Maintaining your boiler

Whether your boiler is brand new or old, maintaining it could help you save on expensive boiler repair costs.

Amy Smith
Amy Smith
Updated 19 June 2020  | 2 min read

Key points

  • It’s important to maintain your boiler so it’s working safely
  • You’ll waste less energy and money if your boiler is functioning as efficiently as possible
  • Have your boiler serviced by a qualified engineer at least once a year

Why is boiler maintenance so important?

If your boiler is broken it’ll try to compensate by using more energy to counter the weakness, making it more expensive for you and more damaging to the environment.

Keeping your boiler well-maintained keeps it performing efficiently so it’s less likely to break down and potentially become unsafe.

Good maintenance could also save you having to call out an engineer before your annual service is due and minimises the chances of wasting money and energy due to a blockage or leak.

What are the common problems that affect boilers?

There are many different types of boilers and you may encounter issues that are unique to yours, however, here are a few common problems:

A yellow pilot flame

The pilot flame should be blue, so if the flame is orange or yellow you should call a heating engineer.

Your radiators aren’t heating up

Excluding seasonal variation, if your house doesn’t feel as warm as usual and your radiators have cold patches, you’ll either need to bleed the radiator or call in an engineer to check for blockages in the system.

Varying boiler pressure

If the pressure is dropping or rising, it means that your boiler is not performing well. A constant high pressure could mean your boiler is experiencing some difficulties too.

Unfamiliar noises

Strange noises, for instance, clicking or ticking noises when your boiler starts could means that something isn’t right.

Tips for a well-maintained boiler

  1. Set a low permanent temperature to keep your boiler working during the winter period
  2. If you have a frozen pipe, thaw it with a hot water bottle but be wary of pouring warm water on it as the water could freeze as it cools and damage the outside of the pipe
  3. If your boiler has a timer function, use it to heat your home only when you’re planning to be there
  4. To avoid freezing, insulate your pipes - it’s a common problem with condensing boilers
  5. Don’t just check your boiler, look after your radiators too and make sure they heat up evenly
  6. Make sure that you have a carbon monoxide detector installed in the same room as your boiler and test it at least once a month
  7. Your boiler needs to have enough ventilation to run safely. If your boiler is in an airing cupboard, utility room, or kitchen, keep the area free of clutter and make sure the flue pipe isn’t blocked if you have one

If your boiler needs more and more maintenance consider whether it would be more cost effective to have a new boiler installed instead.

Have your boiler serviced at least once a year, but if you suspect a problem don’t wait for your next service - contact an engineer to check it out.