As the sun finally begins to shine, it can be easy to forget about your boiler, and embrace the warmer months instead. However, as boiler problems are far more common in the colder months, summertime is a great opportunity to check that everything’s in working order. Giving your boiler some TLC now will help you avoid feeling chilly, or running out of hot water when you need your heating system most.
Research your boiler model
If you’re living in rented accommodation or you’ve recently moved into a new home, it’s worth checking out what type of boiler model you own, as well as how old it is. The most popular type of heating system for UK homes are combi-boilers, thanks to their high energy-efficiency, and space-saving lack of a hot water tank. Getting to know how your boiler works when it is at its most efficient will help you keep your eye out for any issues if the worst does happen. If your investigations have left you looking for a new boiler, BOXT has everything you need to get started.
Run your heating regularly
Even when the temperature’s rising, it’s good practice to run your radiators for at least 15 minutes every month or so. By doing this, you’ll be able to spot any signs that things aren’t as they should be. Going unused for longer periods of time can cause your heating system to become clogged, or allow silt, sludge or dirt to get stuck within your pipes. If this happens, your radiators might not feel like they’re getting as hot as usual, or even worse, your boiler could become strained, and require expensive repairs.
Once you’ve switched your heating on, you’ll need to check every radiator in your home for any cold spots or uneven temperatures, and listen out for any rumbles, creaking or unexpected noises coming from them as they heat up.
Check whether your boiler pressure is too high…
If your free boiler scheme pressure is too low or too high, serious damage can be caused, not only within your heating system, but to you and your household too. Your boiler pressure should be between 1 and 2 to heat your entire home efficiently, without your hot water running out or your radiators feeling cold to the touch.
When your boiler pressure reaches 2.5 or above, it might be time to bleed your radiators. This is a fairly simple job that you should be able to carry out yourself – but it’s important to remember that water coming out of your radiators will be very hot, so it’s always best to seek professional expertise if you have any doubts.
…Or too low
Low boiler pressure is an issue you should be able to fix yourself, without too much hassle. If your pressure drops below 1, water will struggle to move through your pipes effectively, and so you might notice cold spots at the top of your radiators, or your hot water switching off. Although this isn’t dangerous, it might mean you see an increase in your energy bills each month, so it’s worth checking it out sooner rather than later.
If you’ve found a leak either underneath your pipes, or below your boiler, this might be the culprit of your low boiler pressure. While it’s possible to fix this yourself, it can be a tricky job, and so it’s always recommended that you enlist the help of a certified engineer if you come across any issues you’re unsure how to solve.
Book in for an annual boiler check-up
As well as taking preventative measures, it’s still crucial that you get the professionals in for a closer look. You’re obliged to book in a boiler check with a Gas Safe engineer every year, to ensure everything is running as smoothly as possible. However, if you’ve noticed warning signs, such as your pilot light flickering red or orange rather than blue while your heating is running, it’s always best to get an expert in, sooner rather than later. As well as helping you avoid more expensive repair costs further down the line, this will ease your mind that your appliances aren’t creating any danger.