There are many different things you can do to look after your boiler that can be easily integrated into your routine. Although some forms of maintenance will be dependent on what boiler you have, there are a few ‘generic’ measures you can take for any type of boiler, no matter its type, nature or make.
Taking care of your boiler though, can help to ensure its longevity, reducing the amount of times you’ll have to replace the boiler in your house and having a well-maintained boiler may help to increase the value of your home, in comparison to an old and tired boiler. Ensuring your boiler is in optimum condition will also help it run more efficiently, keeping gas bills down.
Having your boiler breakdown can become a massive issue, particularly in the coldest months of winter where you need to be best prepared for all the weather has to throw at you and your property (more information here). Regardless of how long you have had your boiler for, ensuring it is well looked after is vital in helping you to maintain a comfortable and sustainable temperature throughout your home whilst ensuring you don’t have to fork out for costly repairs.
Different Types of Boilers
It is important to identify what type of boiler you have first and foremost. Whilst this article will be exploring more general ways to help maintain your boiler, looking into ways to take care of your specific make of boiler can go further in preventing breakdowns and therefore having to shell out for costly repairs.
There are three main types of boilers that are most commonly used throughout the UK, these being as follows:
These types of boilers control both the central heating of a property and the hot water running throughout. A combi boiler is the most energy efficient boiler out of the three listed and is a great choice for those looking to reduce their household’s carbon footprint and minimise the effect the heating of a property has on the wider environment.
The most traditional of the three boilers, a conventional boiler is made up of a water storage tank and a cylinder. It can supply a property with considerably large quantities of hot water, great for bigger homes with multiple bathrooms. As this is a more traditional model of boiler, it works best with more traditional heating system models.
This type of boiler, unlike the conventional model, does not have a water tank. They provide a constant supply of heated water to the property, and are very space efficient as they do not require a water storage tank. These boiler systems are great for properties that have multiple bathrooms.
It is vital to know what type of boiler you have in your home or property; knowing your boiler’s strengths and weaknesses can be of great help when figuring out how to best maintain it, and further prevent breakdowns.
How to Look After Your Boiler
There are many practices you can undertake to help look after your boiler and keep it in tip top condition. Some of main ways in which you can maintain your boiler and further prevent breakdowns are as follows:
- Annual servicing
- Bleeding radiators
- Checking boiler pressure regularly
- De-clutter space around boiler
- Summer switch-off
Ensuring that you integrate these methods into your regular routine of household maintenance can help to prevent issues with your boiler and further improve the efficiency and longevity of the heating system.
Annual Boiler Servicing
To ensure that your boiler is running efficiently, you should have a plumber run an annual boiler service. This boiler service will conduct a thorough inspection of your boiler system to ensure not only that everything is safe, but also that it is running as efficiently as it possibly can.
Many forget about their boilers until an issue arises. By implementing an annual check-up of your boiler, you can minimise the risk of damages, costs and improve the heating and energy efficiency of your home. Many heating and boiler engineers and companies are able to provide these services, with some monthly payment schemes available too.
Although not explicitly focused on the boiler itself, the radiators in your property are very closely linked to how hard your boiler will have to work to heat your property. By bleeding the radiators, you can help to improve both their efficiency and your boiler’s efficiency in heating your home, minimising the risk of the system overworking and potentially breaking down, by reducing, even removing unnecessary air pockets from the system.
Bleeding radiators is not the same as re-balancing a heating system; something that if needed, should be done by a plumber as it is a lot more complex than bleeding radiators which can be done yourself.
Checking Boiler Pressure Regularly
Your boiler pressure has a significant impact on how the system will perform. It is typical for your boiler’s pressure to drop as time goes on. Keeping an eye on the pressure of your boiler will help you to fix any drops quickly, and minimise any issues arising from prolonged drops in pressure. For the majority of boilers, under 1 Bar is considered low pressure.
De-Cluttering Space Around Your Boiler
Although it may not seem like it, your boiler needs to be in a well-ventilated space in order to promote its efficiency. If your boiler is quite space efficient (e.g. a system boiler) and is stored away in a cupboard it can be very easy to clutter up such an otherwise useful storage space with coats and miscellaneous items.
Be aware that wherever your boiler is stored, there should be no other clutter around it in order to keep the space well-ventilated.
During the summer months, the majority of home owners will not need to heat their homes, and so will turn their boilers off. In order to prevent issues from arising with your heating system, which is switched off for long periods of time, it is recommended that you turn your boiler on every month for a quarter of an hour to let the system run. Those with a Combi boiler will simply have to turn the system to only hot water.