It’s just another Tuesday morning and it is still cold and icy outside, but this time you wake up to a home that is not as warm as it should be. In fact, it feels positively freezing. And there isn’t any hot water. It is every home owner’s nightmare: waking up to a broken-down boiler when they have to get the kids off to school and themselves to work. It happens to the best of us and it is more likely to if you have an older boiler, despite regular maintenance.
The first thing to do is to call your boiler engineer. Most will be able to pop in and take a look to diagnose the problem fairly quickly and many may even carry a set of standard spare parts to be able to fix it there and then.
If the diagnosis is of a more complex problem, or one that relies on waiting for a spare part, it may be worth considering staying with friends or relatives, particularly if you have elderly relatives living in the house or anyone with health problems. Otherwise, here are few things you can do to stay warm and have some hot water for your home.
- Get the fireplace going if you have one or get hold of some electric radiators or space heaters to keep at least one room warm that you can retreat to. If a portable gas heater is your only option, be very careful when using it as any build-up of carbon monoxide is dangerous and can be fatal. If you are using one, make sure that your space is well ventilated. If you have a carbon monoxide alarm check that it is in good working order. Ideally though, you would avoid this type of heater.
- Draught proof your home to avoid losing what little heat you are generating.
- Use hot water bottles or electric blankets to heat your bed. You can also use a hot water bottle around the house.
- Layer up. It may feel strange wearing a coat, hat, and scarf indoors, but if it is the difference between staying warm or being cold and miserable then it is worth doing. At the very least put on an extra jumper and if you have thermals they can make a big difference too.
Many homes have electric showers which will not be affected by any problems with your boiler. Alternatively, you may have an immersion heater which, again, will not be affected. Some boiler systems have a hot water cylinder so even if your boiler is out you may be able to use an electric immersion heater that may form part of your hot water cylinder. You can tell whether or not you have one by checking for a thick electrical cable connected to your hot water cylinder. You will need to switch the immersion heater on to heat the water. Don’t forget to turn it off once your water is hot enough, it can get very expensive if it is on all the time.
The alternative is to use your kettle to boil water for washing, doing the dishes (although if you have a dishwasher it will not be affected), and for makeshift showers until your boiler is back up and running.
If your boiler breaks down, or if it is not working properly, call Platinum Plumbers without delay. Our Gas safe registered engineers are trained and qualified to get your boiler fixed and your heating back quickly and with minimum fuss. You can get in touch with us on 020 8855 0361 or by email at .