Check your boiler and radiators are all in working order before the cold weather starts. Sometimes your heating system can seize when it hasn’t been used over the warmer months. Turning it on occasionally just to keep it in working order is advisable during the summer. And if any problems arise, you can fix them before you need your heating system in the winter. It is also advised, that in the winter months you keep the heating on low even when you are not home, keeping your house warm will prevent your pipes from freezing. It is advisable to get your boiler serviced once a year to keep it in working order.
If you’re going on holiday and don’t want to leave the heating low, you might also consider turning off your stop tap and draining down the system (run your taps until empty). This way there will be no water in the pipes to freeze.
Bleed your radiators. Radiators can decrease inefficiency or even stop working when the air becomes trapped in the system. By bleeding your radiator you can release the trapped air and let the hot water back in! To bleed your radiators, you will need either a flat-head screwdriver or a radiator key (depending on your radiator), use this to slowly turn the valve counter (diagram shown below) until water dribbles out).
If you have a frozen pipe, you can use a hairdryer to gently help it thaw. Turn off your stop-tap so no new water is coming in. Open all the cold water taps in the house. Then use the hairdryer to gently warm the frozen pipe, remember to start at the part of the pipe that is nearest the tap – melted water will then flow out of the tap. Check the pipes for leaks once you are finished. Then turn your stop-tap back on.