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How Do You Maintain A Central Heating System

  • Posted by:
  • Admin
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  • Radiators, Pressure, Sludge, Boiler, Pipes
  • Posted date:
  • 21-02-2023
How Do You Maintain A Central Heating System

Have you asked: how do you maintain a central heating system? NPC Plumbing & Heating Ltd offer central heating repairs in Milton Keynes. We look at maintenance tips for domestic central heating systems and what common problems to check for. 

Maintenance Tips for Central Heating Systems

The boiler systems and heating appliances, like furnaces or baseboard heaters, we rely on throughout the year to create hot water and warm households are often some of our most dependable devices. 

Conversely, like any other mechanical equipment or systems, they require maintenance every six to twelve months a year to ensure they function to a high standard. 

A certified, gas safe engineer must perform routine inspections that will allow you to spot any small, emerging issues before they can worsen into costly emergencies. However, there are a few aspects you can continue to check yourself so that you know the signs. 


How Do You Maintain A Central Heating System? Central Heating Repairs Milton Keynes

Check radiators

Try switching on your boiler system and heading to the closest radiators; test to see if you can hear it revving up or feel it growing warmer. 

After some time, feel them again and check if they are completely hot. If you find small patches of empty, cold space, this is a significant sign that your system isn't working efficiently, and your radiators may need bleeding or further boiler inspection. 

It's better to address these issues early on with services that are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority so that you don't waste any more money.

Use central heating timers

When you are inside your freezing cold house during the autumn and winter and need some central heating or hot water, we highly recommend investing in and switching on a heating timer by your thermostat. 

Timers work independently, ensuring your boiler turns on whenever you need it and off whenever you don't. Boilers can be switched on and off frequently without acquiring any significant damage. However, if you constantly keep your heating on without intermittent breaks, it is more at risk of overheating or breaking down faster.

Lag cylinders and pipes

Lagging and pipe insulation are the most straightforward and affordable solutions for maximum energy efficiency. It is used and installed throughout England to keep hot water stored safely inside your plumbing pipework at a consistent hot temperature throughout the colder months when your household suffers from the bitter cold.

However, lagging panels aren't purely beneficial for its ability to save you money on your heating bills. It is there primarily to prevent frozen pipes and dangerous expansion that could put immense stress on your heating system and result in burst piping.

Check water pressure

Often, domestic water systems have their water pressure set at one bar or comfortably between bars one and two. 

On the other hand, if you discover on the pressure gauge that your boiler pressure is above or below the recommended levels, your boiler may need to be fixed. Look to the green triangle on the gauge, which will tell you the manufacturer's safe pressure levels.

Check the pilot light

When burning gas fuel efficiently and cleanly, you'll find that the pilot light will be blue. Suppose you discover it has become orange or yellow. In that case, this is a bad sign, as it indicates incomplete combustion, which is much more dangerous and often leads to sootiness, carbon monoxide emission and smoke damage. 

If your pilot light is no longer blue, we highly recommend contacting your local engineers registered in England for an emergency service that will arrive in under an hour, as you could be at significant risk, or your boiler may be on the verge of a breakdown.

CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTORS - How Do You Maintain A Central Heating System

Carbon monoxide detectors

Having professional engineers from a registered company install high-quality CO detectors and smoke alarms in any room on your property with significant gas appliances is vital. 

It matters not how regularly serviced or well-maintained your gas appliances, and new boilers are; carbon monoxide is a dangerous risk for all systems and households. It is a colourless, odourless chemical substance that can make anyone inhale it incredibly ill or lead to death.

Your smoke detectors must be regularly tested to ensure they work efficiently throughout the year. 

How to improve the lifespan of your boiler

When taken care of well, a high-quality boiler can offer a lifespan of around 20 years; however, you need to know what to provide in terms of maintenance to ensure that long, efficient life.


Have Your Boiler Serviced Annually

Some may perceive a boiler service as unnecessary; however, it is entirely essential, especially for those wishing to extend the lifespan of their boiler and ensure it stays operating efficiently and safely all year round, with little need for vital repairs.

Choosing to have your boiler serviced yearly or every six months if you can afford to do so will mean that gas safe registered engineers will inspect your boiler and offer any required cleaning or maintenance. 

They will also identify small issues that could go amiss if you don't have the skills and qualifications to detect them immediately. Without one every year, you could run the risk of your boiler's problems growing and becoming more expensive to have repaired over time. 

Unless you can successfully prove that your boiler heating system has undergone an annual service, your warranty or insurance policy may become invalid should you experience any breakdowns or irreparable faults with valves or heat exchangers. Check these values using the manufacturer's manual, as these regulations can vary depending on the company or brand you have installed. 



Install a Magnetic Filter

The magnetic filter is another common device used to improve your boiler's lifespan. It is typically made from plastic or metal and successfully connects to pipes within your system. 

Its magnets are robust enough to detect the build-up of sludge in your pipes that has gradually worsened, pulling it harshly like a vacuum to adjust it and cause it to break down inside. The filter rids the build-up to prevent it from building up inside the entrance of your boiler, as this could cause it to become inefficient and, ultimately, reduces its lifespan.


Use a Central Heating Inhibitor

Central heating inhibitors are chemical compounds used to rid rust, limescale, sludge, dust, debris and dirt building up inside your pipes and radiators, helping them run more efficiently. Before the minerals and debris have the chance to become sludge that could cause pipe or drain blockages, the chemicals inside the inhibitor help break them down.

The best way to prolong your boiler's lifespan is by preventing this rust and sludge buildup, as it can stop the water supply that heats your home and hot water from passing through the system properly. If this build-up is neglected for too long, the removal process can be even more damaging, so ensure that you stay on top of your heating system maintenance.


Have your boiler serviced annually


Run your boiler during the summer


Power Flush Your System

For those with a brand-new boiler installed into their house or property or frequently using a central heating inhibitor, you'll find that you don't require any powerflush maintenance. On the other hand, if you have neglected the health and efficiency of your boiler with misuse or lack of servicing, there may be a build-up of sludge that only a powerflush can shift and solve.

Many professionals state that you should invest in a boiler system powerflush approximately every 5-6 years to ensure your system's water flow is running efficiently. There are a few signs to be on the lookout for when your boiler system requires a thorough powerflush service, such as radiator leaks, central heating taking too long to heat up, noisy boilers, etc.


Run Your Boiler During Summer

Many homeowners switch their central heating systems off during the summertime, as the weather is often too hot to do so, and it can be beneficial for your energy bills to keep it off so long periods. However, we don't encourage you to leave your boiler off for that long. We recommend switching it on intermittently, even for a short while, as this will ensure your system's water doesn't become stagnant or develop blockages inside the pipes or radiators that lead to detrimental issues or breakdowns.

You don't have to use it frequently, just once a month or once throughout the summer period, to reduce the risk of boiler breakdowns that could shorten its lifespan. The best time for your annual boiler service is during the summer, as this is commonly the time you use your system the least. Hence, heating engineers are less busy, making it most appropriate to fault-find and have issues repaired before autumn and winter arrive when you have it running most often.


Insulate Your Pipes

Engineers encounter numerous different problems daily; however, the most popular found in households across the UK is a case of frozen pipes throughout the colder months. Frozen pipes are a massive hindrance to your entire heating system, they prevent proper water flow, and when the ice inside begins to thaw out, they expand, resulting in your pipes bursting, making them no longer efficient for use.

Insulating your central heating pipes is the best way to remedy and prevent frozen pipes from occurring, and it is a relatively easy DIY task to undertake if you have the products and tools. It usually involves lagging your pipes in various areas throughout your property, especially the garage and loft. 

In lagging the pipes outside your home or building, you can successfully keep out the cold and minimise the level of heat loss. It will massively benefit by reducing the risk of your water freezing as it is constantly insulated and stops the pipes from eventually bursting. Installing or replacing lagging into your pipes is an incredibly affordable option that will effectively prolong the lifespan of your central heating system.


Insulate your pipes


Bleed your radiators


Bleed Your Radiators

Over time, you'll find that air can seep into your central heating systems, resulting in crowds of air bubbles throughout your radiators that reduce your boiler's efficiency levels. 

You'll find that you're constantly turning your boiler or heating systems on and not reaping the benefits of finding cold patches on your radiators. The best way to remedy this situation is by bleeding your radiators when you notice this issue cropping up; this will ensure your system is consistently, effectively and efficiently running.

NPC Plumbing & Heating Ltd provides the best central heating services in and around Milton Keynes. Whatever you require, our professional team can assist you with everything from boiler repairs to installing a completely new heating system.