Your boiler is one of the most important fixtures in your home – it controls the heating and hot water, and generally keeps your home running smoothly. However, your boiler needs to be maintained in order to keep it running to optimum efficiency and to reduce the chances of it breaking down. While boiler maintenance and repairs should only be completed by a professional, there are a few things you can do at home to keep it in top working condition.
- Book an annual boiler servicing
Annual servicing improves the longevity of your boiler and can help prevent it from breaking down. Investing in regular check-ups can help you avoid the high cost of replacement parts should you boiler breakdown. It can also prevent the cost of an emergency callout, or even the costly charge of a new boiler, should your boiler break beyond repair. Local boiler experts LS1 Boiler Installation recommend booking check-ups every six months to keep track of regular wear and tear but suggest a minimum of one checkup each year.
When booking a checkup, ensure that you have an experienced boiler installer have a thorough look. An accredited boiler engineer will be able to carry out basic safety tests, as well as more complex maintenance checks to look for any faults and keep your boiler running as efficiently as possible.
- Keep your boiler running all year
It may seem strange to keep your boiler running through the summer, but this can actually help prevent it from breaking down during the winter. Depending on what kind of boiler you have, and how old it is, you may be able to simply turn it on occasionally over the summer, to prevent the pump and diverter valves from seizing up. For more modern boilers, you may be able to keep it on in ‘standby’ mode, which will use less energy throughout the summer.
- Know the early warning signs of any issues
While you may be getting your boiler serviced annually, it’s worth knowing what the warning signs are so you can spot any potential issues early on rather than later. This can help save you money on costly repairs, while also preventing your boiler from breaking down suddenly. A faulty boiler can also produce carbon monoxide, which can put your family in danger and risks carbon monoxide poisoning.
A strange smell coming from your boiler, noises, and black stains are all warning signs that your boiler is not running correctly. You should ensure that the pilot light is not going out, and that the flame burns blue rather than yellow. Another sign is that your boiler is not heating up as quickly, and that your home is colder than usual. Most times, normal wear and tear is to blame for these issues, however you should call an engineer to have a look, and advise on any replacements that may need to be made.
- Replace boilers that are over 10 years old
While boilers do last a number of years, it’s best to replace it after 10-15 years. Even if you do have your boiler serviced regularly, new technology provides more energy efficient boilers, which could be greener for the environment, while also saving you money on your bills. Heating accounts for around 60 per cent of your energy bills, so having an efficient boiler can make a big difference to your annual spend.
Your boiler also deteriorates over time, regardless of how often you get it serviced. General wear and tear makes it run less efficiently, and it could be more cost effective to simply replace it after a while, rather than regularly fork out on replacement parts, which could get costly.
- Be aware of the effects of hard water
Over 60 per cent of UK residents live in hard water areas, which is defined as having a high mineral content. The more minerals the water has, the more limescale it produces, which can build up if left untreated over time. A buildup of limescale in your water heating pipes can affect the water flows, and uses more energy to heat pipes, as the limescale layers also need to be heated, which increases your energy bills.
Limescale can also affect the internal parts of your boiler, which reduces the efficiency and can even cause breakdowns. If you live in a very hard water area, you may consider investing in a water softener to help reduce the amount of limescale, which can also keep your boiler working as efficiently as possible.
Following these five simple steps can help you extend the life of your boiler, and reduce the need for any emergency callouts, saving you money in the long run.