The Great British weather is leaving a lot to be desired at the moment, and if recent reports are anything to go by, things are about to get a whole lot chillier.
Follow our top tips to make sure your home is the cosiest escape from the cold it can possibly be.
1. If your radiator is hot at the bottom but gets cold further up, air could be trapped inside. To get rid of the air and restore your home to its former cosy glory, put a radiator key or a small screwdriver into the radiator's bleed valve and twist to open it. Don’t do this when the heating is on or the radiator is still hot, though, and hold a rag to catch any water that may dribble out when all the air is released. When the water starts to emerge, close the valve.
2. Radiator output is measured in British Thermal Units (BTUs). To work out the BTUs required to heat a room, use an online calculator. Tonnes of factors can affect how cold a room is, from the direction it faces to the number of outside rooms. The calculator will take all of this into account, as well as the fact that you’ll want some rooms to be warmer than others – genius!
3. If you want to replace radiators, or add more without replacing your boiler, make sure you check with an engineer that your current boiler has sufficient capacity. When choosing a new radiator, go on BTUs rather than size - powerful radiators no longer need to be big.
4. The position of radiators can also affect how efficient they are at heating a room. They’re traditionally placed under curtains – but take care not to block heat with the drapes. To bounce more heat back into the room, fit radiator foil behind your radiators (although this doesn't work with column radiators because you can see through them).
5. Old heating systems often lack adequate controls, such as adjustable radiator valves, so you can't turn the radiators up or down - they're either on or off. You also need the right controls for the boiler to improve its performance and efficiency. Up-to-date controls enable the boiler and radiators to communicate, giving you a much better central heating system.