The essential guide to boiler maintenance
Having to undergo repairs on your boiler can be as expensive as it is inconvenient. It’s far better to keep an eye on your boiler, ensuring that it’s working at its most efficient at regular intervals, than to be forced to fork out for repairs – or to experience unnecessarily high energy bills over the colder months. But what do you need to know about boiler maintenance?
The essentials
The first thing you can do to make sure that you’re getting the most from your boiler is to put it through annual servicing. The cost of doing so is likely to pale into insignificance when compared to the amount you could otherwise be spending on unforeseen repairs. A boiler which isn’t cared for regularly is also likely to be inefficient, costing more than it needs to in running costs. With a standard service with RXSOL , you can expect the following:  Proper Functionality of all components.  Cleaning of all pipes and components.  Removal sluge, sooth,
Why is boiler maintenance important?
Boiler maintenance is key to ensuring that your boiler is safe. While rare, gas leaks can be very dangerous and are often difficult to detect in your home. Having professional work carried out on your boiler is the best way to protect yourself against such disaster. Whilst it should go unsaid, it’s also important to note that work should never be carried out by anyone other than a qualified professional. The primary reason for this is safety, but it could also prove costly to have to repair any mistakes made by an inexperienced engineer. For those keen to save money when caring for their boiler, maintenance is very important .
What to do if you have a problem with your boiler
Responsible for both central heating and hot water, the boiler is a part of our home that we all rely on. Boiler repair and maintenance work should never be carried out by anybody who is not qualified. If you call British Gas, you can rest assured that problems will be fixed by those with the necessary expertise.
Having work done
If you’ve taken the necessary precautions, you should spare a little time to research the professional boiler servicers in your area. Once again, we stress that it’s essential that you don’t attempt to carry out work on the boiler yourself. Doing so can be very dangerous and will invalidate any insurance policy which you may have taken out.
Take the opportunity to prepare for the future
The best way to avoid trouble with your boiler in the future is to have it regularly serviced. Services will not only ensure that your boiler is in good working order, but can also maximise efficiency, saving you money on future energy bills. Boilers are expensive to repair and even more costly to replace, so it makes sense to maintain your boiler in tip-top condition. Regular maintenance will not only save you money in the long run but could also save your life as a faulty boiler can be fatal. Remember too that a healthy boiler is more efficient, so cutting your energy bills.
Annual service
The engineer will usually check all the parts and clean the components. September is a good time to arrange the service, so you can be sure your boiler can take the strain of the winter months.
Turn the heating on
Boilers can seize up if they are not used regularly. Experts therefore recommend that you turn on the heating for ten or 15 minutes every so often during the summer months, just to keep the boiler ticking over.
Under pressure
Boilers lose pressure over time, which can cause them to run inefficiently. Check the pressure gauge on your boiler if you can and top it up if necessary. Your manual should give you instructions, or you can ask the plumber.
Bleed the radiators
If your radiators are colder at the bottom than the top, air is trapped in the system. You therefore need to release the air by ‘bleeding’ the radiators. If you don’t, the system is not working efficiently, putting an extra strain on your boiler and effectively wasting you money. Switch the heating off before you bleed the radiators and slot the key into the bleed valve. Turn the key anticlockwise for a quarter of a rotation and you should hear a hissing sound as the air escapes. When water starts to drip (have an old towel or some kitchen paper to hand!), lock the valve and the job is done, though you might need to top up the boiler pressure.
Warning signs
Leaks, cracks, clunking noises or black, sooty marks all suggest you have a problem. So check your boiler regularly and look out for warning signs. The sooner you detect and repair a fault, the better. It’s also wise to make sure that any external vents, flues and airbricks are free from blockages and debris.
Blue flame
The flame in your boiler should be a strong, clear blue. If it appears yellow or smoky, there could be something wrong and you should call a plumber immediately.
Clear the clutter
If your boiler is in a cupboard, is it surrounded by coats, shoes, bags and other clutter? Boilers need ventilation so the space around the appliance should be kept free from clutter. Your boiler should also be relatively easy to access, so make sure you keep the cupboard reasonably tidy. Your plumber or engineer should be able to advise on whether your boiler has adequate ventilation.
Lag the pipes
When the temperature drops below zero, the boiler’s external condensate pipe can freeze. The boiler will then cut out as a safety precaution. You can melt the ice by pouring warm water over the pipe, but you can prevent the boiler from freezing by insulating the pipes or by keeping the heating on a constant low setting when it is very cold.
Gas safety
A faulty boiler can produce carbon monoxide – a gas that you can’t see, smell or taste. Carbon monoxide can kill, which is why every home should have a carbon monoxide detector, preferably with an alarm. Put it near the boiler and check it every month to make sure it’s working.