A healthy boiler is more efficient, so regularly maintaining your boiler will not only make it better but also save you more money in the long run. Boiler maintenance isn’t very difficult, especially if you follow our tips!
Even if your boiler is in working order it will still be serviced once a year by an engineer listed on the Gas Safe Register. The engineer will check all the parts as well as cleaning it. The best time to arrange a service is in September just to make sure that it will be effective in the winter months.
Turning the heating on:
If not used regularly boilers can seize up. During the summer months experts recommend that you turn the heating on for 10/15 minutes every so often, this is just to make sure the boiler doesn’t tick over.
Over time boilers lose pressure, this causes them to run inefficiently. Check the pressure gauge on the boiler and if you need to top it up necessary. The manual should give you instructions but if you are still unsure you can ask the plumber.
Bleed the radiators:
If your radiators are colder at the bottom than the top, this means that air is trapped in the system. To release the air, you need to ‘bleed’ the radiators. If you don’t, the system won’t work efficiently which puts an extra strain on your boiler, effectively wasting your money.
Before you do anything switch the heating off, once this is done slot the key into the bleed valve and turn it anticlockwise for a quarter of a rotation. You should hear a hissing sound as the air escapes. Have a old towel or some kitchen paper to hand as water will start to drip. Lock the valve and everything is done! You might need to top up the boiler pressure.
Leeks, cracks, clunking noises or black sooty marks all suggest that there is a problem. Check your boiler regularly to look out for warning signs. It’s also a good idea to make sure that any external vents, glues and airbricks are free from blockages.
The flame in your boiler should be clear, strong and blue. If it appears smoky or yellow there could be something wrong and you should phone a plumber straight away.
Clear the clutter:
Boilers need ventilation so the space around the appliance should be kept free, this means it shouldn’t be surrounded by coats, bags or any other clutter. Your boiler should be easy to access. Your plumber or engineer will be able to advise on whether your boiler has adequate ventilation.
Lag the pipes:
If the temperature drops below zero this means the external condensate pipe might freeze, if ti does the boiler will cut out as a safety precaution. You can easily melt the ice by puring warm water over the pipe, but you can prevent the boiler from freezing by insulating the pipes or keeping the heat on a low setting when it is very cold.
A faulty boiler can produce carbon dioxide, this is a gas that you cant see, smell or taste. Carbon monoxide can kill which is why you should have a carbon monoxide detector or alarm. Put it near the boiler and check every month to make sure it works.
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