I found out the hard way that when you have a problem with your home’s heating it can be a lot worse when you haven’t planned ahead how to deal with it.
Actually, this happened not once but twice so I really need to avoid a third time or I will start to look kind of silly. The first time was in Northern Ireland, when I lived there for a year. We were in a rented house and I vaguely heard the letting agent saying something about the house’s heating system running on oil. I had never come across this sort of system before and since it didn’t really interest me I didn’t investigate it any further.
Is That My Breath I Can See?
After two months or so we woke up one morning to find the place frozen. It was the kind of day in which your breath forms a cloud in the air, and this happened even inside the house. I had no idea what had happened until my wife said that the oil had probably run out. There was a big tank round the back of the place and when I had a quick peek I saw that it was completely dry.
The big question now was where to get more oil from. Because I am not from the region I didn’t know how they get their tanks refilled and I didn’t have anyone to phone and ask. My wife, as usual, came up with the simple answer; look up the phone book. I found a couple of oil companies listed and gave them a call. It was only when the answering machines kicked in that I remembered that it was the start of the Christmas holidays. We had to shiver through about a week of Arctic cold in the kitchen and tundra style wastelands in the bathroom before we finally got the heating back on.
Once (frost) bitten twice shy? Not quite it seems, as something similar happened to me a couple of years later. This time I was living in Spain and the apartment was heated up by a gas driven heater. This was attached to a small gas tank. I sort of wondered what would happen when the tank ran dry but, hey, this was the Mediterranean and the cold was never going to be too bad. Was it? Oh dear.
Frozen Bones Time Again
Winter was incredibly cold and after a long, scorching summer I felt as though my bones were frozen as I looked out to the normally inviting blue waters in front of my window. I reached for the heater and the inevitable happened; it didn’t switch on. There was no gas and I had no idea how to refill, replace or recharge the thing. I didn’t even know how to say "refill", "replace" or "recharge" in Spanish. Or "tank". Or "gas". This led to another few days of being frozen until I finally realised that a gas tank van parked at the end of the street every couple of days.
Now when I move into a new property the first thing I do is find out how to sort out the heating before it gets too late. The sun might be shining outside and I might be wearing my shorts but I will still bend down to check out the boiler or the gas tank or whatever the place uses. Then I need to find out who I need to speak to in the event of problems. It might sound simple but experience has taught me that planning ahead can save you a few cold days of having your extremities frozen while watching the telly.
For a healthy boiler it is a smart move to look at the British Gas HomeCare range, as this will give you peace of mind in the event of problems.