What do you do to maintain your boiler?
Annual boiler services may well have popped into your head. They are very important to do regularly – But that’s not the only thing you can do to help maintain your boiler.
Looking after your boiler is something we see commonly overlooked by homeowners in the UK. Yet there are very important reasons to make sure you maintain your boiler and keep it working efficiently and properly:
- You could be putting your family’s health at risk
- If it breaks down or components become faulty, it can be costly to repair or replace
- When not working efficiently, it can cost you more to run which will increase your energy bills
Fortunately, there are lots of things you can do to help keep your boiler well maintained. Here are our top tips to help keep your boiler in top working condition!
Regular boiler services
You should be getting your boiler serviced by a Gas Safe engineer once per year. This will help to ensure your boiler stays working at its optimum level as well as prevent breakdowns and keep its lifespan to the maximum. A professional heating engineer will check the components to make sure everything is working as it should. Catching any issues at this stage can help prevent the inconvenience of a more costly breakdown later on.
Check your boiler pressure
In order for your boiler to be able to circulate hot water around the pipes and radiators, it needs to be set at the right pressure. To make sure it’s working at the correct level (according to the manufacturers instructions) you should check the pressure gauge on the front of the boiler. The standard is between 1 and 2 bar. If it’s not at the correct level, don’t worry. You don’t need an engineer for this! Boiler pressure is something you can easily adjust yourself.
Bleed your radiators
At least once a year, you should bleed all your radiators. Gradually over time, air can become trapped inside which prevents the entire radiator from heating up and causes cold patches. Obviously if this is the case, your heating isn’t going to work as effectively. Thankfully this is something you can resolve yourself by releasing the air through bleeding the radiators. Painted over the valves? This can make it harder to adjust them. Try a bit of WD40 and some force. If it still won’t budge, give a heating engineer a call.
Make sure your radiators are balanced
Do you find that the radiators furthest away from the boiler aren’t as hot? If so, you may need to balance them. This should help your heating system to heat your home more evenly. Do contact a professional heating engineer if you’re unsure – It’s not quite as straightforward to balance radiators as it is to bleed them.
Be aware of potential radiator problems
You may experience your radiators feeling hot at the top and but cold at the bottom. It’s a very common heating problem, usually caused by sludge that has accumulated at the bottom. This will make it harder for your heating system to heat your home, often resulting in higher energy bills. This problem will need to be rectified by a power flush carried out by a professional heating engineer. To try and prevent this issue from arising, have a read of our blog all about looking after the water in your heating system. Another common radiator problem to be aware of is a faulty valve. If the valve is completely open, but your radiator is still cold, you probably need to have the valve replaced.
Make sure the boiler flame is blue
It’s important to be aware of any safety issues related to your boiler. Your boiler should always burn with a strong blue flame. If the flame in your boiler is yellow or orange, there could be a risk of carbon monoxide – Call a Gas Safe registered engineer straight away. You should always have a carbon monoxide detector in your home, close to your boiler, to alert you of any leaks.
Ensure your boiler is well ventilated
In order for boilers to be well ventilated, they need space. Don’t cover them or surround them clutter. Is your boiler in a cupboard? Not to worry! As long as there is a gap of at least 700mm between the wall and the boiler then it should be okay.
Be aware of any dripping from the external pipe
If you see any water leaking out of the external pipe (also known as the overflow pipe) it could mean that your boiler isn’t working properly and may indicate that the pressure release valve needs fixing. You will need to call a professional heating engineer for this issue.
Keep the flue accessible
To meet current regulations, the flue must be visible and accessible. This is so that any cracking or loosening of joints can be seen easily. If your flue goes up into the ceiling and is not accessible, you may need to call a heating engineer to put in an access panel.
Put lagging on your external pipes
Ever had a boiler breakdown because of frozen pipes? Not what you want in the middle of Winter! Before the temperature starts to drop, get some lagging from a DIY store and lag your external pipes to stop them from freezing throughout the colder months.
Don’t try to repair your boiler yourself
Did you know that the only people legally allowed to repair your boiler (or any gas appliance) are Gas Safe registered heating engineers? They are trained to work on gas pipes and appliances – It is very dangerous to work on boilers if you’re not properly qualified. It could end with carbon monoxide poisoning, explosions or fires – It’s just not worth the risk. Always leave it to the experts.
Our Gas Safe registered heating engineers are here for you across the South Coast
There are some things you can do yourself to help maintain your boiler, and some things you’ll need to call a heating engineer for. Here at Aura Gas, all of our local, expert heating engineers are Gas Safe registered and ready to help with any boiler issues you may have.
We can also arrange your annual boiler service – And if you’re a care plan customer, it’s included in the price!