever the query. Just get in touch with us here and we will be happy to chat through your issue with you.
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