Updated on 10th May, 2023 by Martin Astley
Maintaining a domestic central heating system is not just a task for a boiler engineer during your annual boiler service, but is a constant process. This doesn’t have to take you a lot of time; you can keep your central heating system working throughout the year and avoid boiler breakdowns with just a few simple steps.
Check radiators heat correctly with no cold patches
Turn on your central heating and feel your radiators. Are they completely warm, or are there cold patches? A small cold patch might not seem like a big concern, but it suggests your central heating system is not working as efficiently as it could and that you might be wasting money unnecessarily.
If you notice cold patches, read about what to do if a radiator is cold.
Use your central heating timers effectively
Think about when you are in the house and when you need your central heating and hot water switched on, and set up your timers so that your boiler works when you want it to and is turned off when you don’t need it. Boilers can cope with being switched off and on multiple times a day without sustaining any damage. Conversely, a boiler that is constantly running is more likely to break down or overheat.
Lag hot water cylinders and pipes
Pipe insulation is a simple and affordable energy efficiency solution – the hot water in your plumbing system will remain hot even when your house is cold. But lagging is not just a good way to save money on your energy bills – it will also prevent frozen pipes, which can put unsustainable stress on your central heating.
Check water pressure is around one bar
Domestic water systems should typically have a water pressure of one bar, or between one and two bars. This is usually clearly indicated on the pressure gauge – there may be a green triangle to illustrate safe pressure levels. If your pressure is below or above the recommended safe levels, read our page about repressurising boilers.
Check the pilot light is blue
The cleanest and most efficient way to burn gas is with a blue pilot light. Orange or yellow pilot lights are considerably cooler than blue pilot lights, and they are also considerably more dangerous; yellow and orange flames indicate incomplete combustion, and can lead to sootiness, smoke damage, and even the release of deadly carbon monoxide. If your pilot light is not blue, check out our page on orange and yellow pilot lights.
Buy CO and smoke detectors
You should fit CO detectors in any rooms containing gas appliances, regardless of how well-maintained the boiler and appliances are and how regularly they are serviced. Carbon monoxide is odourless and colorless – the only way to detect it before it makes you ill is to invest in a CO alarm.
You should also fit and regularly test smoke detectors. Fit these on every level of your home and in any outbuilding that contains electrical appliances.
247 Home Rescue accepts no liability for any injuries or damages you sustain following the advice on this website. If in doubt, seek professional assistance.