Boilers are something that don’t really need much attention paying to them and will get by with an annual service to bring them back into decent working order. However, as the cold nights set in from September onwards, warm central heating as you snuggle on the sofa and a hot shower to greet you in the morning becomes daily essentials.
Over the summer months when the heating is not being used, boilers don’t need much maintenance, but when the cold weather rolls in – complete with minus temperatures, snow and ice – then your boiler is under much more pressure than it has been for months. Here are our top tops to protect your boiler in cold weather and keep it running all year round.
1. Don’t Neglect Your Thermostats
Many homeowners like to change the thermostat for their properties as winter begins to make sure that it’s nice and warm when they wake up in the morning, not on in the day time when they are at work, and then warm again when the family arrives home from work or school in the evening. If you are setting your thermostat to a low temperature and your boiler does not respond, then it may need to be recalibrated – or simply needs new batteries.
2. Pipe Insulation
The pipes in your home emit heat energy as they carry hot water around your heating system, from the boiler through the pipework to the radiators. If you have exposed pipes, then insulate them with pre-cut pieces of foam material to stop heat loss – ensuring that your hot water stays hot as it travels. This is called pipe lagging and can be picked up at any hardware store. This task is especially important when it comes to your condensate pipe so it doesn’t freeze.
3. Prepare In Summer
You aren’t likely to be turning your central heating on for prolonged periods in the warm summer months. However, if your boiler suddenly goes from being inactive for months to then having to heat your home to twenty degrees all day every day, there’s a good chance it could negatively affect your pipework and radiators. Once every fortnight in summer turn the heating on for around 15-20 minutes until all the radiators are hot, then turn it off again to keep things running smoothly.
4. Maintain Cleanliness
When you clean your home, don’t forget to give the exterior of the boiler a wipe down. Dust can penetrate inside the boiler and lead to a build up in the pipes. Remember not to open the boiler up and clean the inside, that is a job for a professional as there are delicate parts which cannot be disturbed. It may not sound like much, but a quick dust or wipe every so often will go a long way to keeping your boiler in good working order.
5. Remove Air From Radiators
Also known as bleeding the radiators, removing the air from them via the valve at the top means they can heat up to full capacity and transmit their heat into the room. You will notice that your radiators need to be bled if they are only warm at the bottom and cool at the top. Simply turn the valve until all the air is released, then close. Have a towel to hand and ensure the heating system is turned off. After performing a bleed, you may need to add more water to your system to top it up.
6. Book A Boiler Service
Just before the cold weather hits, usually in late October or early November, schedule your annual boiler maintenance check. If your boiler is going to break down, you can be sure it will happen in the dead of winter just when you need it most! Booking your maintenance check in at this time of year will give you peace of mind that your boiler will run smoothly well into the new year and get you safely through the coldest months of the year.
If you’re concerned about your boiler performing well in the winter months, just take our advice from the top tips above to keep you and your family toasty. Whether it’s that warm shower in the morning, or a roaring gas fire to snuggle up near in the evening, having a boiler working as it should in those cold months is essential.
If you’d like to book a pre-winter boiler check-up service with us today, get in touch with the team here at Rowlen via the phone or our website and we’ll book you in at a time convenient for you.