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BOXT's tips for winter

Over the summer, you probably haven't had your boiler switched on much - maybe switching it on for the odd couple of rainy days. But now winter is right around the corner, you may start noticing your heating and hot water isn’t as efficient as it used to be - which can be stressful without the right help. 

So we thought it’d be a good idea to give you some useful advice for the cold winter days ahead, and the best way to make sure that your winter is a warm winter. Avoid the stress of a broken boiler; just follow these top tips. 

Freshen up your thermostat.

Upgrade your home with the latest smart thermostat technology. Technophobes, you may have your worries - but once you’re all set up smart technology is surprisingly simple to use. A popular smart thermostat amongst BOXT customers is The Google Nest Learning Thermostat. This gadget allows you to create heating schedules and control temperature via an app on your mobile device. 

The Nest Learning Thermostat is perfect for regulating your heating as well. Thanks to it’s slick, modern look - if you place it somewhere you walk past frequently, you’ll know exactly what temperature it is at all times. It’s clear interface means you’ll be able to read the temperature from the other side of a room. 

You’ll always have an eye on the temperature. Whether it’s on the mobile app or just glancing over at the Nest Learning Thermostat, you’ll save money on energy bills as you’ll know when your heating is on, off, high, or low. Have full control over your heating system. 

Check up on your boiler pressure. 

It’ll only take a couple of seconds and it could save you a lot of hassle. Examining your boiler’s pressure level is a must as it will give you a good idea of what state your heating is in. If the gauge is in the red zone (too high or too low) then your hot water and heating will cut off. 

Don’t panic, though - this can happen sometimes and your pressure will simply need topping up. If this happens regularly, then it may be a sign that you’ve had a leaky radiator or in the worst case you’ll need to start thinking about a new boiler. 

Time for an annual service?

If you haven’t had your boiler serviced this year, it’d be a good idea to get that done as soon as possible. Not only does an annual boiler service ensure your manufacturer’s warranty remains valid, but it also provides you with the peace of mind that your heating system is working as it should be.  

Once you have a service, the Gas Safe registered engineer will let you know if there is something wrong with your boiler. They'll be able to spot an issue even before anything damaging to your system has happened. 

Get the latest boiler. 

Unfortunately, old boilers become vulnerable in cold weather. If you’ve had your boiler for over 15 years, it may be time to think about getting a new one before the frost arrives. New boilers are more efficient than what they used to be. They’re all condensing now, which means they use less energy to heat up your home. Less energy means lower energy bills. 


Full proof your home. 

A great way of keeping your home nice and warm during the cold is to reduce any drafts. You can do this by insulating the roof, walls, window sashes, and door frames. This is a great way to lower your heating costs as you won’t need your heating on so high.

Keep your house at a comfortable temperature.

It’s quite easy to let your heating spiral out of control. Having it higher than is necessary could cost you when those energy bills come out at the end of the month. Wherever you spend most of your time at home during the day, the temperature should be around 21°C (70°F). The rest of your home should be at least 18°C so you’re always warm.


Still cold? Turn the heating on.

Don't be afraid to put the heating on, just try and keep the temperature consistent. Check your thermostat and timer on your heating system so the temperature is constant all day and night. This makes sure that your home is at a comfortable temperature throughout the day rather than having the thermostat unnecessarily high. 


Keep the heating on overnight.

It may seem obvious, but this is one of the best ways to stay warm and to protect your well being. The temperature is coldest just before dawn, which means it might also be a good idea to set a timer for your heating to come on at around 5-6am. You could also double check that your bedroom window is closed at night and close curtains at dusk to ensure the heat is kept in. 

Seek financial support. 

Don’t let finances stop you from turning your heating on during those cold winter evenings. It's estimated that over 3.4 million households in the UK are living in fuel poverty. Older people and those with long-term or chronic illnesses are among the most vulnerable groups, which makes heating an absolute essential. It’s important that you make sure you get any financial support you’re entitled to for energy bills as this could have a huge benefit to your health. 

Be prepared for anything.

Why not make a list of emergency numbers? If things do go awry - you’ll know exactly who to call. It can be useful to have numbers such as, electric and gas companies in a telephone book or on your mobile. That way, you’ll be contacting the right people when you need them the most and you’ll be ready for any crisis winter throws at you.

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