Top tips to maintaining a healthy boiler system
Maintaining a healthy heating system is a great way to potentially lower your energy consumption, extend your boiler's lifespan, and keep your household’s heating running smoothly.
Our guide of boiler maintenance tips can help you keep your appliance running at it’s optimum efficiency for longer. A healthy boiler system ensures that your home heating is keeping you and your family comfortable all year round. These tips are perfect to carry out during the summer to help prepare your home for the colder months.
#1 Bleed your radiators
Radiator bleeding is an important part of boiler maintenance that, when performed each year, can help improve the performance of your heating system, saving you money on your energy bills in the long run.
Bleeding your radiator helps air trapped within the system escape. This air will usually have found its way into your heating system throughout the year, slowly restricting the flow of heated water through the pipes. This will start to negatively affect the overall performance of your heating, with the boiler ultimately having to work harder to circulate the heat throughout your home. The more that this builds up and the harder the boiler has to work, the more energy is used, costing more in the long run.
Whilst it is typically recommended to bleed your radiators once a year, there are a few signs that you can look out for:
Uneven heat distribution
If the heat is not spread evenly through a single radiator (if it is cold to touch at the top but hot at the bottom) when the heating has been turned on long enough to fully flow through the system, this is likely due to an air blockage preventing the heat from circulating.
It is important to turn off your heating and allow the system to cool completely before you begin bleeding any of your radiators. For this reason, it is often recommended to carry out an annual bleed of the radiators over the summer.
If you can hear clanking or rumbling sounds from your heating system, particularly from your radiators, when the heating is in use this is usually the result of air pockets moving through the system.
#2 Get your boiler serviced annually
Boiler services are important to maintain the safety and efficiency of your boiler. It can also help your installer to identify any potential issues within your heating system. The best time for this is also in the summer, preparing your radiators to be ready for when you need it, whilst also not causing as much disturbance to your household. A boiler service will ensure that it is working to its optimum efficiency whilst also helping to extend its lifespan.
Most manufacturers, including Glow-worm, require annual boiler servicing by a Gas Safe registered engineer in order to maintain the guarantee cover. Is it also important that you retain your boiler service report (also known as a boiler service certificate) between services.
Find out more about what is included in a boiler service here.
#3 Regular Health Checks
There are a few regular health checks that you can perform on your heating system through the year to ensure that it is functioning correctly and also to familiarise yourself with what is normal for your system:
Check for any water leaks
If you notice any signs of leaking around your boiler, such as wet or damp patches below the unit you should contact your Gas Safe rRegistered eEngineer. If you can, contain the leak to prevent water damage spreading around the area. It is also advisable to, if possible, isolate the boiler’s water supply. If you can’t contain the leak to reduce further damage, you should turn off your mains water and cut electrical supply to the boiler if possible.
There can be a variety of causes for a boiler leak including high pressure, damaged seals, or corrosion. For more information on how to identify a boiler leak, read our guide here.
Check the flame (if your boiler has a pilot light)
If you own a boiler that is more than 10 years old it might have a pilot light. If your boiler has a pilot light it will have a small hole on the front of the casing where you can look inside at the flame. If the flame is burning yellow or orange, contact your local Gas Safe Registered engineer. If you’re unsure if your boiler has a pilot light, or where to locate it, you can check your installation manual, download a copy of the manual online, or contact our customer service team for advice if your boiler model has since been discontinued.
Check the boiler pressure
Each boiler has an optimum operating pressure. This is usually between 1-2 bars when the heating is on, but can typically be found marked out on the boiler itself in green, or will be specified in your manual. When your heating is off, this will likely drop slightly to around 1-1.5.
If the pressure becomes too high or too low, your system may shut down, leaving your home without heating and hot water until fixed. These areas will often also be marked out on your boiler. If you are experiencing too high or too low pressure, you should contact your local Gas Safe rRegistered installer
One common cause for high pressure is if it has recently been topped up. This can usually be resolved by bleeding your radiators but, if this fails to relieve the issue, you should contact your local heating engineer.
Check for any noises
There are many, harmless noises that your heating system may emit. However, if the noises change from the normal, particularly to a humming, vibrating, or banging sound, it could potentially be a sign that there is a fault in your heating system. If this noise is mainly coming from your radiators, they may need to be bled. If this does not solve the problem, or if the noise is coming from the boiler itself, contact your local Gas Safe Registered engineer.
If you notice any changes to your boiler or heating systems performance, contact your local installer.
Want to find out more?
Implementing just a few of these tips can help reduce your energy bills and improve efficiency around the home. Take a look at our range of boilers or learn more about servicing your boiler by contacting one of our installers.