Your boiler is an appliance that is so often taken for granted. Every day when we put the heating on, wash up, or take a shower, our boilers are working very hard for us, yet we don’t actually notice this until they break down. Boiler breakdowns can be extremely inconvenient, and during busy times such as winter it can be hard to find someone to come out and get it fixed. That’s why maintenance is so important, and here are a few tips for making sure your boiler is in top condition and working at its best.
Book a service
If you’re a tenant, then your landlord will need to do a gas safety check annually, which will include a check of the boiler. Those who are homeowners should also spend a little on an annual service, as this can prevent bigger problems down the line. It’s usually best to get your boiler checked before the cold weather kicks in. It’s always easier to book an engineer during the warmer months as there are fewer breakdowns, and you need to be sure your boiler is ready to handle the extra strain of the cold months.
Some of the things that will happen during a boiler service include:
- Checking of safety devices
- Thorough check of each component
- Cleaning, if needed, of any components
- Checking pressure and heat input
- A service report written and signed by the engineer
It doesn’t take long to do, but can save you from an annoying boiler breakdown on a winter’s day, and can be cheaper than having to have a repair for something that was preventable.
Bleed your radiators
If your radiators aren’t working efficiently, or seem hotter in some places than others, this can be a sign that they need bleeding. It’s a simple thing to do, as long as you have the right tools, and there are lots of tutorials online. Bleeding your radiators can stop your boiler from being under undue strain, which could potentially shorten its lifespan.
Use the heating regularly
Your boiler needs to be regularly used to avoid problems. Boilers that aren’t turned on regularly can ‘seize up’, and this isn’t a problem confined to the winter months. Some boiler issues appear in the summer when it’s simply not been used for a long period, and you may not notice until you come to take a shower and find there’s no hot water. You can prevent this by turning on your boiler regularly for short periods of time. If you’re going to be away for a long period, then set a timer so the heating will be on for ten minutes while you’re away, or ask a neighbour to pop in and switch it on. This can prevent damage to your boiler in the long run.
Get repairs done quickly
If you’ve got a problem with your boiler, but it’s not fully broken down, then it can be tempting to put it off. However, this can cause even more issues and mean a more expensive repair down the line. Get a qualified engineer in as soon as possible when you notice an issue. You can find a local tradesman on Thomson Local if you’re looking for a boiler repair service and this will allow you to get the work done as quickly and affordably as possible, preventing further damage.
Some of the issues you might have could include:
- Leaking or dropping
- Pilot light going out
- Noisy boilers – it could be gurgling, banging, or whistling
- Lack of pressure
- Frozen pipes
A qualified engineer can fix all these relatively easily, so it’s not worth putting things off, as this can mean a more expensive repair further down the line.
A lack of proper ventilation can cause issues with boilers, and it’s important not to keep too many things in your boiler cupboard. Some families tend to keep towels, coats, and other items in this handy storage space, but too many items can mean a lack of ventilation which can cause a boiler breakdown.
Be prepared for a big freeze
When bad weather is coming, you need to be on top of things, and this can mean keeping the heating on low all day round, or lagging pipes to stop them from freezing. This can prevent a boiler breakdown at one of the busiest times of year, when it can be difficult to get an engineer out at the last minute.
Because boilers are hidden away in cupboards, you might not look at them very often. However, a quick visual check will help you spot some potential problems. Any cracks or black marks can indicate an issue, as can a flame that’s not clear and blue. Make sure you have a look now and again to see if anything is wrong.
Boilers can last for up to 30 years, or even more, so a good model can be an excellent investment. However, if you want them to last for longer there are a few things you need to do. From a few basic maintenance things you can do yourself, to a regular service from a qualified engineer, these things don’t take long yet allow you to make the most of this appliance. Your boiler keeps you toasty in the winter and allows you to heat hot water for all sorts of uses, making it very important and the kind of thing you want to avoid breaking down.