Boiler Maintenance Tips
Boiler maintenance is more important than most people think. Not only can it save you money, but it can also prevent health risks and in some extreme cases, fatalities. We always raise the importance of boiler maintenance with our clients and we always get the same terrified look! Don’t panic, it’s not as complicated as it may initially appear.
We’ve compiled a list of how to look after your boiler, your purse and most importantly, your health.
Turn your heating on
We’re always inclined to turn the heating off throughout the summer months. However, boilers, especially older ones, can seize up if not used for long periods of time. We recommend turning your boiler on for 15 minutes once a month or six weeks just to keep it ticking over.
Annual Boiler Service
Servicing your boiler is something that most households do not do often enough. Ensure that your boiler is serviced once a year by a Gas Safe engineer even if you feel it is in good working order. Your engineer will check all the components of the boiler and give them a clean. We always advise getting your boiler service before the winter months start in September/October to avoid the dreaded boiler breakdown at Christmas.
Bleed your radiators
We recommend regularly giving your radiators a check to ensure that they are running efficiently. Once your radiators are turned on, gently run your hand from bottom to top (being careful not to burn your hand), if your radiators are cold at the top, you will need to release the air from them also known as ‘bleeding’. If you leave the air in the radiators you will put extra strain on your system and effectively wasting money.
To bleed your radiators make sure your heating system is turned off and the radiators have cooled down. Locate your bleed valve and insert your radiators key and turn it anticlockwise, usually around a quarter turn, or until you hear a hissing sound. Do this until water starts to drip, you may want an old towel to ensure it doesn’t go on your carpet, and then lock the key back. That’s all it takes, however, you may need to top up your boiler pressure afterwards.
Keep your boiler pressure up
Your boiler won’t run efficiently if the pressure is too low. Boilers lose pressure over time so you will need to check in on your pressure every couple of months to ensure it is working properly. Check the pressure gauge on your boiler; the right pressure is between 1 and 1.5 bar if it’s below you will need to top it up. You can do this by using the instructions in the boiler manual, calling your boiler manufacturer or calling your plumber.
Lag your pipes
In sub-zero conditions your external pipe from your boiler can freeze. Your boiler will then cut out as a safe precaution. To prevent this you can use lagging. Lagging your pipes is quite a simple and cost-effective job. Most merchants will sell ready-made lagging that slips over your pipes for £1 a metre.
Make sure your boiler isn’t surrounded by clutter. Some households have their boilers in cupboards where shoes, coats bags etc are stored. Boilers need ventilation to run properly. Your plumber or engineer will be able to advise as to whether your boiler is suitably ventilated.
Be safe with your gas
One final mention is towards gas safety. A faulty boiler can produce carbon monoxide gas which if inhaled, can be fatal. What makes it particulalrly dangerous is that you can’t see or smell it which is why every home should have a carbon monoxide detector with an alarm.
If you need help with your boiler system contact us, we have no call out charge!