How to care for your boiler year-round (and avoid a heating crisis)

If you’ve ever been unlucky enough to suffer a broken-down boiler, you’ll know just how much of a day-ruiner it is. Sometimes it becomes a week-ruiner. Cold showers, no central heating and, of course, a huge sudden expense.

Winter boiler breakdowns are the worst, but summer breakdowns aren’t exactly fun either.

Here’s how to make sure your boiler doesn’t let you down unexpectedly.

Year-round DIY boiler care

Check the pressure regularly

In order to run properly and efficiently, your boiler needs to maintain a certain amount of pressure – usually between 1 and 1.3 bar, but it can vary depending on your boiler manufacturer.

Adjusting the pressure yourself is fairly simple on most boilers. First, you visually check the pipes and valves for any signs of leakage. Then, after making sure the boiler is switched off, you identify the correct valve (it should be stated in your boiler handbook/documentation) and turn it until you achieve the required pressure-level.

Of course, if in doubt, consult a qualified expert. Boilers are complicated pieces of machinery, and many of the potential issues can only be solved by engineers.

Keep it on its toes in the summer

Even though you probably won’t need to use your central heating in the warmer months, it’s worth running it for a few minutes every couple of weeks.

Just 10 minutes here and there is fine. The point of this exercise is merely to keep all of the relevant components active, thereby avoiding deterioration. 

Make the exterior sparkle

On a semi-regular basis, use a simple household cloth and a gentle cleaning solution to give your boiler a good once-over. This will keep on top of dust, stopping it from accumulating and potentially making its way in through small gaps.

This is perhaps more important if you live in an area that has ‘hard’ water, because limescale can build up on your pipes and, over a number of years, might begin to affect your boiler’s performance. 

Have it serviced annually

As much as your own diligence will increase your boiler’s longevity, there’s no substitute for professional care from a qualified engineer.

Your boiler only needs servicing once per year.

What boiler servicing entails

  • Visual inspection of components
  • Exterior cleaning
  • Interior cleaning
  • Flue testing (checking the pipes, in other words)
  • Other expert testing (e.g. checking electrical wiring, assessing whether there is sufficient ventilation, etc.)
  • Repairs, if applicable
  • Replacing components, if applicable

Plus plenty more.

Know when to say goodbye to your boiler

Every boiler has a finite lifespan. Once it reaches the 10-year point, you shouldn’t take anything for granted – and you should be prepared to replace it.

There’s also cost to consider. Repairing a boiler is economical up to a point, but be careful that you’re not paying to fix a lost cause. A brand-new, A-rated boiler will be much more efficient both in performance and cost than an older boiler.

In any case, don’t delay in getting any issue fixed, no matter how small it seems.

Duffy Heating is a Dublin-based provider of boiler replacement and boiler repair services.

*PR collaboration

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