Winter is coming.
And while we’re pretty sure it won’t be bringing White Walkers and the Long Night, Winter 2018 is set to be every bit as cold as last year, with blanket snowfall, sub-zero temperatures and treacherous ice predicted.
Freezing temperatures can play havoc with heating systems, just when they are needed the most.
Boiler breakdown is a big fear for householders – aside from the financial impact, the reality of going without hot water and heating is hard to contemplate.
So, what can heating engineers do to combat the winter cold?
The good news is that being one step ahead of mother nature benefits both customers and your business.
Boilers don’t have to be ticking time bombs! Encourage your customers to have their boilers checked at least annually and way before the cold sets in.
Annual servicing helps to ensure boilers are in good working order, ready for the increased usage over the winter months.
What can be done to mitigate the risk of frozen boiler condensate discharge?
Last year during the cold snap, many heating engineers reported an increase in call-outs to condensing (high efficiency) boilers where the condensate discharge pipe had frozen and become blocked with ice causing the boiler to shut down.
If you notice that a boiler condensate discharge pipe may be at risk of freezing – perhaps it runs externally or in an unheated space – then you should bring this to your customer’s attention.
HHIC have produced some useful guidance that you can download for more information, including a form that you can hand to your customer:
How can customers use their heating more efficiently?
As a heating professional, you are perfectly placed to educate your customers on how to get the most out of their heating systems:
Thermostatic Radiator Valves (TRV’s) – Recommending that TRV’s are fitted on radiators, offers customers greater control over the rooms they are heating.
Programmable thermostats –allowing customers to set the time, area and temperature they require. Turn the thermostat down by just one degree could see an 8 per cent saving on their heating bill.
Weather Compensation – now a standard with most new boilers; this technology monitors the outside temperature and adjusts central heating accordingly. It can save as much as 20 per cent on heating bills.
Bleed radiators – advise your customers that if they have a sealed system any air let out needs to be replaced with water using the filling loop. Keep them posted that if they call you or any other engineer to do this regularly, there is most probably a leak the needs attention.
Draught proofing – a relatively inexpensive way of saving cash is by investing in thick curtains for doors and windows, or anywhere where there is a draught.
If you need to refresh your boiler servicing knowledge, follow the link for more information about our Basic Heating System & Boiler Fault Finding Course.