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How to extend the life of your boiler

Simple tips for keeping your boiler working efficiently for longer

A boiler can be a significant investment so it makes sense to look after it well to keep it working efficiently for as long as possible: the longer it lasts, the less it will cost you in the long run both in terms of the cost of the boiler itself and the cost of running it.

Many people will only really give their boiler any attention when it’s causing a problem but proactively maintaining it will minimise the chances of a breakdown and extend the boiler’s life. We’ve put together a few handy tips that you can implement to do that. Some have a cost attached and some are things you can do yourself but all will help you save money in the long term.

Service your boiler annually

The most obvious tip we can give you would be to make sure your boiler is serviced every year. This is your best opportunity to check everything is working as it should be, detect any potential issues early and, of course, remain compliant with any manufacturer warranties or insurance policy terms.

A summer boiler is an even better idea because it can be more beneficial (see here) and cost you less (see here).

Bleed your radiators

Air can get trapped in your radiators which in turn can cause them to not heat up properly and puts more pressure on the boiler. Bleeding them regularly just releases the air and keeps them working properly. This should be something you can easily do yourself. See further details here.

Add inhibitor

Adding inhibitor to your central heating system can protect against the build-up of limescale and corrosion. If this sludge is left unchecked it will start to compromise performance (commonly resulting in cold spots in radiators) and ultimately can cause actual damage to the system. This is something a heating engineer can do for you.

Install a magnetic filter

Because the sludge that builds up in the system is predominantly rust from the insides of pipes and radiators, a magnetic filter is an effective way of attracting those metallic elements from the system and filtering them out. This can be used as an alternative to adding inhibitor but is especially effective when both are used together. This is something a heating engineer can do for you.

Switch the boiler on during summer

As counter-intuitive as it may seem, switching the heating on periodically during the summer months will keep your boiler parts moving and working properly, rather than being dormant for 5 or 6 months. Putting it on for around 15 minutes once a month should be sufficient to prevent problems when you come to turning the heating on full time in the autumn.

Powerflush the system

A powerflush is designed to flush the sludge out of the system. Obviously, adding inhibitor or a magnetic filter as a preventative strategy would most likely mean that a powerflush isn’t necessary but if that hasn’t been done, and particularly if you’re experiencing problems with radiators warming up, a powerflush will rid the system of sludge and a clean system is an efficient one. Adding inhibitor as well will prevent it from building up again. This is something a heating engineer would do for you.

Lag outdoor pipes/condensate pipe

This is something very simple that you can do yourself. When the weather is very cold your outdoor pipes are at risk of freezing which in turn can cause the boiler to break down. A frozen condensate pipe is one of the most common reasons for boiler issues in the winter. Lagging can be bought very inexpensively from DIY shops and this tiny outlay can save you an expensive breakdown come the next cold snap. Even if you’re reading this at the height of summer, go get it done now so that you’re prepared when winter comes around.

Your boiler will reward you for doing these things by working efficiently (keeping your heating bills to a minimum), having fewer breakdowns and ultimately lasting longer. If you would like to discuss how we can help with items such as powerflushing, inhibitor, magnetic filters or servicing, please complete the form opposite or give us a ring on 0800 032 6478.

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