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How to keep your boiler in top condition

When the weather is hot and sunny, the last thing to enter your mind is your central heating and hot water system, and whether your boiler needs servicing. But harsh winters can bring a flurry of plumbing issues with burst pipes and trouble with boilers always seeming to occur most in a cold snap.

Yet with a little thought and consideration given to the state of your boiler, you could save hundreds of pounds and given that even a cheap boiler can cost over £1,000 to replace, you would be wise to take action to prevent costly bills.

While new condensing boilers are much more efficient than the regular boilers, they are prone to freeze up in very cold temperatures. The condensate pipe carries condensation from the boiler to an outside drain. If this pipe freezes, it can cause a blockage by allowing the condensate to travel back to the boiler, causing it to shut down.

Advice from the Heating and Hotwater Industry Council suggests setting the heating timer or room thermostat in your home to continuous, as a way of preventing the condensate pipe from freezing. By leaving your heating on a constant low, you can avoid the boiler freezing up and causing havoc when cold weather kicks in.

If the pipe condensate pipe keeps freezing, consider moving it to an internal location or perhaps having the pipe replaced to one of a wider diameter.

Insulating the pipe would also reduce chances of freezing and it goes without saying that regular boiler servicing would greatly reduce you having to pay out for costly boiler repairs.

Approved Gas Safe Registered engineers will be able to provide effective maintenance and servicing and always make sure you only use accredited engineers for any kind of gas service.

Running your heating periodically, even in the warm summer months will help to clear the boiler pump of any debris which may gather when not being used.

Make sure outside flues are not blocked and for safety, consider fitting a carbon monoxide detector to warn of any gas leaks.

Finally, if your boiler is more than 10 years old, it may be worth considering a replacement as new models are far more efficient and economical. New boilers offer maximum fuel efficiency, reduce carbon emissions and can significantly lower your heating bills. While the initial cost of replacing a boiler may be high, the benefits of a new one will soon be realised.

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