The summer's disappearing fast and soon winter will be on the way. While you may still be enjoying the last barbecue of the season, it will soon be time to think about bringing out the winter woollies and switching on your heating. Although it may seem a little early to think about these things, it's never too early to check that your heating system is up to scratch and ready to take on the demands of winter. Winter can be a challenging time for your boiler, so it makes sense to start your winter heating preparation early and get your heating system serviced before the cold weather sets in.
In recent years, a record number of households have reported boiler breakdowns, and other problems with their heating systems, including burst pipes. We all know that there's nothing worse than finding yourself without heating or hot water in winter, however, unfortunately that's when problems are likely to occur, when your boiler is working its hardest. To put it simply, it's better to be safe than sorry when it comes to maintaining your boiler and heating system.
Why should I service my heating system and boiler?
Your gas boiler should have an annual service to make sure that it's working efficiently and, more importantly, safely. Not only will a more efficient boiler reduce gas consumption and lower bills, but it's more environmentally friendly too. Remember, a routinely serviced boiler will ensure that the gas is burning correctly, reducing the emissions of poisonous Carbon Monoxide.
Typical things that go wrong with boilers
The new condensing boilers are fantastic for fuel consumption, but they do require regular servicing in order to work at their best. While they're 10-20% more efficient than a regular boiler, the system is prone to freezing up in cold weather.
One of the most obvious signs of a faulty boiler is that your water isn't being heated. Often your boiler appears to be going through the motions, in that it still comes on at the scheduled time, but it simply doesn't do its job. If you suspect that this may be the case with your boiler, check the flame. It should be clear blue. If it's orange or yellow, then there's a potential problem and you need to call out an engineer.
Boiler pressure is another good indicator, especially if the pressure drops, or remains too high. And, of course, unexpected noises are always a warning sign, especially if you hear something unusual as the boiler begins its cycle.
It's time to service your heating system now
Unfortunately boilers tend to break down in winter and that's the time when heating system engineers are in greatest demand; so it makes good sense to get your boiler and heating system checked over before the cold snap starts. You may also want to consider investing in some kind of boiler cover, so that you'll have protection should the worst happen.
Always call a Registered Gas Installer
Of course, it can be tempting to employ any old engineer to fix or maintain your boiler, especially in an emergency. However, for your peace of mind, not to mention your safety, you should only ever allow a Registered Gas Installer to do any kind of work to your boiler and heating system; so before you let anyone loose on your boiler, always ask to see proof of their registration.