Every homeowner with a heating system in their home will likely have a boiler of some kind. However, that doesn’t mean that everyone who has a boiler understands home boiler care. In this article we offer you all you need to know to help you get the best from your boiler and heating.
Home boiler care 101: What you need to know
Every winter seems to be colder than the one before. While a lot of people are reluctant to rely on their heating because it can get a little pricey, there is often little choice.
Keeping your home heated is about a lot more than your comfort too.
It affect your health and wellbeing.
Ensuring that your boiler is taken care of can help to ensure that it is in proper working order and that it will last.
Boiler maintenance also helps you to avoid costly breakdowns that affect your central heating. The specifics of your boiler maintenance needs will depend on the type of boiler you have.
To this end we offer the following guide on home boiler care. Most of the advice can be applied universally regardless of your boiler type. Read on to learn more.
The different types of boilers
As mentioned above, the form of boiler that you have will affect the specific care and maintenance requirements. Knowing more about your boiler is important.
Luckily, there are only three main forms of boiler found in the UK. Most people have either a system boiler, combi boiler or conventional boiler in their home.
If you aren’t sure what form of boiler you have, it should become pretty evident after having read their descriptions.
Understanding more about your boiler helps you when it comes to developing your maintenance schedule.
Firstly, system boilers. They work by supplying the home with a constant flow of hot water it isn’t stored in a tank, and because of this, it is often one of the smaller options, which makes them ideal for those with less space in their homes.
Next, a combi boiler. These are one of the more popular models. This form of boiler controls both the hot water and the central heating. They are often seen as more energy efficient, which does act as a big draw for a lot of people.
Lastly, conventional boilers are often seen as one of the more traditional choices, which does lead some people to think that they are outdated. A conventional boiler comprises of a tank and a cylinder; it stores a lot of hot water, which can make it better suited to bigger homes.
Boiler care tips
Boiler care and maintenance are a lot easier than you might think. It is simply about adopting a few habits and working to implement them into your schedule to form a routine.
First things first, you should ensure that your home, as a whole, is built to insulate you. This ensures that your boiler doesn’t have to over-exert itself in order to bring it up to the right temperature. You should ensure that your home is properly insulated both in the walls and the attic. After that, you should check out the windows and doors; if you don’t already have double glazing, then now is the time to get it. FMB has resources on heating, boilers and double glazing that should provide answers to all your questions.
Familiarise yourself with the boiler instructions and warranty
Next, you should dig up the instructions and warranty that you have for your boiler if you can find them. You might be surprised to find that damage and breakdowns are still covered. Or, at the very least, it provides you with the exact make and model that can then be used when sourcing spare parts, or to find out the exact age of the boiler, which can then maybe tell you that it needs to be replaced, especially if your boiler is over a decade old.
After that, you should think about when you last had your boiler serviced. If you can’t remember, then a service is likely overdue. Having your boiler serviced regularly is similar to having your car serviced. It provides you with an opportunity to find problems early before they have a chance to get any worse and compromise your boiler or your heating system. During the service, a qualified technician essentially inspects your boiler, looking through all the different elements to ensure that it is working as it should. Truthfully, a boiler service is often overlooked or not seen as a priority; this means that the issues snowball and lead to breakdowns which can often be far more disruptive and expensive.
Radiators and their effect in your home
The radiators within your home obviously work with your boiler in order to heat the property. This means that your boiler affects the radiators and vice versa. Your radiators tell your boiler how hard it needs to work in order to pump the heat around your home. This means that if your radiators aren’t working efficiently, this then has a knock-on effect on the boiler. Bleeding your radiators semi-regularly can help to make sure that they are working properly; your boiler then doesn’t need to overexert itself. It helps to ensure that the whole system is running smoothly, minimising the risks to your boiler and making sure that your radiators are in good working order.
Pressure levels and their effect on home heating
Something else that can impact the efficacy of your boiler and its health is the pressure level. Boilers need a steady pressure level in order to operate. There is a window of desired pressure; it needs to be high but not too high. Over your boiler’s lifetime, the pressure is likely to drop slowly, and that is okay. But you need to avoid sudden drops or spikes in pressure. You will need to keep an eye on your boiler’s pressure level. This can act as the first indicator of issues which you can then address before they progress any further. When checking your boiler’s pressure level, you need to make sure that it is above one bar, anything under one bar is classed as low pressure, and it will mean that further work will need to be done.
Most people’s boilers are housed either in a kitchen cupboard or in an airing cupboard.
Depending on the space around the boiler, it is easy to find yourself cluttering up the space with other items.
However, a boiler really needs ventilation to work as it should. By storing other things around your boiler, you limit the opportunity for ventilation.
Try to ensure that the area around your boiler is free and clear as much as possible.
This might mean looking for other storage solutions, but this is easily done.
Managing home boiler controls
Finally, when the weather gets warmer again, and you don’t need your boiler as much, you can turn it off during the spring and summer months.
It is good to give it a break if you can.
However, you shouldn’t leave your boiler off for too long; it can be just as bad if left idle for too long.
So, during the months when your boiler is off or not being used, try to turn it off once a month or so. You should let the boiler run for around twenty minutes.
This gives the boiler a chance to run through the system to make sure that everything is still working as it should.
To sum up on home boiler care
Obviously, your boiler is an important appliance in your home, especially for the colder months. In order to ensure that your boiler is working as it should and that it will last as long as possible, taking the proper care of your boiler is paramount.
Luckily, taking care of your boiler is really simple; take on board the tips above and building them into a routine is easily done.
FURTHER READING ON KEEPING HOME AND MAINTAINING PROPERTY
At Housesitmatch.com we like to offer useful and practical articles on topics for our readers. In this selection we offer you a number of suitable pieces from our own blog on renovating, keeping and maintaining a home.