Central Heating - Look after it this spring

Central Heating needs Spring Cleaning too!

As the weather is getting a bit warmer and the days are getting longer it is an ideal time to spring clean your central heating system. This is a great task to do in the summer months, in preparation for the cold winter months. It will also help avoid a boiler breakdown. This can be at best frustrating and at worst dangerous, since issues with carbon monoxide build up caused by a faulty boiler is a real danger. When it comes to a boiler spring-clean, for some this will be a bit of a daunting task but you can always ask a plumber to give you a price.

Spring into actionIf you need a plumber for a boiler service, we have loads on our Installer Database. If you are a plumber and you are not registered then get on there, it is an ideal time to suggest the yearly service to a customer. Also if you have a gas boiler make sure you get a gas safe engineer. As you might imagine, gas safety is very important.

So what does looking after your central heating system mean and why do we need to do it.

Basically we all take our central heating boilers and radiator's for granted until they go wrong. We expect hot water in the morning and the home warm when we come home from work. In most circumstances this is fine but just like a car you should really MOT your system every year. It is not a critical repair or major overhaul that you need, just a little look over to see there is no leaks, corrosion or funny noises and to ensure the boiler and central heating remains in fully working order. A good working boiler can also improve efficiency meaning your heating bills can even be a little lower since you are using less energy. This is why we like to promote an annual boiler service to keep your combination boiler or conventional boiler running for longer. When you do annual boiler servicing it also helps keep the costs low since parts are less likely to fail.

In terms of top tips, the quickest and easiest thing to do first is have a look for any leaks throughout the central heating system. Next would be to make sure all the rads are getting hot and then have a listen to the boiler and see if there are irregular noises emanating from it. If the rads are not all hot then this could indicate sludge or air. Sludge may require a power flush.

The air can be removed by opening the vent slightly and you will need to do this on all the rads starting from the bottom upwards. If you are experiencing lots of air in the system then you have a problem and you may need a plumber. In fact if you find that you have cold spots on your radiators, there may not be a problem with your system boiler at all. Instead, you may just need to bleed your radiators. In addition, if you are finding that one particular radiator isn't working, it might sound stupid, but first check that the valve is turn on, or if you have thermostatic radiator valves, that they are set correctly. You'll be surprised how often this is the cause of a cold radiator.

Quick test stripsIf you are feeling keen and have a bit of time on your hands this Easter holidays then do a water quality test. We have some new test strips that although they may seem a bit expensive, are worthwhile to see a quick indicator of how good or bad your system is.

Just like a car if the water or fuel is dirty then it will affect performance of the engine or in this case the boiler. The fix for a dirty central heating system is performed by a chemical cleaner for example Adey MC3 500ml and then a really good dose of inhibitor MC1 500ml which is left in the system to stop corrosion.

If you want a plumber to perform a service on your boiler then book a call. It is much better to find and fix a small problem before it escalates into a major one. Boilers and systems have come a long way since the early days but good regular maintenance is the key to a boiler lasting well over ten years

And do it now, in Spring when it is a bit cooler! There really is nothing worse than firing up your central heating in mid July when it's alread 30º in the shade to test your central heating.

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