Winter only rolls around late in the year, but it’s the worst time to see your central heating system breaking down. The best time to make sure it’s in the best condition is a few weeks before winter rolls in, but knowing how to keep it good year-long is well worth the effort.
You’ll want to go to the original site of your boiler company to learn more, but there’s also some general care tips. Here’s a few of them.
First off, can you fix a boiler without calling in an engineer?
Yes but, for safety, stick to basic checks. If you’re on a repayment meter, check your credit, then turn on any gas appliances in the house to see if there’s a flame, and check if a fuse has been tripped. Power cuts can also reset timers, which would then necessitate reprogramming. Once you do that, turn the thermostat past 21°C, which can force the boiler into action.
Is an annual boiler service really necessary?
For the most part, yes. Better safe than sorry, after all. A yearly service by a registered engineer is just being prudent. Costs depend on several factors, which you can check in a local technician’s original site, but the general idea is that this is way cheaper than any potential service charge you’ll have to pay should something go wrong. The annual service should include a check of the flue, operating pressure, heat output, and all seals, as well as a full safety check and cleaning, if necessary. There should also be a signed service report.
The boiler cuts out in extreme cold?
This isn’t a fault, it’s just below-zero conditions causing condensate pipes, which are commonly found on modern condensing boilers, to freeze, which results in the boiler cutting out. It’s actually a fairly common call-out in the winter season, one that can actually be dealt with rather easily. Just defrost the pipes by pouring some warm (not boiling) water on the pipes.
Boiler bill still high in spite of having a good boiler.
Boilers actually account for a large chunk of annual energy bills, up to 60% in some places, and even if you don’t set the heating over 20°C, you might still be facing a hefty bill. There are ways to cut down on costs, like getting a high-efficiency boiler, a programmable thermostat, and thermostatic radiator valves, which let you control when and where the heating is used. But remember, all of these tools won’t matter if your house isn’t properly insulated.