Central heating tips

Stay warm when the weather gets cold

You may not think about your central heating system too often, but you'll certainly notice if it goes wrong.

To help keep it in good shape, try to get your boiler serviced in the summer to ensure that it's working efficiently before the winter comes.

During the summer too, put the heating on for 15 minutes once a month. This will show the system is working properly and should help clear any debris from the boiler pump.

Improve your energy efficiency

  • Insulate your loft to reduce heat loss from your home
  • Use radiator insulation foil behind your radiators to direct all of their heat into your rooms
  • If you've got a hot water cylinder in your airing cupboard, make sure it's got a thick thermal jacket secured around it and its thermostat isn't set higher than 60 degrees
  • Check if your radiators feel warmer at the bottom and cooler at the top when your central heating is on. If they are, bleed them to improve their efficiency

Common causes of problems

Common heating problems - check if the boiler pilot flame is alight

  • Is the boiler power light on? If not, has a circuit protection device tripped that you can reset?
  • If the boiler has a pilot flame, is it alight? Follow the manufacturer's instructions if you need to re-ignite it
  • Is there a problem with your gas supply? Ask a neighbour if they're having problems too
  • Is your meter in a cupboard where the on/off meter might have been knocked? Check to see if it's in the right position
  • Has your central heating programmer been set correctly? Your heating won't come on if the programmer isn't telling it to
  • Is the room's thermostat set correctly? If it's too low then the heating won't come on
  • Is the boiler pressure correct? If not, can you identify a leak in the system that can be isolated? Take care when investigating as any escaping water may be very hot. If in any doubt, leave this to a suitably qualified engineer

Stay safe from carbon monoxide

You can buy carbon monoxide alarms to alert you to the danger of carbon monoxide poisoning.

And if you've got a gas boiler, it's very important to get it serviced regularly by a competent person in order to minimise the risk.

Our gas boiler cover including a service is only provided by Gas Safe registered engineers.

Thinking about replacing your boiler?

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Cover for central heating emergencies – including a boiler service

  • Unlimited call-outs for heating emergencies and repairs
  • Boiler inspection and service by a Gas Safe engineer
  • Gas boiler or central heating breakdowns where you have no hot water and/or heating
  • Common heating repairs, like the boiler not always coming on when it should or fixing a faulty radiator 

Cover for your boiler and central heating

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AA Home Insurance

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Central Heating Response Plus is a Home Membership option.

AA Home Membership is underwritten by Acromas Insurance Company Limited (AICL) 57-63 Line Wall Road, Gibraltar. Registered Number 88716 (Gibraltar). UK branch address: Enbrook Park, Sandgate, Folkestone CT20 3SE. Acromas Insurance Company is authorised by the Financial Services Commission, Gibraltar, and is a member of the Association of British Insurers.

Automobile Association Insurance Services Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). You can check their register or call the FCA on 0800 111 6768.