How to show your boiler some love
Let’s face it; as home appliances go, our boiler is pretty high up on the list of essentials. Where would we be on a cold winter’s morning, or night for that matter, if we couldn’t switch on the heating? Brrrrrr – it doesn’t even bear thinking about!
While we’d never advocate you doing your own boiler service, you 100% need a qualified heating engineer for that, we can offer you some hints and tips on how to look after your boiler, to ensure it gives you the best possible heat in return for your care…
1. Keep up the pressure
Boilers won’t work properly if the water pressure is too low. To check the pressure, go to your boiler and you’ll see a digital pressure display or a gauge on the front. You just need to ensure that its running between 1 and 1.5 bar. If it’s below that you need to turn the pressure up.
2. Turn up the heat
Yes, we’ll admit, we’ve had some particularly mild weather over the past few years. So much so, that we spend many months of the year without any heating on at all. Unfortunately, our boilers do not thank us for this. In fact, some boilers have been known to pack up over lack of use. Avoid this happening by turning on your heating every now and again – to avoid your boiler feeling neglected and to give it a good run.
3. Bleeding love
Running your boiler and your heating can be an expensive business, so you’ll want to make sure that when they are on they’re running to maximum efficiency. If your radiators feel cold at the top but warm at the bottom this means there’s air trapped inside them and you’ll need to bleed them. Learn how to bleed your radiators safely, with this video from home DIY experts, Wickes.
4. Give it some breathing space
As much as our boilers like to be used, they also like to have plenty of their own space. If your boiler is crammed in a cupboard full of coats and other belongings, it might not be getting enough ventilation. As well as ensuring you always have easy access to your boiler, it’s important you clear its surrounding areas of clutter, so that it can operate efficiently.
5. Loan them a jacket
Your hot water tank likes to stay warm, pretty much all the time. You can help it do this by giving it an insulation jacket, which will keep the heat inside the tank warmer for longer – thus saving you money. While you’re at it, you can also lag exposed pipes with insulation and fit radiator reflector panels. Head to the Energy Saving Trust for more energy and money-saving heating tips.
6. Help the aged
Did you know that an old boiler may convert as little as 60% of the fuel it uses into useful heat? If your boiler is over 10 years old, then it might be time to replace it with a new, energy-efficient model. Although it will mean parting with some cash up front, it could save you lots of money in the long run.
7. Ask the experts
While you might think you have your boiler care covered, nothing beats the peace of mind of having an expert give it the once over. An annual service check will ensure your boiler is running safely and smoothly. Remember to ensure the engineer you hire is Gas Safe certified. If in doubt, consumer rights experts Which? have compiled a handy boiler service checklist for you to download.