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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Left out in the cold.

After the very cold weather in November and December 2010, it is worth sharing a few thoughts that might help with being prepared for future cold winters.

I've recently heard about one person who insulated the loft. This, however, meant that the water tank and pipework in the loft were no longer warmed by the heat lost from the house. They froze in the cold weather and burst when the thaw came, doing thousands of pounds worth of damage.

In a similar fashion, gas boilers inside the house with a condensate pipe draining on the outside may suffer when the condensate in the pipe freezes. This pipe could be insulated or even drain internally so that freezing is no longer likely.

So as an addition to the mantra "insulate walls, floors and lofts", please add insulation to "pipework, tanks or other equipment" because these can often be left, quite literally "out in the cold".

Tanks in the loft should also be insulated, but in such a way that the loft insulation wraps up the side and over the top - leaving the bottom of the tank with an uninsulated surface to the house below - if the insulation is good enough it will keep the water at nearly room temperature - meaning you don't get a cold shock when you run the cold tap!

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