Boiler maintenance is incredibly important but all too often overlooked by UK homeowners. Boilers are not only costly to repair and replace, but when they are not working efficiently they will be costing you more to run and could even be putting your family's health in danger.
A 2021 boiler reliability survey of 8,001 boiler owners found only around 3 in 10 boilers that are serviced annually have needed a repair in their first six years. This doubles to around 6 in 10 boilers if the boiler is only serviced every two to five years.
So spending a bit of money on a boiler service could potentially spare you a huge repair cost in the future, as well as giving you peace of mind. Read on to find out what you can do to ensure you get the best boiler service. We'll also tell you how much you should expect to pay for a boiler service so you don't get overcharged.
- Have the boiler serviced at least once a year. Every year, your boiler should be professionally serviced to keep it running at its best, to avoid malfunctions, to extend its lifespan, to keep your heating expenses low, and to ensure that it is covered by the manufacturer's warranty. This should be done by a Gas Safe expert who can ensure that all of the components are in good working order and spot any minor flaws before they become inconvenient and costly failures.
- Check the pressure in the boiler. The boiler must be set at the proper pressure to circulate hot water around your home's pipes and radiators. Check the pressure gauge to make sure it's set to the right pressure according to the manufacturer's recommendations. Typically, this is between 1 and 2 bar. You can adjust the pressure yourself if it is too low or too high.
- Bleed the radiators at least once a year (atleast). Air can become trapped in your radiators over time. These pockets of air will prevent the radiator from properly heating up, resulting in cold spots. By bleeding the radiators, you can get rid of this air. It's not uncommon for people to paint over radiator valves, making them impossible to adjust. It may be possible to release it with a little force and WD40, but if not, an engineer will be able to assist you.
- Make sure the radiators are balanced. If the radiators farthest from the boiler are cooler than those closest to the boiler, they may need to be balanced. Balancing radiators is more difficult than bleeding them, but it can help the system heat the house more evenly.
- Look for radiator issues. Radiators that get heated at the top but stay cold at the bottom are a regular problem. This is usually due to debris and dirt accumulating in the system over time and settling at the bottom of the radiator. This will not only make it more difficult to heat your home, but it may also increase the cost of your heating expenses. An engineer who can do a power flush should be contacted. If the radiator isn't heating at all and the valve is clearly open, it's possible that the valve has to be replaced.
- Make sure the fame in the boiler is blue. Boilers should always have a strong blue flame burning in them. If the flame is orange or yellow, call a Gas Safe engineer right away since there could be a carbon monoxide leak.
- Check to see if the boiler is properly ventilated. Boilers require a lot of space to be effectively aired, therefore make sure the boiler isn't too cluttered, such as with jackets hung over it. Boilers can be stored in cupboards with a minimum space of 700 mm between the boiler and the barrier or wall.
- Examine the external pipe for leakage. The external pipe is known as the overfow pipe, and if it is dripping water, it could indicate that the boiler is malfunctioning. The pressure release valve may need to be repaired by a Gas Safe engineer. Find a heating engineer in your area.
- Install Lagging to pipe work. It's a good idea to lag your outdoor pipes before the winter freezes. It's quite simple and inexpensive to perform because you can buy ready-to-use lagging at a DIY store. If the lagging keeps the pipes from freezing, you might be able to avoid the bother and expense of a boiler breakdown when you really need it.
How To Save As Much As £350 On Your Annual Gas Bills
With a new boiler, your household's energy costs will go down. Watch your gas bill decline and you could save up to £350 a year.
Money can be earned, saved, or stolen. Adjusting your heating system can help you save a lot of money; here are some of the simplest and quickest ways to do so:
With regard to boilers, old isn't always better. It's possible that your 20-year-old boiler is the most dependable home appliance you've ever purchased, but that doesn't mean it doesn't cost you a small fortune.
The Energy Saving Trust estimates that heating accounts for 55% of your annual energy costs, so the waste that an inefficient boiler could be causing should not be understated. It will drain your finances twice as quickly as you drain radiators.
Check your boiler's efficiency if it is more than ten years old to see how much energy it is actually using to generate heat and hot water for your home. You might be surprised. You could save 20% to 35% percent on your gas bills by switching to a new, contemporary combi boiler.
Take a look at the potential annual savings below if you're maintaining a boiler that is over 15 years old and likely G rated (running at less than 70% efficiency).
It's simple to understand where your savings are coming from because the majority of new combi boilers operate at a minimum of 92 percent efficiency. You will be making a noticeable monthly savings.
It's important to keep in mind that these savings are based on combi boiler switches, and that larger family households with multiple bathrooms and an insatiable thirst for hot water will likely be better with a regular boiler, as this won't require continuously heating water on demand — an inefficiency like that would quickly negate those savings.
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