How can I improve my boiler’s efficiency?
An inefficient boiler can cause your household bills to rise, leave you with lukewarm radiators, and may eventually pack up altogether. But the good news is that a few checks and tweaks can get your existing system performing well again. Here’s what to do:
Arrange an annual service
Treat your boiler like your car. Regular servicing keeps it running safely and smoothly which really makes sense in the long term.
An annual check by a Gas Safe registered engineer should prevent your boiler from seizing up in the winter and help you detect any minor issues before they become major problems.
Keep your boiler clean
Not an obvious cleaning job – but keeping your boiler dust-free pays dividends in the long run. You’ll prevent its tubes and pipes from getting clogged up, hampering its performance and causing higher heating bills.
To prevent dust settling on your boiler, give its outer housing a once-over whenever you clean the house. The interior can be taken care of during servicing – another reason to have your boiler serviced regularly by a Gas Safe engineer. Never attempt to clean your boiler’s interior yourself.
Bleed your radiators
Along with the obvious perk of improving your radiators’ heat efficiency, this minor maintenance task should lead to cheaper bills too. To work out if your radiators need bleeding, fire up the heating and see if any take a while to warm up or have cold spots at the top.
Top up the pressure
A pressure drop will really hinder your boiler’s efficiency but it’s easy to correct. Check the gauge on your boiler. It should read around 1.5 bar if the pressure is healthy. If it doesn’t, it’s time to tweak it.
Use a Powerflush
So you’ve bled your radiators and they’re still not getting hot? “Sludge” might be to blame. Deposits in your pipes and radiators can build up over time to such an extent that your boiler can’t heat your home efficiently. Eventually your central heating may suffer corrosion – a much bigger (and more expensive) issue to put right.So if your radiators have cold spots, some aren’t working, or your heating is very slow to take effect, it might be time to Powerflush. A Gas Safe registered engineer can do this for you. A Powerflushing unit sends water through your central heating system at high speed, dislodging any build-ups of sludge, rust and debris. Your boiler and central heating will be far more efficient afterwards and should last longer.
Insulate your pipes
Your boiler won’t have to work so hard and you’ll save money heating your home, if you lag your central heating pipes with simple, easy-fit, foam tubes. They reduce heat loss, keeping water hotter for longer. Lagging is available at most DIY stores. Just make sure you know the correct size for your pipes.
Turn the heating on
Like a car that hasn’t started for a while, your boiler can seize up if it’s left off for prolonged periods, leading to expensive breakdowns. So switch your heating on once a week during the warmer months – just 15 minutes will do – to keep it ticking over.
If all else fails… consider a high efficiency boiler
If you’ve tried all these tips and tricks above and you’re still struggling to heat your home and water efficiently, it might be time to get a new boiler. Modern A-rated condensing boilers are the most efficient on the market and so are the most economical to run. We explain the basics of A-rated boilers so you can make an informed choice if this is your next step.