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Central Heating and Hot Water Supply

What to look for:

  • Leaks
  • Faulty controls
  • Missing insulation
  • Uneven temperature of radiator 

Leaking pipe-work, valves, radiators, taps or any joint need prompt attention.  Cat-iron radiators may be redundant but can be reconditioned and give a good historical point of reference.  Grilles should retain their ventilating function, especially if supplying air to a boiler or any area where their purpose is to reduce condensation.  Insulating pipes and hot water cylinders is advisable where possible.  By installing a thermostat and setting the heating to come on for longer, but at a lower temperature, it will heat up the building, and give a warmer space at a lower cost. Heating up quickly to high temperatures will only heat the space and can often ’dry out’ the air, which can cause wood, including furniture to twist, warp or crack.   The Sustainable Traditional Buildings Alliance provides advice on appropriate and effective ways to improve the energy performance of historic homes. 

Keep temperature reasonably low and constant. Do not hang radiators on panelled walls as this may strain the timber.  We are all tempted to hang clothes on the radiator to dry them over the winter months, but this can cause the evaporated water to raise moisture levels in the home and in some cases cause condensation or mould, and is often misdiagnosed as raising damp (a very rare defect!).