How to Prepare Your Home Boiler for Winter

Monday 4th October 2021
by Homeforce

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Mon 4th October 2021

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Homeforce

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It’s hard to think about cooler autumn and winter days when you’re enjoying some late summer sunshine, and preparing your home for winter may seem like the furthest from your mind.

But for smart homeowners, making sure you’re upfront with your preparations before the winter weather sets in is a good move.

But what about your boiler? Many of us might be wondering what are the best ways to keep your boiler running smoothly when it turns colder …and more specifically, how to prepare your home boiler for winter.

Keep reading our helpful article which will give you the definitive answers. Starting with a quick summary.

Prepare your boiler for winter with a service and a clean. Renew your carbon monoxide detector. Regularly check boiler pressure within the green zone, ensure there is no trapped air in your radiators, check for dirty water. And to avoid boiler breakdown, insulate all pipes to prevent freezing.

OK, so with the brief nailed, let’s first start by looking at one of the main hacks to begin preparing your boiler for the long winter months.

Check your pressure

Our experienced heating engineers have found that one of the most common reasons for loss of heat is when the boiler pressure drops.

So how do you check that it’s ok?

Boiler pressure should be within the green zone

Most boilers generally have a pressure gauge with a green zone highlighted. This gauge will usually be between 1 and 1.5 bar.

It’s crucial that when your boiler is cold, your boiler pressure should be within this zone. The main outcome of low pressure in your boiler will be a lack of or reduced hot water supply.

Most boilers generally have a pressure gauge with a green zone highlighted.

Regularly check the boiler pressure

Our expert advice is to make sure you regularly check your boiler pressure, especially when preparing your boiler for winter.

Check the pressure is in the green zone. You can increase the pressure if it drops by using the ‘filling loop. The boiler filling loop is a small braided hose with a valve attached.

It can be easily located inside your boiler, which allows you to add additional water to the heating system.

 If the pressure is too high then try bleeding your radiators.

If your boiler pressure is constantly decreasing or increasing, then it’s best just to get in touch with the right heating engineers, who will be able to assess and rectify the problem.

Make sure you regularly check your boiler pressure, especially when preparing your boiler for winter.

Check Your Radiators

Alongside checking the pressure on your boiler, we also advise you to investigate your radiators and their performance well before the cold of winter arrives.

Test run your heating system on a cooler summer day and take a gauge on how your radiators are performing.

Radiators cold at the bottom

If your radiators are cold towards the base, you may have trapped air within the radiator. To remove this, all you’ll need to do is to bleed the radiator. (See above for a link on how to do this)

Sludge and dirty water

Another issue could be sludge and dirty water passing through the system.

This might affect the overall performance of your radiators and could even result in a boiler breakdown, there are simple ongoing plans that can help you get fast and stress-free repairs for your boiler.

Make sure you do a thorough test of your heating system well before winter sets in.

This might affect the overall performance of your radiators and could even result in a boiler breakdown.

Insulate Your Pipes

When the cold weather of winter hits, the standing water in your pipework can freeze. Freezing pipes can cause your boiler to stop working.

Make sure you prepare your boiler for winter by running your heating system on low to prevent water in your pipes from causing boiler issues and freezing.

Before colder weather arrives in winter, make sure all pipes are well insulated which will help to avoid unwanted frost forming in your pipes and potentially causing a boiler breakdown.

If your pipes freeze during winter, then a simple fix is by pouring warm (not boiling) water over them or apply gentle heat from a hairdryer, for example.

Before colder weather arrives in winter, make sure all pipes are well insulated which will help to avoid unwanted frost forming in your pipes.

Service Your Boiler

An annual boiler service is crucial to ensure your boiler works as expected and to prepare your boiler for winter. 

During a boiler service, a qualified heating engineer will check all the parts of your boiler components for wear and tear, and will also thoroughly explore any deterioration to protect your boiler from damage.

An annual boiler service is also usually required to maintain manufacturer warranties, so getting a service booked could really help you save money later down the line too.

Be sure to get your boiler service conducted by boiler experts safely and to ensure your boiler warranty remains valid.

Then, it’s advisable to get a plan to ensure your boiler is covered. Easy and simple plans cover aspects like:

  • Loss of pressure
  • Power failure
  • Loss of pilot light
  • Leaks
  • Ignition failure

An annual boiler service is crucial to ensure your boiler works as expected and to prepare your boiler for winter.

Fit a Carbon Monoxide Alarm

A carbon monoxide leak can be fatal if you or your family are exposed to large quantities or over long periods.

Carbon monoxide is difficult to detect as it is tasteless and odourless, it’s important to make sure you and your family are protected.

Boiler usage during a cold snap will increase so it’s worth investing in a carbon monoxide detector to help prepare your boiler for the winter.

Be aware that smoke alarms don’t detect carbon monoxide.

A carbon monoxide leak can be fatal if you or your family are exposed to large quantities or over long periods.

Clean your boiler

Cleaning your boiler before winter can help remove dirt and other debris which may reduce its effectiveness.

Ensure you carry out any cleaning safely, by turning off both the electrical power supply and the fuel supply.

The electrical power supply will often be a switch on a red switch plate.

Shut the valve off, which can be found near the oil tank for oil burners or near the gas pipe for a gas boiler.

Another important piece of safety advice is to make sure that the boiler is completely cool before you start cleaning.

Be aware this could take quite a few hours before the boiler is cool enough to touch.

For this reason, it’s a good idea to perform any boiler cleaner well before the winter season arrives.

And finally…

So, there you have it! Everything you need to know about how to prepare your home boiler for cooler winter months.

Here at Homeforce we have over 10 years of experience protecting UK homes against unexpected faults, breakdowns and other costly repairs.

Our qualified engineers are on hand to solve any boiler problems and protect you against those stressful emergency issues that aren’t covered by insurance.

Get in touch with our friendly customer care team who understand that your home is more important than ever. Talk to us today about a Homeforce Plumbing and Heating Plan.

Please ensure that only a gas safe engineer carries out work on your boiler.

Ready to get started? Call us anytime on 0800 014 6336 or

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