Is your heating system ready for round two with the ‘Beast from the East’?

With forecasters claiming there will be another attack from the ‘Beast from the East’ as early as October, OFTEC are recommending people get their boilers and heating systems in good working order as soon as possible to avoid an unexpected breakdown when the cold weather hits.

The warning comes as an attempt to avoid the problems British home owners faced in the cold spell earlier this year. Many homeowners were left without heating as local technicians struggled to keep up with the sudden increase in demand of people needing repairs.

OFTEC, representatives of the oil heating industry, have released a list of advice to help prevent a repeat of last spring.

OFTEC's advice includes:

* Book your boiler in for a service by an OFTEC (for oil) or GasSafe (for mains gas) registered technician. Correct servicing is vital and these professionals have been certified as fully competent and will complete the work to a high and safe standard.

* Purchase heating oil early to avoid the risk of possible price rises later in the winter. Oil is currently the cheapest form of off-grid heating so it's worth ensuring you have enough to last the whole winter. Make sure you use a supplier who is a member of the Federation of Petroleum Suppliers (FPS) for complete peace of mind.

* Adjust the timers on your heating controls to ensure the heating comes on when you need it to and radiators are only on in the rooms you are using.

* Bleed your radiators to make sure they work as efficiently as possible.

* For the oil households, check your oil tank is in good condition. Look out for any signs of corrosion, leakage or sudden drops in fuel levels.

Malcolm Farrow from OFTEC, commented: "Following this year's scorching summer, the nights are drawing in and the cold weather is not far behind. As many of us look to turn our heating back on, it's important to check everything is still working correctly and efficiently. "Regular maintenance by an experienced heating professional is the best way to avoid problems, so book your boiler service now before winter bites and use a qualified technician who will check everything is working correctly and identify any potential problems. Remember, it's far easier and quicker to fix any issues now than to wait for the whole system to stop working when you need it most."