AA reveals: how to make sure your boiler is ready for winter

Boiler check

You may not think about your central heating system too often, but you’ll certainly notice if it goes wrong. The AA reveals tips on how to make sure your boiler is ready for winter.

To help keep it in good shape, try to get your boiler serviced in the summer to ensure that it’s working efficiently before the winter comes. It may be worth looking into boiler insurance.

During the summer too, put the heating on for 15 minutes once a month. This will show the system is working properly and should help clear any debris from the boiler pump.

Improve your energy efficiency

• Insulating your loft will reduce heat loss from your home.
• Use radiator insulation foil behind your radiators to direct heat into your rooms.
• If you have a hot water cylinder in the airing cupboard, make sure it has a thick thermal jacket, and isn’t set higher than 60 degrees.
• If your radiators feel warmer at the bottom and cooler at the top when the heating is on, bleed them to improve efficiency.

Common causes of heating problems

• Is the boiler power light on? If not, check if a circuit protection device has tripped that you can reset.
• If the boiler has a pilot flame, check it’s alight. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions if you need to re-ignite it.
• Is there a problem with your gas supply? Ask a neighbour if they’re having problems too.
• Is your meter in a cupboard where the on-off switch may have been knocked? Check to see if it’s in the right position.
• Has your central heating programmer been set correctly?
• If the room’s thermostat is set too low, the heating will fail to start.
• Is the boiler pressure correct? If not, there might be a leak in the system. Be careful when investigating as any escaping water may be very hot. Ideally call qualified engineer.

Stay safe from carbon monoxide

Carbon monoxide is a silent killer. So if you don’t already have one, buying a carbon monoxide alarm is essential to alert you to the presence of the gas.

And if you’ve got a gas boiler, an annual service by a Gas Safe registered engineer can help minimise the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

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