With predictions that a particularly cold winter may be on its way, households across the country are being urged not to let the current unseasonably warm weather make them complacent and ensure their heating systems are ready for a prolonged cold snap.
The warning comes after the dramatic increase in the number of excess winter deaths seen last year, with vulnerable people living in cold homes a major contributory factor - despite 2015 being the mildest winter on record.
In response, OFTEC, which represents the oil heating industry, is urging households with oil heating to make sure their heating systems are working efficiently so they can stay warm and well this winter – and save money on their fuel bills. The advice includes:
- Make sure your boiler is serviced by an OFTEC registered technician so everything is working correctly and efficiently
- Top up your oil tank to avoid a last minute rush
- Check the timers on your thermostat to ensure your heating comes on at the correct time
- Adjust the thermostats on individual radiators and turn them off in rooms you are not using
- Consider upgrading to a modern, condensing boiler which will reduce your fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by up to 20% and help you make significant cost savings
Malcolm Farrow, from OFTEC, commented: “With winter still weeks away, it is easy for households to be put off checking their heating system until the cold weather arrives. However, waiting until the last minute could leave you in the cold with a costly repair bill. Cold snaps also put an extra strain on heating systems so having your boiler serviced by an OFTEC registered technician will help you avoid any problems and provide you with piece of mind that everything is working correctly.”
Households are also being reminded to top up their oil tank early to take advantage of the low oil price.
Malcolm added: “It is a fantastic time to be on heating oil with households benefitting from significantly lower fuel costs, currently 50% cheaper than homes on LPG or electric storage heaters. As a result, homeowners will be able to keep their heating on for longer to keep warm this winter.”