During the winter months, it is vital that you know how to keep your boiler working the best it can. Your boiler supplies you with hot water for a bath after a long day, and it keeps your home warm by heating your radiators, a couple of things you may not be able to do without in the cold months. This is why it is essential to ensure that your boiler is performing at full efficiency, so we are going to run through some ways you can stay on top of this. Whether you need a boiler repair, or it’s just a quick tip to keep your boiler in shape, we’re going to help you tackle the winter cold in this blog.
Bleed your radiators
Radiators need to be bled when they have air trapped in them. This is because trapped air stops warm water from circulating around your radiator and causes them to be cold at the top and warm at the bottom. It is a good idea to bleed your radiators at least once per year, so doing them before winter could be a good idea, to stay on top of keeping your home warm each winter.
Quick steps to bleeding a radiator:
- Ensure your heating is switched off
- Use your radiator key to turn the valve at the top of the radiator
- Do so until the hissing sound stops, which is the air being released, then retighten the valve
- Turn your heating back on and check the pressure on the boiler gauge, if the pressure is too low, top it up
You can now check your radiators are heating evenly and if they are, the problem should be solved! You can read a more in depth guide into how to bleed a radiator by clicking here.
Check your boiler pressure
Leading on from point 4 above, checking your boiler pressure is another way to keep your boiler in top form. If your boiler pressure is not at the correct level then it may struggle to circulate hot water to your radiators and pipes in your home. You should check the pressure on the gauge to ensure that it is in the correct range, according to the manufacturer’s instructions, which is generally between 1 and 2 bars. If your boiler pressure is not within the correct range, you can alter it yourself with the instructions below:
- Switch off your boiler and allow it to cool down
- Open both valves, generally on the underside of the boiler, but you can check this
- Wait until the pressure is at the desirable number on the gauge and then close the valves again
- Turn your boiler back on
Once again, if you are in need of more in depth instructions, search the internet and find a safe and reliable source.
Get your boiler serviced regularly
As with bleeding your radiators, it’s handy to get your boiler serviced at least once per year, this means that you can do so before the winter months, so your boiler is performing well during. Servicing your boiler will keep your boiler running as efficiently as possible, it will prevent breakdowns and it will keep your boiler working for longer than if you did not get it serviced. The benefits of all these things are that you will save money and save yourself time and stress of fixing your boiler over the winter months.
Ensure that you are using a trusted Gas Safe engineer to do your boiler service to make sure that it is done safely and correctly.
Check the colour of your boiler flame
Checking what colour your boiler flame is burning is a quick and easy way to ensure that it is running well, and more importantly is safe. Your boiler flame should always be burning with a strong blue flame, so keep an eye out for this on a regular occasion.
If your boiler flame is burning yellow, you need to contact a Gas Safe engineer immediately, as this could mean that there is a carbon monoxide leak in your boiler. Also ensure that you have a carbon monoxide alarm fitted, as it is silent and often odorless, meaning that you cannot detect it without an alarm.
Turn your heating on regularly
This is more of a general tip for the whole year, as you will likely have your heating on regularly in the winter, but turning your heating on even when you don’t need it is a great tip to maintain your boiler.
This is because when your boiler is stagnant for a long time, internal parts can gather dirt and dust. Turning the central heating on for 10-15 minutes regularly will keep everything moving and minimise the chances of a breakdown when it comes to the winter months.
Get a professional to help
Although many of the above tips can be actioned without professional help, it is very important to remember that your boiler can cause you serious harm if it is not operating correctly. If you are ever unsure about something, get a Gas Safe engineer to help you fix the issue, it may seem like a cost you do not want to incur, but it is worth it to be safe and comfortable in your home.