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HONEYWELL CONTROL SYSTEMS - Heating Specialist Honeywell Is Urging Installers To Check Homes Are ‘Frost Safe’ This Winter

As we move forward into the winter months, I feel it necessary to highlight to installers the need for them to check that homes have the correct provisions for frost protection installed. Water freezing in a building’s pipework causes pipes to expand, leading to cracking and flooding when they thaw, causing costly damage to the fabric of a house as well as a homeowner’s possessions. With the current drive to save money and reduce energy consumption, homeowners will be tempted to turn their heating off overnight or when the house is un-occupied, leaving the pipes in ‘cold-spots’ such as lofts and outbuildings vulnerable to freezing.

To prevent pipes from freezing, installers should advise homeowners what kind of frost protection measures best suit their property. A frost thermostat can be fitted in what is likely to be the coldest part of the house, but where it is able to sense an increase in temperature when it switched the heating on. If a boiler is located in a garage or outhouse it needs to be separately protected from freezing conditions. To achieve this and keep energy consumption low, it is recommended that a pipe thermostat is used alongside a frost thermostat. In this instance the frost thermostat will turn the boiler on when the temperature around it drops to freezing and the pipe thermostat will detect when the water flowing through the pipes rises to a sufficient temperature and turn the boiler off again.

Alternatively, fitting a good room thermostat, such as a DT90 model allows homeowners to set the temperature to a minimum level overnight to prevent freezing. These thermostats will also automatically adjust the temperature at various times throughout the day, maintaining comfort levels while saving fuel. Sundial RF 2 heating control packs provide the ability to fit a thermostat with no additional wiring. Just replace an old timer with a new one, and the thermostat works – an easy step to frost protection.

In these tough economic times no homeowner wants to awake to the sound of water dripping through their ceiling or arrive home to find their property flooded. Installers should be recommending these frost protection measures to homeowners now - either as an upgrade to existing heating systems or an addition to new systems - before the cold weather really sets in.

Andy Mansfield, Marketing Communications Manager, Honeywell

* The savings of up to £10 a month are based on a four bedroom, semi-detached house, using figures from TACMA (The Association of Controls Manufacturers).

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