MORE than 2,200 boiler breakdowns are expected across Sussex as the UK braces for sub-zero temperatures.

Icy blasts from the Arctic are set to hit the UK, with temperatures expected to reach as low as -11C in some areas.

Households are being urged to prepare their homes to avoid being stuck without heating and hot water this winter.

British Gas is predicting its engineers will visit more than 2,200 homes across Sussex in the next two weeks to carry out boiler maintenance, repairs and vital safety checks.

Joanna Flowers, a British Gas service and repair engineer, said the next fortnight could be the first test for many households’ heating systems this year.

“We know that having no heating or hot water is people’s worst winter nightmare in the home, so rather wait for the cold weather to set in before finding out something’s not working as it should be, we’re advising households to prepare now.,” she said.  

“Looking after your boiler is key, as well as making a few small changes around the home to ensure the rest of your heating and hot water system is working effectively and efficiently.

“And remember, a heating system that’s in good shape also won’t use more energy than it needs – which will help keep your bills down.”

British Gas fixes around 1.2 million boilers each winter.

The energy provider says the first prolonged period of cold weather is traditionally associated with a spike in demand for urgent engineer callouts.

British Gas has put together a list of ten ways to help your house stay warm this winter:

1 - Bleed your radiators.

When you haven’t used your heating for a while, air can enter the system and form bubbles at the top of your radiators, which stops them from working efficiently.

2 - Shut out the cold.

Draught excluders are an easy and affordable way to draught-proof your home.

3 - Furnish for warmth.

Make sure your radiators can do their job properly.

4 - TLC for your boiler.

People often don’t give much thought to their boiler until something goes wrong with it.

5 - Wrap your pipes up warm.

British Gas says they often come across frozen condensate pipes – which don’t require specialist training to fix.

6 - Be energy smart.

Winter is the peak season for energy usage. Making the most of smart tech like thermostats means you can control your heating on the go and avoid wasting money on energy you’re not using.

7 - Install a carbon monoxide detector.

Faulty central heating systems are one of the most common sources of carbon monoxide in the home.

8 - Keep everything ticking over.

Like a car that hasn’t started for a while, your boiler can seize up if it’s not turned on for an extended period of time.

9 - Make a plan b.

It’s important to familiarise yourself with the whereabouts of your stopcock and make sure that you can access it easily.

10 - Get the help you’re entitled to.

Find out if you’re eligible for extra assistance with your energy bills.