As cooler weather arrives and the nights draws in, it may be time to consider turning on your heating. Boiler maintenance is important. Unmaintained boilers can get faulty and become dangerous. And, remember, a well-managed boiler is a lot more efficient and can reduce your energy bills. Let’s take a look at 5 maintenance tips for your heating system.
Service your boiler at least once a year
Servicing your boiler annually will ensure it keeps running optimally for as long as possible. A professional Gas Safe engineer will be able to make sure it is safe and effective. The engineer will also confirm that the key components of the boiler are functional; they will clean visible areas too. As a rule it is good to service your boiler in September or October so that it is ready for heavy use during Autumn and Winter.
Bleed the radiators
When you switch on the boiler, let it run for some time. You might notice that not all radiators heat up immediately. This is due to air in the radiators. To verify this, touch the radiator; you will find out the bottom is hot while the top is cold. Resolve this issue by doing the following:
- Get a rag and a radiator key
- Cover the carpet, and use a bucket in case there’s leakage
- Using the valve key, insert and turn gently counter-clockwise
- When you hear a hissing sound the air is escaping from the radiator
- After some time, the hissing will cease and water will begin to drop from the radiator
- Mop up the excess water
- Turn the radiator key to close the valve
- Touch the radiator to verify the top is as hot as the bottom
After bleeding, check the pressure gauge, if it has dropped you may need to refill the boiler.
Major radiator problems
If you observe any of the following problems, contact us to fix them immediately:
- Painted over valve: In some cases, the radiator valve may be painted over, making it difficult to free the valve. If you can’t do it yourself, call us.
- Hot top, cold bottom: This may be as a result of sludge in the radiator. It will need to be power-flushed.
- Non-Heating Radiator: Turn the valve in a clockwise manner, if it is open and the radiator isn’t working then the valve may be faulty. We can replace your broken valve.
Balancing your Radiators
This may require some skill but it is worthwhile. After bleeding all the radiators, you may observe some to be warmer than the rest. Gently fine-tune the radiators to reduce the heat in the very hot ones, so the cooler ones can heat up. For larger homes you may need professional assistance.
Safety Checks for your Boiler
The following ensures your boiler is in good working condition:
- Flue and combustion. This should be done by an expert. They will use a flue gas analyser (where necessary) to ensure the boiler is burning the right mixture of gas and air.
- Any electrical connections must be neat and in good condition
- Fans must be running fine
- Ensure the seals are intact
- Properly working electrodes
- Check all safety devices
- Free flowing condensate trap and pipe
- Finally, check your boiler pressure regularly to make sure it’s in line with manufacturer’s specified pressure levels.
Granted, most of these maintenance tips are outside the expertise of the average DIY’er and take specialist knowledge. At Frank Finn we are here to help you keep your boiler in good working order.