Your boiler system breaking down during the winter months could cause a massive inconvenience and unnecessary cost for your business. There are steps you can undertake to ensure your boilers efficiency and prevent any potential winter breakdowns. With the efficiency and practicality of modern boilers, it’s easy to forget about them. However taking care of them properly will prevent any expensive essential repairs.
Keep it running
Engineers advise turning your boiler on and letting it run for 10-15 minutes regularly in the months before colder weather periods. Your boiler can loose pressure over time which can cause operating issues. Keeping it active during these months will help to prevent this. Keep an eye on your pressure gauge and keep it topped off. Switching your system on will also help ensure all parts are working properly and highlight any potential repairs.
Checking your boiler pressure
If your boiler pressure becomes too low, this can affect its efficiency. The gauge on your boiler will give you a pressure reading. The recommended pressure reading for maximum efficiency is 1-1.5. If your gauge is reading too low, you’ll need to use the taps on your boiler to raise the pressure. It’s better to aim for the lower end of the scale as the pressure will raise slightly as your system heats itself up.
Booking a boiler service
With most systems, it is advised to carry out annual boiler servicing and will often need to be completed to comply with any warranty. Services involve, checking and cleaning all boiler parts and replacing any that are faulty and affecting work efficiency. By cleaning the system, this will help prevent any blockages which could affect your heating. A good hack is to book this service before the winter months so you can fix any underlying problems and ensure your boiler has everything it needs to run smoothly over winter.
Bleed your radiators
Warm water can be prevented from circulating around your system effectively if air has become trapped in your radiators. A good indicator this has happened is your radiators being cold at the top but warm at the bottom. To resolve this problem you’ll need to bleed your radiators. To do this you will need a radiator key and a clean cloth or towel.
- Turn off your heating. If left on, you may get hot water spraying out of your radiators.
- Use the radiator key to turn the valve on the top of your radiator. Attach the key to the groove in the centre of the valve and turn anti-clockwise. You should hear a hissing sound as any trapped air escapes from the radiator. Use your cloth to clean any excess water that leaks out.
- When the hissing stops and there is only water leaking out, retighten the valve by turning clockwise.
- Once these steps are completed and the valves have been tightened, turn your central heating back on.
- Check the pressure of your radiators by checking the reading from the gauge on your boiler. Bleeding your radiators can cause the pressure to drop. If the pressure has become too low, you’ll need to top it up. To do this use the lever tap on your boiler.
- Check your radiators to make sure they are heating up properly.
Insulate your pipes
Standing water in your pipes over the winter months can freeze, causing blockages resulting in pipes bursting. You can use tepid water to unfreeze pipes by pouring it over them. Do not use boiling water as this can cause further damage.
A great way to prevent frozen pipes is to insulate them. You can do this with a range of methods and materials. Most reputable engineers will offer a pipe insulation service and will be able to advise you how this will help your system and if it’s necessary. Pipes becoming faulty could result in a complete system repiping, which can be costly and time consuming and not an ideal situation to be in over the winter.