Gazette: Trade plumbing header


Preparing Your Boiler and Heating System for the Summer Months

It might feel as though summer may never actually share it’s shining beams of warmth with us this year, as this perpetually chilly weather appears as though it doesn’t want to loosen it’s cold grip. Though, we must remain optimistic that we are going to get some nice, warm weather soon.

As one act of defiance to the cold conditions we still find ourselves within, you could prepare your home boiler for the summer months, so there are no mishaps when it finally comes back around to those brisk September evenings.

Repairing a boiler can be an expensive process, so every step taken to maintain it is an investment in time and money. A number of minor steps that have a great effect on your boilers performance can be taken by you, personally.

One way to keep your boiler and heating system in tip-top working condition is to run it a few times over the months you are not using it. This will stop the fluid in the radiators and hot water cistern from seizing up and not working.

It is always advisable to keep your heating system on all year round, just turn the thermostat down to around ten degrees in the summer months. This way, if God forbid, we have another cold patch, then you’re home will not feel the full extent of it.

You may need a little helping hand to help in the maintenance of your boiler. It is a good idea to get a professional to clean your boiler, this is due to the fact that soot can collect in your heating system’s pipes which can cause erosion. Getting your heating system cleaned is a relatively cost-effective procedure, and is far more financially viable than having to replace eroded pipes.

Having your boiler cleaned also means that it will work far more efficiently, leading to savings on your energy bills. A good, clean boiler can work almost 30% more efficiently than one that has not been serviced or cleaned in any manner.

By taking these small steps you will be aiding you and your boiler in having a much happier, efficient and warmer life, with plenty of longevity. Now all you need to do is wait for the sun to make his belated appearance.



Central Heating - Thermostats

The word ‘Thermostat’ originally derived from Greek words, with thermos meaning ‘hot’ and statos meaning ‘a standing’. When reading an article on thermostats and central heating, the etymology of language  is probably low down on the list of things you wanting to know; however, these Greek words do hold some bearing in understanding a thermostat.

A thermostat is a control unit that senses the temperature of a heating system, so that a temperature can be maintained to a desired set point. This explaining the brief etymology lesson.

In homes across the country the most common type of thermostat to be found is a mechanical thermostat. The technology involved within these thermostats is rather quite interesting.

The way in which mechanical thermostats work is the use of something called a bimetallic strip. This is where two strips of different metal, such as copper and iron are bonded together. As the temperature changes the metals expand or contract, due to the different qualities of the two metals. This causes the strip to bend, Once the strip has bent enough to touch an electrical component, also in the thermostat, this will complete the electrical circuit which in result turns the heating or cooling system on. Once the temperature changes enough for the strip to go back to its original shape, this breaks the electrical circuit and the system switches off.

Sometimes in your home, certain places and rooms will heat faster than the room with the actual thermostat in and your lovely, cosy warmth that you desired may become rather uncomfortably hot. This is where a heat anticipator would be ideal for you. A heat anticipator shuts off the thermostat a little while before your thermostat reaches its desired temperature, thus maintaining that nice, cosy feeling.

Setting a mechanical thermostat is rather straight forward, in that it beholds a dial that has an abundance of numbers printed on it that corresponds to the temperature, simply turn the dial until an arrow or line just the other side of the numbers is pointing to your preferred heat.

There are also other thermostats aside from the canny mechanical ones previously aforementioned. An alternative to mechanical thermostats are digital ones, these are popular in new build or newly decorated homes.

A digital thermostat works differently to it’s mechanical cousin in that it uses digital sensors to monitor the temperature within the house rather than the physical bimetallic strip. The sensors will turn on or off the heating system at the determined temperature set by you. A digital thermostat possesses a screen and also buttons for you to set the desired temperature of your home. A digital thermostat is also generally battery powered.

Here is your insider’s guide to the insides of a thermostat. It’s rather interesting what goes on in that tiny little box stuck to your wall. You will never look at it in the same way again…