by Nigel Hilton
We take for granted the systems in our homes that allow us to live in harmony. We don’t blink an eyelid when we turn on the heating. So many complex systems activate in mere seconds to begin pumping heat all around the home. In around half an hour, your numb toes and fingertips can begin to get their feeling back again, and little children can stop shivering. The modern home has so many materials, computers, and mechanisms that listen to our beck and call and heating is one of the more evolved. These days you can switch the heating on by the swipe of your finger and set each room to a different temperature. But just because the heating systems are reliable now, it doesn’t mean they won’t stop working if we don’t take care of them. So here’s how your home can remain a toasty cosy haven for your family.
The dust and grime
The radiators in our homes are simply heaters that have hot water pumped inside them. However there is no escape for the steam and micro bits of debris, dirt and even metal flakes. What can happen is these small bits find their way to an outlet where there is a difference in pressure. These can be pipe fittings, and sometimes the twisting knobs that control the amount of heat. If you can see some much or grime forming at these spots, use iron wool or a rough sponge to clean it away. This will prevent a pile up and pressure building up until you have a leak. Clear the dust away from the radiator also as this can dry and stick to the surface creating a hard layer.
Sucking the heat away
The epicenter of your heating system is of course the boiler. This square or rectangle box is a small but very complex piece of hardware. You might have a gas or electric boiler, but the piping designs are very similar. If heat is being lost already at the boiler this can mean that the home isn’t going to be sufficiently heated. Each radiator is going to ask for more and more to supply enough warmth but it won’t live up to expectations. Use a furnace camera to see into your boiler with heat vision. You can see which pipe is causing the leakage in heat. This may be due to the wrong material being used, a rupture in the metal, an inefficient design or even a water leakage. This camera lets you see inside the boiler without having to open it which is also safer.
A brand new cycle
One of the simplest ways of making your radiators much more efficient is to bleed them. Simple dump the water out of the radiator and allow the boiler to cycle in a new batch of water which shall remain inside the radiators for as long as the next cycle is done.
Would you rather have a blisteringly hot radiator or one that is lackluster and just doesn’t get the home warm enough for you? Take care of your heating system and it will take care of you.