Your boiler is an essential component of your home heating system, and in the winter you rely on it every day, and probably take it for granted – until it stops working. Cold water and no heat are no fun when the temperature is plummeting outside, so perhaps it’s time to start paying your boiler more attention? Here are 4 things about your boiler that you should never neglect in order to keep it safe and working as it should.
Always have your boiler serviced once a year to ensure it is in a safe working condition. In some properties, for example an apartment building with other residents or if you are living in rented accommodation, it is a legal requirement that you keep your appliances serviced so that they are safe. A serviced boiler has other benefits too – this regular maintenance will help it run more efficiently, meaning you use less home heating oil to heat your home allowing you to save money on fuel.
If your boiler is located in your house, perhaps in the kitchen or attached garage, you might notice strange noises from it when it’s switched on. These can include gurgling or banging noises, and as is often the case with strange noises, they are often a prelude to a bigger problem. These noises in your boiler often indicate a build up of limescale or the beginning of corrosion on some of the internal parts of your boiler – and as soon as you hear them you should call an engineer who can suss out the extent of the damage before it gets any worse. If your boiler is outside your house and you don’t notice these noises, it would be worth making a point to check it out every few weeks just so you can keep ahead of any issues and reduce the risk of bigger, more expensive repairs.
Dangerous smells – like smelling gas in your home are a dead giveaway that something is seriously wrong. If you suspect that the odd smells are coming from your boiler, for example a burning smell or something like melted plastic, switch your boiler off immediately and call a heating engineer. You should never chance using your boiler when you think something might be wrong – and in fact, many newer boilers will have an automatic shut off function if something isn’t working properly inside it. Carbon monoxide poisoning, whether you have a boiler which runs on gas or home heating oil, is a silent killer because it has no smell. Always have a functioning carbon monoxide alarm in your home to detect any presence of this deadly gas.
Leaking or dripping
A boiler which is leaking from anywhere is a sign you should never ignore – it could be a broken pump, a faulty valve, or a corroded pipe – but wherever the leak is coming from, don’t attempt to fix this yourself. Leaking fluids could corrode or rust parts of the boiler, or if it gets into the electrics it can cause a short circuit. Call a qualified engineer who will be able to safely diagnose the problem and replace or repair any worn out parts which are causing the issue.