ARE YOU MAINTAINING YOUR BOILER WELL, IS IT WORTH SPENDING?
The boiler is one of the most intensively used household / industrial appliances, but unless the heating suddenly stops working or your water won’t warm up, faults can go unnoticed. A boiler breakdown can be frustrating and costly, especially if you’re in the middle of winter. But certain failures can also be a danger to you if not spotted in time. Regular maintenance should help keep your boiler running smoothly. But, like most machines, unexpected issues can always crop up. When they do, unless you’re a gas engineer, it’s not always easy to know when to take action.
1) RADIATORS TAKE LONGER TO HEAT UP
Do your radiators stay tepid or take hours to get hot? This could mean that your boiler is on its way out. Most modern boilers can reach their maximum temperature quickly and produce heat almost instantly. But it could also mean your heating system is filled with sludge – this causes blockages and cold spots on your radiators. Dirty water circulating in the system could result in long-term problems with your boiler.
2) THE BOILER IS GIVING OFF A BAD SMELL
A healthy boiler will never emit any odour. If it does, it needs to be investigated by a professional right away. Any faint smells could indicate a carbon monoxide leak. Although carbon monoxide itself is odourless, a smell could be created because the leak is causing the boiler to not burn properly.
· Other carbon monoxide warning signs that shouldn’t be ignored include:
· The boiler is burning a yellow flame instead of a crisp blue flame
· Dark soot staining on and around the appliance
· Pilot light that frequently blows out
· Increased condensation inside windows.
3) YOUR ENERGY BILLS ARE INCREASING
If your bills are increasing faster than normal, it could be down to an inefficient boiler. As a heating system gets older, it can lose its efficiency and start to cost more to run. An easy way to check your boiler’s efficiency is to look at the rating on its ErP energy label. An A-rated boiler is the most efficient, at 90%, while a G rating represents less than 70% efficiency. If you replace an old G-rated boiler with a modern A-rated boiler that has a full set of heating controls, the Energy Saving Trust estimates you’ll save around £320 a year on your gas bill.
It’s the most efficient type of boiler on the market – find out more in our guide to switch to condensing boilers and Heat Pumps.
4) YOUR BOILER IS LEAKING
When unexpected puddles appear around your boiler, you should take action. Internal parts may be faulty or your boiler could actually be starting to fall apart. leak can lead to further problems, such as rust and corrosion, as well as structural damage to your home. It will also mean that your heating will be inefficient. Think of the wasted water, too.
5) YOUR BOILER IS MAKING FUNNY NOISES
Your boiler will make a noise when firing up, but this should be no more than a low and constant hum that most of us won’t even notice. But banging, clunking and whirring are the sounds you don’t want to be hearing. These could indicate a number of issues, from a broken valve to heat pump problems. Or, it could just be down to general wear and tear.