As autumn changes to winter, new challenges can occur from the cold weather as it can affect many different things, from the ice on your car window to the clothes we wear to the leaves on the tree. However, did you realise that it can also affect your boiler? If you’re experiencing frozen pipes and failed radiators, look no further and follow these tips below to prevent you from breaking your boiler in the future.
How Does the Cold Weather Affect Your Boiler?
Your boiler is more likely to break down during the winter season. When winter comes, it brings on its many challenges to the heating system due to its higher usage than in the summer. A significant drop in temperature can make your boiler more vulnerable to problems and can lead to it failing if it does not get fixed. So it is important to be prepared and follow our advice below.
Here are 5 Hacks to Keep Your Boiler in a Good-Working Condition:
1. Frozen Pipes
Unfortunately, frozen pipes are the most common problem with boiler breakdowns as it prevents them from functioning. If you have a condensing boiler, a condensate pipe will be situated outside of the house. Remember to stay safe and don’t try touching anything if you are unsure. One way to defrost the pipes is placing a hot water bottle or pouring warm and not boiled water onto it, moving your hand up and down to slowly reverse the effects after you reset your boiler (by pressing the button). For more advice and guidance on how to fix a frozen boiler condensate pipe, take a look at our tips and advice.
2. Look Out For Any Leaks
Keep up with the maintenance by checking for leaks as they can spell disaster. For example, an unused water hose can freeze the pipe, creating a blockage that can lead to a burst pipe. It is important to remember to disconnect that hose to ensure this does not happen. Maintaining clean gutters can also help avoid blockages, standing water, and ice dams. During the wintertime especially, you should check the unit’s area to make sure there is no leakage. Thankfully, these leaks typically start small, so you will usually have plenty of time to identify them and take appropriate action before the problem becomes more hazardous. Contact our qualified plumbers to fix any parts that will eradicate the problem.
3. Check Your Boiler Pressure Regularly to Avoid Low Water Pressure
A clear indicator that affects the running of your unit is low boiler pressure. This may result in loss of hot water in your household. To prevent this from happening, regularly check your boiler’s pressure gauge to see if it is low. You can do this without the help of an engineer. The pressure gauge is usually on the front of the boiler unit, which will show a reading of the boiler pressure. The pressure of your boiler should consistently be within the green range of the pressure gauge. Depending on the type of filing system you have, follow the instructions in your manual and observe the rising pressure and stop when the bar reaches one. Checking the boiler pressure will help keep your heating system working correctly, and in turn, save you money.
We offer more information on the causes of low water pressure and the solutions on our website.
4. Bleed Your Radiators
This is a pretty easy task that requires a radiator key, cloth, or rag to catch any water. Radiators need bleeding because of the air trapped inside; this stops warm water circulation around the radiator. This results in it taking longer to warm up a room. It is recommended that you do this once every year to ensure a warmer house. This simple task during the winter can make all the difference.
5. Keep Your Boiler as Clean as Possible
The majority of boiler maintenance requires to be executed through trained professionals. However, plenty can be conducted by yourself too, like cleaning your boiler, for instance, by frequently dusting around the unit to preserve it from any damage. However, leave cleaning inside the boiler to the experts though!
6. Turn on your Heating in the Summer
Sounds crazy, right? If you only turn your heating on during the wintertime, you will only find any problems when you need the most warmth. So make sure you check up on your boiler regularly.
How to Stay Warm When Your Boiler Breaks Down
Especially during the winter months, staying warm is essential. Take a look below at how to keep warm this winter:
- Use an electric heater as it can be a superb alternative if you can’t get an engineer to help you out straight away.
- Wear extra layers
- Stay in the warmest room of your house
- Use boiled water if you can’t access hot water from your central heating system
- Eliminate draughts by keeping your doors and windows closed to keep the warm air inside
Book Your Boiler Service
Even if you think your boiler is running correctly, it is crucial to have it serviced annually to protect it and keep it working efficiently. A service will give a chance for the engineer to identify any problems that can be fixed or if there are any emergency boiler issues. Follow our tips to stay warm in the winter to avoid a costly breakdown. If you still want to do more research, check out our blog on how to get the most from your heating system.