A common piece of advice is “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” which means that fiddling with something that’s working just fine can cause more problems than it solves. This approach works fine with things like your walls, or your broadband strength and even the tuning on your radio, but when it comes to your boiler, it’s a whole different ball game. Your boiler will gamely work away all year round with no apparent problems, until it suddenly goes on the fritz, usually when the temperatures are below zero for the first time that year.
It’s a frequent problem and many people stand around scratching their heads wondering why the boiler has packed in “…now of all times…” The answer is simple, it’s not a coincidence, it’s because the boiler, after accumulating blockages, soot, rust, water or any number of foreign substances all year, can’t cope with the sudden increase in demand and the blockages.
Meet boiler trouble halfway
You should get your boiler serviced at least once a year and ideally twice, before and after winter – say, October and April – which makes it every six months. These services might seem like an expensive pain, but they are vital if you want to keep your boiler safe, cheaper to run and more reliable.
Keep it safer
These days, boiler leaks are pretty rare, but when they do happen, they’re hard to detect and dangerous, so you need to watch out for them. If your boiler is oil-fired, the oil itself can be injurious to skin and lungs if it’s inhaled or swallowed, and if the combustion is faulty, you can get a potentially deadly build-up of carbon monoxide gas in your home. This is why you should get at least one check a year, by a fully-qualified technician, to make sure you and your family are safe in your own home.
Keep it cheaper
Even if you plan ahead and get an order of cheap home heating oil before autumn comes in, all your good work could be lost if your boiler isn’t running as efficiently as it could be. Over time, soot and other residues build up and cause a drop in heat output. So you turn up the thermostat, using up more fuel than you should have to. Not only is a regular check good for your fuel costs, it reduces your carbon footprint too, as it makes sure your boiler’s operating as efficiently as it can.
Keep it reliable
Regularly-serviced boilers are much less likely to fail suddenly. In the depths of winter, you’ll pay anything to get the boiler working again and this can cost a small fortune.
The best way to keep your fuel and maintenance costs down is to call out the technician over the summer, when they won’t be in demand so much and when heating oil and the delivery charges are cheaper. It might seem like an unnecessary expense, buying in your oil and getting the boiler guy over in the middle of August, but when you’re nice and cosy (and a bit richer) in December, you’ll be glad you did!