How healthy is your boiler? 4 things to check regularly
Your boiler works hard to keep your home cosy and your water warm. And even though it doesn’t normally need a lot of attention, it’s good to do a few regular checks to keep everything in working order.
The key to a healthy boiler is to spot issues early. The sooner you catch a potential problem, the quicker you can get it fixed and avoid costly repairs or a replacement.
If you’ve had regular breakdowns and your bills keep creeping up without any apparent reason, it’s worth getting a Gas Safe registered engineer on the case.
Other signs that may point to more serious boiler issues are buzzing or whining sounds, a strange smell, water leaks or a yellow flame (the pilot light should always be blue).
The pilot light in your boiler should always burn with a clean blue flame
If none of these apply to you and your boiler works as it should, you can keep it that way with the following checklist.
Insulate your boiler condensate pipe
One of the most common reasons boilers break down in winter is a frozen condensate pipe. To stop this from happening, you can cover the pipe with waterproof cladding. For any changes to the pipe itself, ask a Gas Safe registered engineer for help.
Bleed your radiators
Air often gets trapped in heating systems. This stops radiators from heating up properly – leaving you with much cooler rooms. By bleeding the radiators, you’ll let the air out. This is an easy task and all you need is a radiator key to open the bleed valves.
Check the boiler pressure
From time to time, your boiler system may lose water and depressurise. Your boiler should be around 1 and 1.5 bar when the system is cold, and if the gauge is less than 0.5 bar, you need to re-pressurise the system.
If your boiler's pressure gauge measures less than 0.5bar, the system will need to be re-pressurised
To re-pressurise the system safely, refer to your boiler manual.
Keep an eye on the thermostat
If your thermostat is faulty, the rooms in your house may be too hot or cold. To test this component, switch the heating on at the timer. Then turn the boiler thermostat to the minimum and see if the boiler goes off. If not, turn off the boiler’s time clock.
A healthy boiler should always respond to the thermostat.