Boiler Maintenance Tips

13 tips on how to maintain your boiler system and keep it running smoothly

photo of a gas powered wall mounted boiler

 

 

One of the most important, yet often overlooked aspects of running a commercial premises or home is maintaining your boiler. This is because when something goes wrong with it, there can be severe repercussions on both yourself as an individual, and your business. The job title of 'boiler engineer' might seem like a rather mundane one to those who do not really know what it entails - but the reality is far from mundane!

Many homeowners believe that their boilers are in good working order because they have had them serviced by a plumber at least once every year. However, professionals will tell you that this does not necessarily mean that your appliance is working perfectly; servicing can only detect major faults such as broken parts and dangerous leaks.

Boiler servicing does not detect smaller, more common issues that could cause potential problems in the future, and which can have a huge impact on your finances. This is why many commercial building owners believe it to be wise to employ their own boiler engineers to test them periodically - this will allow them to spot any minor faults before they turn into larger ones. But how often should you service your boilers? In order for your business or home to remain safe and efficient at all times, you need to carry out a few general maintenance tasks yourself. Boiler Engineer Tips UK aims to help do just that!

However, if you are looking for complete guidance on how best to look after your boiler, please check out our comprehensive list of boiler maintenance tips UK below:

1. Always read the boiler's instructions!

Yes, this is a rather obvious tip – but you'd be surprised how many people forget to do it! As well as making sure that you know how your appliance works, and its necessary settings, you should also be aware of where the warning signs are located – such as low water pressure, high gas levels, or overheating. It is imperative that you familiarise yourself with these indicators if you want to remain safe from potential danger. If your boiler does overheat, turn it off at once and call for professional help. Do not simply assume your boiler has turned itself off; lookout for the red light that indicates it is still hot! Certain models will have a sensor that will automatically turn off the appliance when it reaches a certain temperature. Most boilers have sensors that go off when there is low water pressure or high gas levels; however, if you are unfamiliar with these indicators, a simple phone call to your local plumbing company can give you all the information you need.

2. Check for leaks!

Water and gas leaks can cause severe damage in both commercial buildings and homes very quickly – but by regularly checking for them, you could be able to save yourself from paying huge repair costs at a later date. Find any areas around your pipes where there might be signs of leakage (such as discolouring or cracked paintwork) and have them checked out immediately! Leaks do not occur; they become more severe with time – so the sooner you act, the better!

3. Have your system checked every year

Another simple tip to adhere to is having your boiler periodically tested by a professional. A full system check should include testing all parts of the appliance itself and checking for gas leaks in particular areas of the building. It is also advisable that you have any malfunctioning parts replaced immediately; taking care of these problems right away will save you from spending money on costly repairs at a later date.

4. Maintain good levels of ventilation around your appliances

This one can be quite tricky as it takes up some space in certain areas; but ensuring that there are no blockages around or near your boilers, water heaters or radiators is really important – especially if you have fireplaces or wood burners in your home. Any build-up of flammable materials can accelerate the spread of fire, so do not allow any objects that may catch alight to be stored too close to your appliances.

5. Back up your boiler with a regular heating system

If you are not able to get around servicing and maintenance as often as you'd like, use a secondary heating source such as alternate electrical heaters for any occasions when the boiler might fail. This will prevent you from having to end up calling out an emergency services team in below zero temperatures! If possible, it is recommended that homeowners keep spare parts and tools at hand for safety reasons.

6. Keep your heat exchangers clean

This is a particularly important tip for those of you who have gas boilers. If you are using a boiler that runs on natural gas, the heat exchanger will collect sludge over time. The problem with this is that they can become blocked fairly quickly if not cleaned regularly, which can cause dangerous spikes in pressure and ultimately damage to other parts of the system. Ensure that heating engineers check their pipes at least once every year; although it may cost a bit, having an annual professional cleaning done means that any blockages can be identified before they get too bad!

7. Switch off when leaving home or going away for longer periods of time

Prevent your system from running unnecessarily by turning the boiler off when you leave home or go away for longer periods of time. If you have a smart thermostat, this task is a whole lot easier – as many of these products allow owners to set timers that will turn appliances on and off automatically. Of course, if you have any faulty boilers or heat exchangers, then it is better to switch them completely off until they can be replaced!

8. Have your appliance checked regularly

As with anything in life, taking care of your appliance and keeping it in good working order is very important! And the best way to ensure that everything stays in tip-top shape is through regular maintenance checks from experienced professionals. This does mean that you may need to rearrange work and family schedules to make time, but having your appliance checked can save you money and hassle in the long run!

9. Clean around your boiler regularly

In order to ensure that moisture does not build up in areas surrounding your boilers, it's a good idea to try and vacuum or wipe them down every two weeks. Make sure that any vents are also kept clear of dust and other debris! Some homeowners even go as far as putting metal mesh screens over their vents.

10. Know what to look out for when hiring an engineer

Some homeowners have had bad experiences with engineers that do not really care about maintaining their system properly – this is why it is very important to know how to spot a well-qualified person. Check if they have proper insurance, and look for signs that they have been cleared to work on your specific brand of appliance, any en.

11. Check the pressure relief valve is functioning properly

Boiler servicing London Another important safety check that should be made every once in a while is to make sure that your boiler's pressure relief valve continues to operate effectively. This important piece of equipment ensures that a system does not overheat – but you need to make sure it hasn't become broken or damaged either! A good way to test this out is by putting a little bit of water into your system and turning it on; if there are any leaks, then you'll want to call out an engineer immediately!

12. Install carbon monoxide detectors

Carbon monoxide (CO) is an extremely dangerous gas that comes from incomplete combustion, which is a common occurrence during periods of poor maintenance. Although it cannot be seen or smelled, CO can build up in your home and cause serious illness or death if not treated quickly enough. There are several ways to check for signs of CO in the home – many homeowners opt for either a smoke alarm or a CO detector, but both devices will work well on their own! Ensure you install these in areas such as bathrooms and kitchens where there are heaters or boilers installed; these are particularly high-risk areas for toxicity levels to build up!

13. Maintain pipes properly

One last tip which is pretty important is making sure that any water pipes leading outside of your property are well maintained and sealed. This area often gets forgotten about, but can really become a liability if something goes wrong!

 

For more info and tips check out our guide to central heating systems

 

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About the Author

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Heat Quick Direct are Vaillant accredited engineers

Heat Quick Direct is accredited by all the major gas boiler trade bodies, such as Gas Safe and we are approved G3 unvented hot water storage engineers approved by Worcester as accredited engineers and we are approved advanced Vaillant engineers.