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Cold weather heating advice

We have these tips to help get the most of your heating during spells of very cold weather:

  • Always ensure there is sufficient gas and electricity credit on your meter to allow the heating to run.
  • Regularly check all the taps in your home during the winter months. If little or no water flows, there may be frozen water in the pipes.
  • If you are away from home in the winter, set the central heating to come on for a short period each day to prevent pipes from freezing.
  • Find out where the mains water stopcock is, and make sure it turns off easily. If your pipes do freeze, turn the water off and thaw them out slowly with hot water bottles. Never use a heat gun or blow torch.

See our tips for looking after your condensing boiler:

Freezing winter weather can bring problems for condensing boilers. They can sometimes shut down if the condensate pipe freezes – and leave your home without heating just when you need it most.

The outlet pipe for the condensate may be outside your home if there's no room for it inside. If so, cold temperatures can freeze the condensate in the pipe and cause a blockage. And this can shut your boiler down.

Usually, there'll be a fault code on the boiler's display or an alarm will sound, but the most obvious sign may be that you have no hot water or heating.

How to prevent your condensate pipe from freezing:

  • Leave your heating on overnight at a lower temperature to keep the condensate warm. Although this uses energy, your boiler will take less time to heat up your home in the morning.
  • Set your boiler thermostat to a higher temperature. This will use more energy and so reduce the amount of condensate. Only do this if you have radiators rather than underfloor heating. Be careful – the radiators will get very hot.
  • If you do change any heating settings, remember to return them to normal once the cold spell is over.
  • These steps may not prevent freezing in extreme weather conditions.

Last updated Friday, 23rd November 2018

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