As the nights draw in and the days get cooler, you will most likely be considering the best time to turn on your heating. After a relatively warm summer, the chances are you will not have touched your heating system for a few months. That is all about to change and very shortly you will be taking the advice we administered in our article Winter Woes Thermostat Wars. One of the first things you will likely do is turn on your heating and make your home cosy. It is not as simple as just flicking the switch and away you go though; you should take a few simple precautions when starting up your boiler for the first time, as we are going to discuss here.
Before considering turning your boiler on, it is advisable to get an engineer in to give it a good service. Think about your car; would you take it on a long drive if you had not fired it up for six months? Of course not. You would most likely get it serviced and checked so you know it is roadworthy.
Your boiler is no different. A poorly maintained boiler can be fatal, perhaps just as fatal as a poorly maintained car, suggests the Express. Ideally, a service will be scheduled for the end of summer or beginning of autumn to give you time to correct a fault if one crops up. Be aware; engineers are likely to be busier around this time though, so you may pay a little more.
Build Up Gradually
Starting your home’s boiler gradually is a good idea; maybe have it on low in short bursts on the chillier evenings, just to take the edge off. You can raise the temperature, and the duration slowly as you go. Firstly, it will help prevent a build-up of dust or corrosion over the next few weeks, which may see you turning to it infrequently on warmer autumn days. Building the heat gradually will alleviate the tendency to crank it up quickly and possibly waste fuel and energy by overheating your home.
Boilers are often under stairs or in cupboards that get used for other things also; make sure this is not the case. If you came back from the beach and put the windbreak in there, or piled shoes at the side, clear them out. A boiler needs ventilation and if you did encounter a problem, engineers will need quick access and will not appreciate fighting their way through your household items.
Covering your appliance and wider heating system is something you should consider all year round, as most boilers break down over the winter when a home needs them most, so making sure you have some sort of protection is vital. It should be relatively straightforward to protect your system, and to different degrees too.
A gas and boiler cover comparison guide by HomeServe details how the depth of boiler cover can vary, from simple breakdown cover to regular service checks and wider protection for your whole heating system. If you are ahead of the game, you might even be able to get a policy that includes a service, to save you the hassle when it comes to this time of year.
Consider Your Boiler’s Age
Boilers have a lifespan, just like any appliance or electrical equipment, so it is worth considering whether yours is beyond its useful life. Usually, a boiler lasts for around 15 years before it becomes inefficient. How old is your boiler? Early autumn is perhaps the latest you would think about a replacement before the cold weather kicks in, but it is not as expensive as you might think, and you could save money on your fuel bills through improved efficiency.
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This is a contributed post