After a long period of mild weather colder weather is imminent, perhaps even sub-zero temperatures over the coming weeks. With high energy bills there is always a temptation when leaving the house unoccupied to save money and switch off the heating.
But BESA (the Building Engineering Services Association) warns that you could risk arriving back to find a flooded house or flat. Here’s their timely advice to help you strike the right balance between keeping bills down and avoiding a burst pipe:
- Don’t be tempted to turn off your heating altogether; cold weather can wreak havoc on water pipes so it’s best to keep your heating on low at around 10ºC (50ºF).
- If you haven’t already got one, consider having a programmable thermostat fitted; these give you complete control over your heating and usually have a holiday setting
- Make sure all water pipes in the loft are insulated with preformed insulation
- Replace washers on dripping taps because if the taps freeze the pipe will become blocked
- If you’re leaving house keys with a friend or neighbour make sure they know where the inside stop valve is and check that it is working. They will need to get to it quickly if a pipe has burst
- Leave the loft door open to let the heat from downstairs circulate into the attic
- Insulate outside taps or turn them off at the stop tap, or drain them before you go away
- Fix any dripping taps or overflows; a build-up of ice can cause a blockage.
For more information about the services offered by BESA members visit the TrustMark website or call 0333 555 1234.
There are more money-saving tips in every issue of Yours magazine, out every fortnight on a Tuesday.