How to prevent costly boiler problems

As the colder weather is starting to set in for real now, we rely on our boilers every day for heating and hot water, so if it breaks down unexpectedly it’s a massive inconvenience. You’ll have to suffer through cold showers or a cold house until you can get a plumber or engineer to come out to your house, and then budget for whatever the repair costs are to get your boiler back up and running again. To avoid nightmare scenarios like this, here’s a guide on some simple things you can do to prevent costly boiler problems this winter.

Home heating oil additives

Heating oil additives are added to your tank to help stabilise the fuel, remove water and condensation build up and break down sludge which can be found at the bottom of your oil tank. If the sludge and other contaminants were to find their way into your fuel lines and boiler, it would mean break downs and costly repairs. A single bottle of home heating oil additives is all you need to treat a whole tank, and it’s so easy to use – simply add the bottle before you get your home heating oil delivery to allow it to mix together.

Annual service

Never skip your annual boiler service. Even if you think your boiler is working perfectly you need to have it checked at least once a year for deadly carbon monoxide leaks. Your engineer will clean the parts of the boiler that you can’t see, check the pressure is safe and measure how efficient your boiler is – a great way to see that you’re getting value for money from your home heating oil spend too. Having your boiler serviced will help identify small problems and fix them, before they turn into larger, more costly repairs.

Don’t let your oil tank run empty

If you can’t remember the last time you topped up your home heating oil tank, check it now. Running out of oil means that all the sludge, dirt and grime at the bottom of your tank can be drawn into the fuel lines and clog everything up. This will require a system clean out to restore everything to working order again – a cost that can easily be avoided by topping up your oil tank now.

Insulate pipes

In cold weather pipes can freeze, leading to all sorts of water damage in the home if they burst, including problems for your boiler. Make sure to lag any exposed pipes with insulating material to protect them from frost and reduce the risk of you having to fork out for expensive repairs.

Upgrade thermostat

If you’ve noticed problems like your boiler switching off, the rooms not heating up enough or issues with your heating not coming on when it’s supposed to, the problem could be your thermostat rather than the boiler. Upgrading your thermostat to a new digital version could be the answer to your heating problems, and it’s much more cost effective to replace this than your boiler.

Insurance

If you’re still worried about budgeting for costly boiler problems, you might be considering boiler insurance, if not already covered by your current home insurance policy. This can cover breakdowns, parts and labour and unlimited call outs, and can provide some much-needed peace of mind if you’re worried about keeping your boiler in action.

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