Ensuring your boiler is running efficiently keeps your home warm and comfortable throughout the year and can help reduce energy bills. It can also help look after your boiler so you’re less likely to have issues when you really need it to be working.
So what can you do to make sure your boiler is running properly and heating your home correctly? While you can’t perform boiler maintenance yourself (you need a Gas Safe registration for that), there are several ways you can ensure your boiler is running efficiently.
1. Check your boiler pressure
Your boiler pressure can be a good indication that something isn’t quite right. If the pressure is dropping unexpectedly, it can negatively impact the performance of your boiler and the heating system.
There are a few different reasons your boiler pressure might drop, including:
- A faulty pressure valve
- Radiators that are full of air
- An air leak
You need the pressure to remain stable for your boiler to work efficiently, this means that if the pressure drops, the boiler isn’t working at its best and could be costing you more when it comes to your energy bill.
Typically, boilers work at 1.0bar to 1.5bar. This means that pressure dropping to below 1.0bar or exceeding 3bar is a sign of a problem. Some boilers can have their pressure topped up easily without the need for an engineer, but if your boiler can’t or you don’t know how to do it, you should give an engineer a call.
2. Bleed your radiators
To keep your heating working at its best, you need to ensure that water can flow correctly through your radiator pipes. If water isn’t able to flow correctly, it can mean your radiators take ages to heat up, don’t get as hot as they should or you get cold spots on them.
The flow of water can be affected by scale or sludge building up in the pipes over time and causing blockages. If this happens, you’ll need to bleed your radiators to restore flow and improve the efficiency of your boiler.
You can check if your radiators need bleeding by turning on your heating system to see how long it takes for the radiators to heat up. You should also check if there are cold spots, if there are, bleed the radiators and you’ll find that your system runs much better.
3. Keep using your boiler
Just because the weather warms up and you don’t need your heating on, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t use your boiler. Not using your boiler for a long period of time can cause it to seize up or end up breaking just when you need it the most.
Even during the warm summer months, it is a good idea to turn your heating on and let your boiler do its thing once or twice a week. It only needs to be on for a few minutes at a time, but that can make all the difference when temperatures start to drop again.
4. Give your system a clean
Keeping your boiler clean can do wonders for its efficiency. Dusting and wiping down your boiler as and when it needs it is a good idea, but you also have to consider the inside of the boiler.
While bleeding your radiators can help to get rid of sludge and other build-ups in the pipes of your heating system, it may not be enough. If your heating still isn’t working as it should after bleeding radiators, it may need a Powerflush to remove all debris.
Typically, a Powerflush is only needed a few times for each boiler, so it’s not an annual cost. Once all debris is removed, your boiler and heating system will be much more efficient.
5. Book annual services
Just as your car gets checked every year for its MOT, your boiler should be checked each year to ensure everything is running as it should. An annual service ensures your boiler is in good shape and is performing efficiently.
The service will include a full inspection and safety check. It may also include cleaning of components if this is required. The engineer will be able to let you know if any issues need to be repaired, which can save you from your boiler breaking down.
Not only can an annual service save you money by keeping your boiler functioning efficiently, but it may also be a requirement to maintain its warranty.