With the Met Office predicting snow, showers and even gale force winds we thought we’d bring you some winter boiler wisdom to see you through. Don’t let a big freeze leave you cold or your boiler in bad shape.
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It’s always a good idea to service your boiler – especially if it’s a bit older. Gas boiler manufacturers generally recommend getting your boiler serviced once every year to make sure everything is in tip-top condition and safe working order. So if you haven’t already had yours serviced then put it at the top of your to do list. Don’t wait until your boiler breaks down before you give it a thought, or it could end up costing you more in the long run.
Check your heating regularly
Turning your heating off or too low during a cold snap could end up damaging your heating system by making it work harder to warm up. So you might want to check your heating regularly. Checking that your heating system works properly will mean your boiler will be less likely to freeze up and break down – saving you on the cost of repairs.
Check your pressure
Combi boilers can sometimes stop working because of a drop in pressure. If your boiler stops working check the pressure dial and inspect all of your radiators and pipes for leaks. If you can’t find a leak you should be able to increase the pressure in your system manually by using your system’s valve handle. But you should always switch your boiler off and consult your instructions before tinkering with your boiler’s pressure, as adding too much pressure into a system can be dangerous.
Bleed your radiators
If you can feel cold patches on your radiators it may be because there’s air trapped inside that’s blocking the system.But if you bleed your radiators and still have a problem with cold patches, your system might be blocked with sludge and might need a chemical flush by a professional gas safe registered engineer.
Insulate your condensate pipe if you have a condensing boiler
One of the most common reasons for a condensing boiler breaking down in winter is that “condensate pipes” – the pipes that carry away condensation – run outside the house and can freeze and become blocked when temperatures drop. Preventing this is really simple though – all you need to do is insulate your pipes using pipe lagging.
Thaw your condensate pipe
If it’s below freezing and your condensing boiler isn’t working or is displaying an error message or flashing light, your condensate pipe will have probably frozen over, meaning you’ll need to thaw it out. The best way to do this is to put a hot water bottle on the pipe – or pour hot water over it, give it a blow with a hair dryer or wrap a towel soaked in warm water around it – and then reset your boiler.