Your boiler and central heating system is an essential part of your home. A properly functioning heating system keeps you warm and allows you to enjoy the benefits of hot water on a daily basis. Keeping your boiler working efficiently is a key task throughout the year but it doesn’t take too long to do – by maintaining the boiler you can prevent breakdowns from occurring. Here are a few commonly asked questions about how boilers work and what to do to improve their effectiveness.
How often should I service my boiler and how long will it last?
The life expectancy of your boiler depends on the make and model, the age of the boiler, and how you treat the boiler. In general, a gas boiler should last about 10 to 15 years but yours could function well for longer or pack up after a few years. You should service the boiler every year to make sure it is working well and to give you a chance to spot problems and fix them before they cause the boiler to break. Boilers are costly to buy, so preventing problems should be your aim.
Are combi boilers the best choice?
A combi boiler saves space because you don’t need a hot water tank or a cold water tank to feed the system. Combi boilers can be cheaper to run and are more effective at heating water. You get strong, even pressure from your taps and the boiler is quick and easy to install. However, you will notice that the pressure from the taps is reduced if you use two or more taps at the same time – this can be a problem when someone is taking a shower. You also cannot hook a combi boiler up to a power shower because it doesn’t heat water fast enough. Deciding whether to get a combi boiler depends on your budget and your needs.
Is carbon monoxide a problem?
If you have a gas or oil boiler you need to have regular checks carried out to test for carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide is produced if the fuel is burned inefficiently. It is difficult to detect because it has no smell. You can get home carbon monoxide testing kits, or you can have the gas repair engineer make a check for carbon monoxide when they are carrying out a service on your boiler.
What checks do I need to carry out on my boiler?
Look at the pressure gauge to see if the boiler is operating at the correct pressure. Look in the manual to see how much pressure should be displayed. You can also check that everything is plugged in and that the clock and thermostat are properly set. If you have concerns or you are worried that the boiler is not working well, you need to call in an engineer to take a look at the heating system.