Winter can be a demanding time for your condenser boiler, and in recent years a record number of households have reported burst pipes and broken down boilers.
There’s nothing worse than finding yourself without heating in the midst of winter, just when you need your boiler most. Sadly, that’s when problems are most likely to occur.
However, there are lots of boiler maintenance tips that you can follow to make sure you don’t end up with a nasty bill for calling someone out to fix a broken boiler. After all, even a cheap boiler could cost around £1,000, so it’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to boiler maintenance.
If you would like to prevent an expensive boiler service in Lytham, read on!
What could go wrong with my condenser boiler?
Condenser boilers are the most common type of new boiler. They are a godsend to households fighting higher gas and electricity costs, but can require more frequent boiler servicing.
Condenser boilers are 10-20% more efficient than regular boilers. The bad news, however, is that the system is more likely to freeze up in cold temperatures. So if you have a condenser boiler it is important to have regular gas boiler servicing.
If the temperature outside is below freezing and your condenser boiler isn’t working, or is displaying an error, then your condensate pipe could be frozen.
Things to look out for?
The most obvious sign that your boiler needs servicing is quite simply when it’s not heating up water anymore, however there are signs you can look for if your boiler is on its way to breakdown!
One of the clearest signs to look out for is whether your boiler flame is clear blue. An orange or yellow gas flame is a great indicator of a problem and means it’s time to call your boiler engineer.
Boiler pressure is another clear indicator. If your boiler pressure is suddenly dropping or rising, or if the pressure remains too high for prolonged periods of time, it may be time to consider boiler servicing.
If you hear odd noises, particularly when your boiler starts up, this may be a bad sign. Similarly if your boiler is using significantly more gas than usual there may be a serious problem that should be investigated as soon as possible.
How to stop your condenser boiler from freezing
The most energy efficient way to do this is to leave your heating on low constantly. While it is likely to cost slightly more to have your heating on all the time, in the long run you may save money and gain peace of mind, by ensuring your pipes don’t freeze up.
This strategy may not be suitable all the time, but if there’s a particularly cold stretch of winter weather it’s an approach that can pay off.
How to thaw frozen pipes on a condensing boiler
If you are unfortunate enough to end up with frozen pipes your heating will come to a standstill, but luckily it’s a problem that’s easily fixed.
The best thing to do is to place a hot water bottle on the pipe, or pour warm water on it and then reset your thermostat.
Alternatively you can boil a kettle and pour the boiling water over your pipes. You may need to do this a few times to properly thaw them though. This might take awhile, but it will help keep your boiler service cost low.
What happens if it keeps freezing?
While the above is a great solution if it works, it’s of little use if you have to do it every day. If it does become a recurrent problem though you can still do something about it, although it will take a bit more work:
- You could think about having the pipe moved to somewhere inside.
- You could also have your pipe replaced with one with a wider diameter.
- Try installing insulation around the pipe.
If none of the above help, the problem may lie elsewhere, in which case it’s probably time to call in an engineer.
Keeping your boiler checked and maintained
Boilers often break down in winter, and there couldn’t be a worse time to be living in a cold house with no hot water and no access to cheap boiler service.
What’s more, the cost of calling out a boiler engineer is extensive, and can involve lots of calling around to try and find someone who is available and able to come out quickly.
That’s why it’s a good idea to sign up for boiler cover – that way you have protection if something goes wrong, and with some plans, you even get annual cheap boiler service for your boiler included in the cost. Signing up to a gas boiler servicing contract could be a real life-saver if something goes wrong when the temperature outside drops, as well as a great way to reduce boiler service cost.
What to look out for
The most important requirement of good boiler cover isn’t the price; it’s the standard of service. Any work done on your boiler should be carried out through a Gas Safe Register engineer, such as those employed by APG Domestic Services. Only Gas Safe Registered Engineers are allowed to work on boilers in the UK, and will offer you the peace of mind that the work is being done safely and to a high standard.