As the winter really sets in and temperatures plummet around much of the UK, we thought it would be useful to give you some really simple tips to ensure your boiler doesn’t fail you at the crucial time.
As the heartbeat of your central heating and hot water system, you’ll want to do regular checks to prevent issues, catch any problems early on and make sure your heating and hot water work optimally.
Neglecting your boiler could result in leaks, burst pipes, draughty rooms, damp and mould, and of course no hot water!
Here are 7 simple tips to keep your boiler in ship-shape…
Keep it clean
It may sound like an odd or non-essential task, but actually giving your boiler a regular dust-off or wipe-down on the outside can really help prevent dust gathering, and clogging the boiler’s pipes, valves and tubes. Please don’t clean anything other than the outside though, as any internal work should be carried out by a qualified professional.
Bleed your radiators
Bleeding your radiators has numerous benefits including improving efficiency and saving you money on your energy bills. By releasing the air bubbles that build up over time, you allow the radiator to reach its optimum temperature, and your radiators will also operate more quietly.
To bleed your radiators, switch on your heating and check which radiators have a cold patch on top. Switch off your heating and once the radiators have cooled down place a rag or flat container underneath the ones you want to bleed to catch any water that may leak out once you start.
Use a radiator key to open the radiator bleed valve and wait until the hissing stops, and water flows out steadily. Then close the valve and switch the heating back on to ensure the radiators heat up evenly and completely.
Use your system regularly
Whilst this tip is more applicable for the whole year, it’s useful to know that you should switch your heating system on regularly, even during summer months. This helps prevent the system clogging up through under-use. In the months before winter, you should turn your system on every day for around 20 mins, or until the radiators have fully heated up.
Keep an eye on the pressure gauge
A system that is operating optimally should show a pressure of between 1.0 and 1.5 bar, although your system guide can indicate the correct or optimal pressure for your system should it differ to this general guide.
Do regular checks to ensure the pressure is correct, as a dip in pressure can indicate a leak, and a spike in pressure can mean the system needs to be bled or needs other maintenance.
Insulate the pipes
Heat retention is key, and by insulating any exposed pipes you’ll be able to maximise heat retention in the system, helping to run it more efficiently and cost-effectively, but also preventing the pipes from freezing in very cold temperatures.
Lagging, or the protective layer, can be bought from most hardware stores, is not particularly expensive, and can be fitted very easily.
Check for Leaks
It’s another fairly obvious point, but do regular checks for leaks around your house – whether in the ceiling or cupboard where the boiler is located or anywhere where it sends hot water. Catching early leaks can save you a lot of money in repairs!
Do your annual maintenance service
Regular services will help your boiler last longer, operate efficiently, stay safe and save you money. You should have a scheduled service booked each year, so set a calendar reminder and ensure you use a Gas Safe-certified engineer to carry out the check and any maintenance or repair work.
At Burwell Maintenance we offer a range of commercial maintenance services including boiler servicing and maintenance, facilities maintenance, water treatment, electrical testing services as well as HVAC and LEV system servicing.