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A first time buyer’s guide to boiler maintenance

If you’ve just moved into your first home, congratulations! Before you get carried away with all your decorating and Pinterest-inspired interiors however, you need to take care of important maintenance tasks first – like getting the front door locks changed, getting a smoke alarm up and of course making sure your source for heating and hot water is reliable.

Here’s our first time buyer’s guide to boiler maintenance to ensure your new home is a safe and warm one.

Initial boiler maintenance tasks

As soon as you move in, you should make plans to have your boiler serviced right away, as you don’t know when the last time the previous owner’s had it serviced. It needs to be serviced annually in order to check for faults, leaks and carbon monoxide emissions which can be lethal, so it’s absolutely essential that this task is completed sooner rather than later.

In addition, you should check around the installation for obvious signs of damage or signs of trouble – the flame of your boiler should be a strong blue colour, and the pressure should remain steady – if it is continually dropping or increasing it could be signs of a problem with the expansion vessel and in that case it’s definitely time to call your engineer.

What could go wrong?

The biggest concern people have when it comes to boilers is the cost associated with them. A boiler can cost several thousand pounds to replace, so a smaller annual servicing fee is definitely the more preferable option. In addition to boiler faults and repairs, there are other things that could go wrong – you will need to lag your pipes in the winter to prevent them from freezing and of course there is the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning from a faulty boiler. Invest in a carbon monoxide detector (as well as a smoke alarm) when you first move into your new home for peace of mind and safety for you and your family.

Regular checks to make

Here are the regular checks to make as part of our first time buyer’s guide to boiler maintenance:

  • Turn your boiler on for a half an hour each day even in the summer to prevent it from seizing up. This will also help your radiators function more efficiently and reduce the number of times you need to bleed them to release trapped air.
  • In the winter, check lagging on pipes is secure and replace when necessary to reduce the chance of your pipes freezing.
  • Check your boiler pressure and refer to manuals for correct thresholds of high pressure and low pressure – and contact your heating engineer if anything seems amiss.
  • Look out for cracks, leaks, changes to the flame colour and any black sooty deposits around your boiler when it’s operating.
  • Ensure there is adequate ventilation wherever your boiler is. If it’s in a cupboard don’t surround it with coats and clothing, and if it’s located in a garage, try not to pile any clutter near it.
  • If you want to protect your boiler fully, why not consider boiler insurance? This protects you should the worst happen, and could help you manage the costs of boiler repair or replacement.