BoilerJuice Bob with radiator

10 Tips to Prepare Your Home Heating for the Winter

September 9, 2013 | Energy Efficiency

Now we are into September it is amazing how quickly the weather is changing. Mornings are certainly getting chilly and do remind us that it won’t be long before the central heating will need to go on.  To make sure you prepare your home heating for the winter, BoilerJuice have put together 10 tips to help make sure you don’t get caught out.


  1. Test your central heating – it’s better to make sure you test your central heating is working now rather than discovering you have a problem when it is cold and you need it. Simply fire up your central heating for 15 minutes or so and check the radiators are getting hot.
  2. Check timers are working – set your timer to switch on your central heating and make sure it comes on and switches off again at the times you have set. Also check that the timer has the correct time set (you may have missed the change from GMT to BST in March).
  3. If you have wireless thermostats that are battery powered, check to make sure they are working correctly – you may need to replace the batteries.
  4. Bleed radiators if you find they are not getting hot at the top.
  5. If you have a pressurised system, check your boiler pressure correct in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions (typically just above 1 bar)
  6. Check your heating oil levels – have you got enough for the winter? If not, get your order in now and avoid the rush and likely price increases as we approach the winter.  You can check the latest heating oil prices here.
  7. Visually inspect your oil tank and make sure there are no signs of corrosion or leaks. If necessary, have your oil tank serviced by an OFTEC registered engineer.
  8. If your annual oil boiler service is due, book an oil boiler service now before the engineers get busy, as they inevitably do when people discover their central heating isn’t working at the beginning of the winter. Don’t forget to use only an OFTEC registered engineer.
  9. If you have a condensing boiler make sure if you have an external condensate pipe that the insulation is still in place to prevent it freezing in cold weather.
  10. Check the insulation on other central heating pipes (particularly in the loft) to make sure it protects your pipes from freezing in cold weather.


Carrying out these simple checks won’t take you very long and could avoid a lot of discomfort and unnecessary expense.


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  1. Excellent advice. I had a spate of call outs last winter where outside pipes weren’t properly insulated and they froze.

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