As we approach winter, the last thing we want to find is that our boiler is on its way out. The cost alone can be enough to ruin the week, but the added inconvenience of cold water and cold rooms will always make it seem ten times worse. Luckily, by following a few basic central heating care tips, there are ways to protect yourself and your home from these inconveniences.
Central Heating Care - Best Techniques
Keeping your boiler in working order throughout the year, and knowing the best techniques for central heating care, will help prevent surprise boiler breakdowns. Spending just a bit of time learning how to properly look after your heating systems has a number of benefits including,
- reducing your heating bills
- keeping your house warmer during the cold winter months
- potentially reducing your carbon footprint by using up less fuel when running
Steps for effective central heating care are simple, with nothing complicated or technical to get in the way. As long as someone in your household knows which type of boiler you have and how to switch it on and off, keeping your central heating system in efficient working order is easy.
Step 1: Familiarise Yourself With Your Central Heating System
Familiarising yourself with the type of central heating system in your home, including the type of boiler you have, is a good first step. There are a number of varieties of boiler, although all new varieties should now be condensing boilers. These are considered to be the most efficient type of boiler, wasting the least amount of heat and helping to reduce your heating bills. By switching to an energy efficient condensing boiler, you will also significantly reduce your carbon footprint, that is, the impact your energy usage has upon the environment. Condensing boilers are considered much more fuel efficient as they have been designed to rely less on carbon fuels, yet are still able to produce the same amount of energy. Condensing boilers also take up less space as they do not require you to have a hot water tank, and are generally easier to use.
Most newer boilers, including condensing boilers, are likely to be combi boilers. These control both your central heating and your instantaneous hot water supply. It is possible to programme your boiler to only heat the water and not the radiators, and vice versa. Getting to know the controls is also useful when setting timers for your heating. By setting your heating to come on only when it is needed, and to turn off again at a set time, you are unlikely to forget to switch it off or need to put it up too high to heat the house quickly.
Step 2: Replace Your Old Boiler
There are older varieties of boiler than the condensing type, however you should always look to get any older varieties replaced with the legally required condensing system as soon as possible. Even if you think your current boiler is working perfectly well, older boilers, particularly those over 15 years old, are significantly less efficient and may be costing you money unnecessarily. From an environmental perspective, newer varieties are more efficient and therefore less wasteful, requiring less energy to run overall.
Step 3: Year Round Care
Even though you will probably not be using your central heating system very much during the summer, you should still be preparing for when you will need to be using it regularly. Some people choose to turn their boiler off during the summer months. This is perfectly fine, however with a combi boiler you will not have hot water from the taps if you do this. Combi boilers can be programmed to only heat the water, and can be easily done from the control panel.
If you would still like to be able to use some of your radiators, you can turn radiators off individually without having to switch your boiler off. That way, colder rooms can still be heated but you are still using a lot less energy than if you were heating the entire house. Not using your heating during the warmer months is an excellent way of keeping your carbon footprint as low as possible and saving you money.
Whatever you choose to do to save money and energy, you should still turn your heating on for a few minutes once a month to make sure the system still runs properly. By doing this you can also avoid any nasty surprises when you really need your boiler in good working order.
Step 4: Checking Your Heating System
Below are a few basic steps that you can take at any time of year to make sure your system is working as it should:
- Check your radiators are heating up correctly and that there are no cold spots. This may be easily fixed at home by bleeding the radiator. However, if this does not work you may need to call an engineer to locate the source of the problem.
- Make sure your water cylinders and pipes are well insulated.
- Check your water pressure - it should be at around 1-2 bars. You will be able to see the pressure level on the gauge - usually located at the front of the boiler, or behind the drop-down panel.
- Check your pilot light is blue.
- Make sure you have effective carbon monoxide detectors in your house so that any gas leaks from your boiler are detected quickly. If you are in rented accommodation, this is a legal requirement.
Step 5: Getting Effective Cover
Choosing the right type of home plan to cover your plumbing and heating requirements can mean the difference between a household disaster and a short-term inconvenience. With YourRepair HomePlan, you have access to over 5,000 engineers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, helping you with your basic central heating care, like the upkeep of your boiler, heating, plumbing, drains and electrics. We work in partnership with all the leading boiler manufacturers to provide you with the best possible expertise. We also provide a 24 hour emergency service, so you will never have to wait days for an engineer.
97% of our customers have given our services a 5* review rating and our plans are designed to give you flexibility with the choice of with or without excess payments and up to three years fixed prices.
For more information, call us on 0330 223 4422 to see what we can do for you, or contact us online.