You might have noticed that there’s a bit of a chill in the air these days. We were promised something of an Indian summer and while October has thus far been nice and sunny, we’re not sure that we’d describe it as hot or balmy. It feels pretty cold to us! If you’re feeling the cold as well, take it as something of a warning and go around your house to make sure you’ve winter-proofed it to perfection, ready to withstand anything that the winter of 2016 has to throw at us.

Forecasters have now come out and said that we’re likely to have four months of snow here in the UK, with winter storms well on their way even as we write, so if you haven’t prepared your house just yet you’d be wise to do so before the bad weather really arrives. One of the best ways of making sure that your house is ready for the winter is to ensure that your condensate pipes are properly insulated so that you can prevent them from freezing during cold snaps. This is especially important if you’re planning on going away for a few days over the festive period – there’s nothing worse than coming home to a serious emergency and a flooded house, after all.

Severe winters have caught lots of people out in the past and we here at York boiler repairs company Home Services Assistance always see a spike in calls at this time of year from homeowners with condensing boilers where their drainage pipe has frozen and is blocked with ice. What this does is to cause the condensate to build up in the boiler, which can result in your appliance shutting down completely… not what you want when it’s snowing outside!

What you need to do is read the manufacturer’s guide that came with your boiler so you can easily identify where your condensate drainage pipe is and make sure that it’s properly insulated. This will really help give you peace of mind, but be aware that your pipe may well still freeze over – so keep our number close to hand just in case you do need it.

The most common reasons that pipes freeze are because they aren’t protected properly with enough insulation, they’re exposed to draughts via cracks or gaps when the pipes enter the house, or because the pipes that are located in cupboards get colder because warmer air can’t reach them since cupboard doors are usually kept shut.

You can prevent frozen pipes by insulating your loft and water tanks properly, keeping your house warm, locating your stopcock and turning if off immediately if you do have a burst pipe, or keeping up with your home maintenance. Check that your taps aren’t dripping as these can freeze in cold weather and could result in a blockage in your pipes. Installing a circulating pump might also help stop your pipes from freezing since this system means that water from the hot side is sent over to the cold side, reducing the risks of a frozen pipe.