Want to know how to improve the life expectancy of your boiler? In this guide, we’ll look at some of the most important steps needed to help a natural gas boiler hopefully persist for years to come. Let’s get right to it.
For starters, it’s important to have your boiler serviced annually for safety purposes and as a way of prolonging your boiler. A gas boiler service is a chance for a qualified heating engineer to check that your boiler is working as intended. Further, any issues noticed can then be addressed to prevent further damage occurring over time.
While it is not a legal requirement in most cases, it’s still key to keeping you and everyone in your home safe. Also, even when boiler servicing is not legally required, there is still a responsibility on all households to ensure their appliances are safe.
If you are a landlord or living in a House in Multiple Occupancy, an annual boiler service will be needed. If unsure about anything, it’s essential to contact your local council or another suitable organization or professional. Again, though, all in all, it’s certainly best to have it serviced each year whether or not it is a legal obligation for your home.
Bleed Your Radiators
It’s also a good idea to bleed your radiators once or twice a year. This is a process that is intended to remove air pockets present inside radiators.
By ridding your radiators of air pockets, it can remove cold spots/areas. This, in turn, will make your radiators more efficient and effective such that your boiler shouldn’t need to work as hard as it currently is (assuming there are air pockets inside your radiators to begin with). Ultimately, if your boiler doesn’t need to work as hard as often, this should translate to a boiler that lasts longer.
In order to bleed your radiators, make sure that you follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and take all necessary safety precautions.
In terms of safety, one stand out piece of advice is to not only ensure your boiler is off before starting but also double check that it is not scheduled to turn on (e.g. from your thermostat or boiler timer) when you plan to bleed your radiators.
While a boiler must be serviced by a qualified professional, it’s okay to bleed radiators DIY once you know what’s involved and follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. However, you may still prefer to hire a professional depending on your preferences or concerns.
Power Flushing Heating System
Another way of keeping your boiler and central heating system lasting longer is to have it power flushed by a heating engineer. It’s best to have this done every 5 years or so.
Power flushing involves a professional using machinery to chemically flush your heating system’s pipework, radiators and your boiler to rid it of debris such as sludge and limescale. In doing so, it can remove system clogs, thus leading to greater efficiency and a boiler that needs to work less (thus hopefully lasting longer as a result).
While it can be expensive (usually around £300 to £800), having your central heating system power flushed twice a decade will often pay off, by helping to keep your bills down and more than likely prolonging the time between now and when your boiler will need replacing.
Magnetic Filter Installation
After having your boiler power flushed, you may want to consider having a magnetic filter installed by a professional (as it is not a DIY-friendly task).
A magnetic filter can capture magnetic debris (e.g. rust), ultimately limiting how much sludge will form in the future and the pace at which it might accumulate too. In other words, a magnetic filter can keep your heating system relatively healthy for longer and give it more time before another power flush may be needed.
On a somewhat similar note, to limit or prevent the build-up of limescale (again after having your heating system power flushed), you can hire a professional to fit a water softener.
This is a component designed to stop calcium and magnesium deposits entering your heating system’s pipework. Since these deposits are what lead to limescale, stopping them in the first place can prevent limescale build-up re-occurring over time.
Occasional Summer Use
Lastly, it is a good idea to run your boiler a few times through the summer even when it isn’t needed. This is because if your heating system goes unused for months, issues can arise due to a lack of water circulating through the pipework.
As with many other examples, a heating system’s equipment can suffer from going unused for too long.
So, run it at times through the summer and ensure your boiler does not go any longer than several weeks without use – if you have concerns regarding very specific situations such as going on holidays during the winter, chat with a qualified heating engineer for tailored advice to ensure you take the right approach for your boiler and heating system!