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Heating Maintenance

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Maintaining your Central Heating system helps to reduce your bills and prolong the life of your system.

1.  Regular Servicing

It is important to have your central heating system serviced at least once a year especially with older boilers. The service will test for potential faults which could lead to the system malfunctioning. Even if everything appears to be working fine you should let an experienced heating engineer check your system.

Services can be done through local plumbers, national service providers or boiler manufactuers themselves. If you get a local plumber ensure that they are Gas Safe registered and belong to a Competent Person Scheme.

Find out more details on what a service should include 

2.  Power Flush

Power flushing will remove any build up of corrosive materials and sludge that is lodged in your central heating pipes. It will help heat be distributed more evenly. It could also reduce the energy needed to pump water through your system.

Power flushing should be done when you first install your boiler and then at regular intervals.  It is not a complicated or lengthy procedure, find out more information about Power Flushing.

3.  Check Radiators

Regularly check your radiators to see if the heat is being evenly distributed.

If the top is cold and the bottom hot, then you need to bleed your radiator. If this is a regular occurence then air is getting into your system, you should ask a heating engineer to check for the source. This could also lead to a greater risk of corrosion and so an corrosion inhibitor should be introduced. Ask your heating engineer about applying this.

4.  Listen for noises

If you hear loud clanging noises when the central heating is turn on or a kettling sound this could indicate a fault.

This could be due to a build up of lime scale or sludge which would need to be chemically treated.

It could be due to a build up of air which can be solved by bleeding the radiators. If the radiators need regular bleeding you need to get a heating engineer to locate the leak.

5.  Monitor Pressure

When you have your boiler fitted the installer should indicate the manufacturers recommended pressure. All boilers are different so always refer to the manual if you are in doubt or call the manufacturer.

If this pressure drops below the recommended level then it may require a simple vavle adjustment. It is prudent to contact the boiler manufactuer first for advice.

If the pressure drops on a regular basis then there may be a leak in the system. You will need to get a heating engineer to check your system. It may also be an indication of a greater problem.

6.  Turn it on at times when not used

This is really only applicable to older boilers. Modern boilers normally have an anti-seize mechanism installed.

To stop the boiler from seizing up during long periods of inactivity , like during the summer, try turning it on for a short peroid about once a month.

7.  Don’t have the boiler on too high!

Try keeping the temperature on your room thermostat at a low level, preferably between 18 – 20 degrees Celcius. This will require less effort from the boiler and so help prolong its life. It will also reduce your bills considerably.

If you feel you need your temperature higher to be comfortable you may need to look at better insulation for your home and heat saving devices.

If your radiators are not getting that hot unless you have your thermostat up high then you may want to have your system checked to see if the thermostat is working properly or if there is a fault with the boiler.

8.  Fit a Carbon Monoxide Monitor

When fitting one always follow the instructions on where to place the monitor as location is crucial.

9.  Look for staining

If you see any stains or discoloration around your boiler or to the around the flue then contact a heating engineer immediately. This could indicate a leak that could have serious implications.

10.  Boilers are not meant for DIY

Do not try and carry out any work on your boiler, however simple it may seem.

Do not replace or remove parts, do not even remove the outer casing.

All work should be done by a Gas Safe registered heating engineer and they should also be registered with a Competent Persons Scheme.

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