As we enter into the new year it is easy to think spring is right around the corner, but we know from experience and “the beast from the east” last year that there could still be several more months of cold weather ahead.
The last thing you want to deal with is a faulty boiler.
However, if you don’t take preventative action now when it comes to learning how to prepare your boiler for the coldest winter months you’ll likely face issues down the line.
In this blog, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about how to be prepared for the cold months and also basic checks you can do before an engineer is required – these measure are quick and simple and could save you a wait in the cold for an engineer to arrive
Keep your boiler on
We are all very aware how inconsistent and unpredictable the British weather can be. You may feel one week that you have no requirements for the heating to be on and the next you will be facing freezing temperatures.
So, why is this important?
Because your boiler is at risk for getting “stuck” and failing to function properly if you don’t let it run frequently – yes, even in the warmest of times.
Additionally, not turning on your boiler on frequently can lead to a loss in the pressure of the parts inside of it. This means that your boiler will need to work harder to pump out heat — driving your energy bills sky-high.
Bleeding Your Radiators
A simple and straight-forward measure that is very often overlooked. To do so, simply turn off your heating and turn the bleed valve on each individual radiator, if there is air trapped within the system you will hear a hissing sound followed by a dribble of water once the radiators is bled, so ensure you have a cloth or tissue to hand.
Check the pressure
Another relatively simple measure that can save you spending hours waiting in for an engineer in the freezing cold. To do so, check the in-built pressure gauge on the boiler, if the pressure is below 1 bar this is likely to cause you issues with the boiler. This can be remedied by allowing extra water into the boiler using the necessary valve or filling loop. This does vary from boiler to boiler but useful instructional videos are readily available from most manufacturers or experts on “YouTube”. If the pressure on the boiler drops on a regular basis it may indicate that you have a leak on the system or parts need replacing, at this point you should log a job via FixFlo
Frozen Condensate Pipe
All condensing boilers, whether Combi, System or Regular, have a condensate pipe which transports acidic water, away from the boiler. In most cases, this pipe will run outside into a drain and because of its location it faces the risk of freezing during the winter months.
If the condensate pipe has frozen then your boiler will probably display a fault code or warning notification. To locate the condensate pipe, it’s the plastic pipe (usually white) and should lead outside of your property into a drain.
You can thaw a frozen condensate pipe using a hot water bottle, microwaveable heating pack or warm cloth on the frozen part of the pipe. Alternatively hot, rather than boiling, water can be poured over it. After thawing the pipe, you might need to reset the boiler to fire it up again.
Again this is not a technical step but could save you the discomfort of facing a period without heating in the coldest of periods.
Am I responsible as a tenant?
While the landlord is responsible for ensuring that the boiler is in good operational order and having the necessary repairs completed carrying out these simple checks can prevent both unnecessary call outs and unnecessary waits – unfortunately despite our best efforts it is inevitable there will be a delay of some description before a contractor can get to you.
Tried the above and still have problem?
Worry not, we have qualified engineers available around the clock to assist. If you have checked the above and the problem persists we are here to help. Log a job through the FixFlo portal and day or night someone will be able to assist.