WALSALL, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - Jan. 18, 2013) - With ice and snow being a popular topic of conversation this week, HomeServe have put together some tips to help you stay safe and cosy during this chilly weather.
Try positioning raised stakes on the edge of your driveway so that you can clearly see where it ends. This will help you avoid digging up your garden when trying to clear snow from your driveway.
Why not try using cat litter as an alternative to salt to clear ice off your paths? It won't kill your plants, which salt tends to do.
Ponds in winter
Place a tennis ball into your pond before it freezes over, then remove it once the ice has formed. This will let oxygen into the water, ensuring that your fish survive the cold spell.
Look after your boiler
Boiler breakdown? If your boiler's playing up, there's a few simple checks you can carry out to try and get it running smoothly again. Firstly, check your gas supply. If your stopcock is on but no gas is coming through, you'll need to contact your gas supplier. Next, check your pilot light. If it's gone out you may be able to reset it by following the manufacturer's instructions. Finally, double check that your timer is set correctly. If it is but your boiler's still not working, you may have a problem with your power source. If in doubt, always contact a boiler expert for advice or consider taking out boiler cover.
Place some aluminium foil between the radiator and the wall. This will reflect the heat back into the room, meaning your home will feel warmer without you having to turn up your heating.
Draught proof your windows
Sealing draughts in windows is one of the cheapest and most efficient ways of saving energy in a building, particularly ahead of the coming winter months. For windows that open, apply draught-proofing strips that stick around the window frame. If your window doesn't open, use a silicon sealant instead.
Exposed wooden floors are now extremely fashionable but winter draughts can often penetrate them making your home colder. It's best to insulate the floorboards from underneath, to help keep the heat in and the cold out, but if you don't have easy access from a cellar this can be a disruptive task. You can lessen the draughts coming through by mixing sawdust with glue and filling in the gaps between the boards, or even fixing in place small lengths of matching wood.
Bleed your radiators
To bleed your radiator, ensure there's still warm water still in the system and then turn-off the central heating. Add a square valve key into the bleed valve (normally located at the top end of the radiator) and, with a cloth loosely wrapped around the key, turn the bleed a half turn anti-clockwise. The radiator should expel a hissing sound. When the radiator starts to drip water, turn it a half turn clockwise, ensuring that you don't over tighten. If the central heating system is sealed, check the pressure and top up as required (often 1 bar but always check the instructions).
Important information regarding HomeServe help and advice
HomeServe try to make the home advice as useful and reliable as possible. However, the purpose of HomeServe help and advice content is to provide homeowners and private landlords with general guidance and useful tips only. It doesn't necessarily deal with every important topic or cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals and might not be relevant or appropriate in all circumstances. It is not designed to provide professional advice or financial advice and should not be relied on as such. The full disclaimer regarding HomeServe help and advice can be found on the website at the following page: http://www.homeserve.com/help-advice/disclaimer.
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