Have you ever experienced boiler problems in mid-winter or just before Christmas? Of course, you have. You and everyone else. It sometimes gets to a point where local engineers are working on a triage system based on how young or vulnerable your residents are. Plumbers every year face the mission of saving Christmas.
So, have you ever thought, I really should get my boiler serviced in the summer and ready for winter action? It’s not immediately intuitive to think of your central heating in the warmer months but it makes total sense. Of course, you can’t guarantee you won’t encounter problems in those high-demand cold months. But
there is plenty you can do to give yourself the confidence that your heating system is in good condition when you turn in on in autumn.
Why service my boiler in the summer?
It’s just a practical approach. You won’t be fighting with everyone else for elusive engineer slots. You can do it at your convenience. The system is checked over in its more ‘dormant’ period, keeping it in use. And of course, you are minimising nasty surprises when it suddenly gets cold and you need heat. If you are going to service your system at some point, then why not beat the queues.
Do I really need to service my boiler every year?
If you have a relatively new boiler that is still in warranty, it may well be in the conditions of this warranty that it is serviced annually. Beyond this, it’s easy to be complacent. But we rely on our central heating systems. Boilers are expensive to replace, and therefore it pays to take a preventative approach.
There are many components to a central heating system: boilers, pipes, radiators, coils and heat exchangers. We don’t need to get technical, but over time they can start to build up limescale or wear and corrode. Dirty water and debris collect within your system and impact your boiler, eventually causing it to fail. Some engineers like Charles Bickham offer a Power Flush. You won’t need it every service, but they will be able to assess when its required. It is quick and effective cleaning of the system and can save you from the problems caused by accumulated gunk.
The benefits of undergoing an annual service
You don’t need to wait until things go wrong in mid-winter. There are many benefits to having an annual service:
- It helps you plan and manage your costs as best as possible, minimising the likelihood of unexpected problems.
- Improved safety and protection against dangers like carbon monoxide. Landlords are required by law to provide their tenants with an annual Gas Safe certificate. If landlords do this for their tenants why wouldn’t you want to ensure the safety of your family to the same standard? If you are at all worried about carbon monoxide, then check out the Gas Safe website for advice and information.
- Ultimately, it can increase the life and health of your boiler. A well-oiled machine and all that.
- With a healthy boiler, it will be working efficiently – which will keep your running costs down and your eco-credentials up.
What does a service cover?
The engineer will inspect the workings of the boiler behind the casing. It’s not recommended that you remove a boiler’s casing yourself, so if you have any concerns, do contact a registered engineer (Gas Safe as above and Oftec are the key industry organisations). At a service they should check:
- The controls are working
- The gas pressure and flow are at the correct levels
- The flue and combustion for safety and efficiency
- The functioning of the fans
- Electrical connections and seals
- Pipework condition and issues
- Safety – including carbon monoxide levels
Signs you may have an issue
Servicing should anticipate and reduce issues. However if you notice any irregularities or changes in the ways things are working, its a good idea to contact an engineer before the problem escalates. Signs to look out for are:
- Radiators making noise or knocking in the pipes
- Radiator problems, inconsistencies, cold spots or leaks
- Noisy boiler or pump
- Heating takes too long to get up to temperature
- If you bleed your radiators, there is no water or the water is murky
- Water pressure issues – these are sometimes connected to heating systems
Servicing your boiler in the summer is the kind of advice you know makes sense, but just don’t quite get round to organising. With such an important home system, it is really worth it. So enjoy the summer and here’s wishing you an efficiently warm, ahead of the game Christmas.
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