Winter isn’t far around the corner and the heating has already been on in my house many times over the past month due to the drop in temperature but also for the need to get my washing dry and generally not feel like I’m living in an igloo!
I am one of the lucky ones because I had my central heating system serviced over the summer and can kick back and enjoy the warmth knowing my heating is working perfectly and all the radiators are 100%.
Having a system at 100% means
- 1. I am warm
- 2. More efficient heating
- 3. Lower Bills
Okay so it costs money to have your heating serviced but it’s best to do this in the summer when energy bills are lower and because you know that you’ll be able to get a heating engineer. If you’ve left it this late then you’ll find that engineers are booked up far in advance and will have to wait to get seen, but we’re still not in Winter yet so don’t delay if your heating isn’t doing the job it’s meant to.
One of the most common things that happen at this time of the year is that homeowners turn their heating on for the first time in 6-9 months and find out that several radiators aren’t as hot as they used to be. This could be down to a few things, hence why it’s worth getting your system serviced on a yearly basis, but quite often this is due to what we call radiator sludge.
What is radiator sludge?
Your radiators are made of metal and over time this corrodes and leaves sludge which is basically rust and this settles at the bottom of your rad and interupts the usual flow of water causing cold spots meaning your rooms won’t get as hot as they should but could also move along the heating system and possibly damage your boiler, pump, and valves. That’s worst case scenario though and most of the time it’s just the cold radiators that can be annoying.
How can I get rid of sludge?
We would recommend that you get a professional heating engineer out to check the system and if you do have sludge then they will be able to powerflush your system which basically does what it says on the tin. They will flush out the whole system, removing the sludge, and will add an inhibitor to it to prevent future build up.
The other way is cheaper, but a lot messier, and this involves manually flushing the radiator yourself. For this you will need to remove the offending radiators and flush them out with a hose. There will always remain some residue in the system so this is more of a short term solution but will get your rads a bit warmer.
Book a visit from your local heating engineer
If you’ve tried out your system and want to make sure Christmas is nice and cosy then get onto an engineer to come and service your system and they will be able to give you a quote for power flushing too although you’re looking at £200-£300 for this. It’s not a lot of money when you consider what you’re paying in gas and electricity and an inefficient system still uses the same amount of energy but simply doesn’t produce the right amount of heat so save money in the long term and get a service, or flush your radiators.