We can already feel the days getting shorter and the dark evenings getting longer. Brits are being advised to take extra safety precautions as temperatures are expected to plummet to -15C; the lowest in 30 years. With frost-biting temperatures on the cards for several weeks, rising energy costs are sure to make it an expensive time of year unless you get prepared in plenty of time. We’ve put together a few simple tips to get your home and business winter ready and save you from being left out in the cold.
Bleed your radiators
We’re all slowly giving in to cranking the central heating on, so now is the perfect time of year to give them a once over and make sure your radiators are in tip-top condition. This will not only ensure rooms are warming up adequately, but it could also help reduce your energy bills by improving their efficiency.
It might seem like a daunting task but it’s actually really easy. Before you begin, turn off your heating so you don’t burn yourself. You’ll need a cloth and bleed key at the ready. Then, at the top of the radiator, turn the valve anti-clockwise until you hear it hiss – this is only air, so don’t panic. Hold the cloth beneath to catch any drips. Once the water begins to flow, tighten up the valve and job’s a good’n, your radiator is bled!
Winter-proof your tyres
Making sure your vehicle tyres have sufficient tread is essential for them to grip rain and snow-masked roads. Tanks must also be topped up with antifreeze as per the manufacturer’s recommendations to help avoid breakages this winter.
Think ahead to fuel your business
If your business or home relies on heating oil, now is the best time to top up your tank to beat the winter rush and help you going cold during the ‘Polar Coaster’ that’s set to descend on Britain. In general, as the temperature drops, heating oil prices rise, due to an increase in demand.
If you use red diesel or diesel, remember that it differs in grade for summer and winter use. Using summer grade diesel in the cold weather can wreak havoc within your operations. Learn more about using the correct diesel grade in our blog.
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Give your oil tank some TLC
Be sure to check that your oil storage tank is secure in extreme conditions and sheltered from the elements. You must also consider emergency generators if necessary, which includes ensuring the fuel that powers the backup system is fit for use and has been recently tested by a registered company.
Service your boiler
Don’t leave it too late. It’s much more manageable to identify any issues now rather than in the middle of the Beast from the East. Remember, any gas work must be booked with a Gas Safe Registered Plumber.
Keeping all access points clear – not just on the road but also to fuel tanks and essential machinery will only make your life easier when it’s freezing cold outside.
The same applies to radiators. The foam in upholstered furniture is an extremely effective heat insulator and therefore prevents heat from circulating your room if they’re are covered up.
Clean your radiators
When did you last give your radiators some TLC? Did you notice any cold spots at the bottom, even though the heating is on full blast? This could imply that there’s a build up of sludge in your system which could prevent hot water from properly circulating and getting hot enough.
Keeping your pipes cosy with foam lagging insulation will ensure you don’t have to worry about them freezing in the cold and blocking and bursting pipes. This will also reduce heat loss from your hot water pipes and help you save money on your heating bill. Pipe insulation is easy to implement and can be bought from any DIY shop for just a few pounds.
Make sure your tank’s opening and seams are also sealed to prevent exposure to cold temperatures which could cause your heating oil to freeze and ultimately cause blockages.
Keep your boiler ticking over
Running your heating for at least an hour every day during the cold periods will help keep your property toasty and things running smoothly. Every boiler is different, but your manual will have information on how to set a schedule.
What’s more, reducing your thermostat by just 1°C could save you energy and up to £75 a year without noticing a real difference.
Keep the cold out
To avoid any cold winds flying through the traditionally draughty British Edwardian buildings, seal your windows, letter boxes, doors and even cat flaps with draught excluders and seal joints. They’re available online for just a few pounds, or you could even make them yourself if you’re feeling creative.
Another winter-proof tip is to install thermal curtains. A large amount of heat is lost through windows – thermal curtains are thicker than regular curtains and will help insulate rooms from the cold outside.
If your staff are working outside, they need to be suitably dressed and equipped so they can embrace the cold spurt. If your uniform isn’t geared towards the wintry weather, you could suggest wearing their own jumpers and coats, within reason of course. This will save you having to splash the cash on a whole new winter wardrobe.
Stay warm and happy heating
Here at Speedy Fuels, we’re dedicated to helping businesses and homes stay warm during winter. Get in touch today on 0330 123 5665 to find out how we can help.