Earth Notes: On the Best Time to Fix Your Home Heating: Summer!
Seasoned Professional Wisdom
As the wise folks at Best Heating say: Summertime – The Best Time To Change Your Radiators...
Just for starters:
- Engineers have got loads of free time.
- You can pick exactly what you want.
- You aren’t going to freeze to death.
As the sages say:
As you might expect, winter is the busiest time of the year for plumbing and heating engineers.
They are not only fitting new boilers and radiators but thanks to Jack Frost they also have to contend with breakdowns and frozen pipework too.
This makes summer a great time to take full advantage of their quieter period and bag yourself an appointment that is more likely to suit your schedule – just don’t tell anyone else or you’ll ruin it for us all!
(Though be aware that some suppliers may put prices up before the heating season in order to be able to claim a 'sale' price in September! Hat tip to Marko C.)
What should you not do?
- Worry about your cranky and inefficient/expensive heating system all summer.
- Put off fighting with it to start it up until you're really getting cold.
- Try to start it up when you're desperate in November, to the point where you are worrying about frost damage to your home and pipework.
- Find that you cannot start the heating at all and have to wait ages for it to get fixed, quite possibly paying a premium, not getting what you actually want, and maybe not fixing the underlying problem.
- Get cold, and cross and out of pocket!
Plan ahead for toasty toes and lower bills and stress.
Insulation, Insulation, Insulation
Summer is not just the right time to get heating and boiler maintenance done, even radiators swapped or cleaned or bigger jobs.
Summer is a good time to fix windows and doors and air leaks and insulation in your loft, walls and elsewhere. When you don't actually need it to be comfortable is just the right time to be working on it!
Summer can also be a good time to buy and hang inexpensive reflective blackout blinds to keep out excessive sunshine and heat immediately, and to provide extra insulation in winter; what's not to like?
(To know where insulation and the like need fixing, you may have had to think about it the previous winter, looking for cold spots and condensation on exterior walls with a borrowed thermal camera for example.)
Even if you are a tenant and it is your landlord that would need to undertake major works, summer is a good time to nudge them into scheduling those works, to save money and stress all round. A landlord has a legal obligation to rent out a habitable building; a faulty heating system is no part of that!
(Radbot tip for June/July/August/September.)