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The Central Heating Boiler
Central heating makes a great deal of sense, not only from an economic standpoint, but one of convenience also, removing the need to place heating equipment in every single room, and switching on and off automatically. Repairing a broken boiler can be costly, and having to replace one even more so. Thus, keeping an eye on things and spotting problems as they begin to develop is a very smart idea. It is highly advisable to get a professional in to give the whole system a good service once a year, but small problems can easily be rectified on your own, if you know what to look for.
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If your radiators are hotter at the bottom, it is likely that you have air trapped in the system. Turn the boiler off and turn the key at one end of the radiator a quarter of a turn, at which point you will hear a hissing as the air escapes. When water replaces the air, close the key back tight and the problem should be fixed, though you may need to check the system pressure, which your manual can tell you how to do. All boilers lose pressure over a period of time, making them inefficient, so knowing how to do it is a good idea. Boilers need good ventilation, so make sure the space around it is kept free from clutter, and look for a strong, clear blue flame, which says it is running well. Any other colour or hint of smoke says there is a problem.
Before a boiler completely packs in, it will normally give some signs that it is struggling, and this is the best and most economical time to address the problem. Unusual noises, or sounds much louder than normal are generally an indicator of something not being right, as are unusual smells or odours emanating from around the boiler. Water collecting near the base of the boiler is an indication that you have a leak. All of these issues are best looked after by a professional immediately, before they turn into a bigger problem.
Smart Things to Do
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Leaving the system turned off for several months at a time is inadvisable, so it is suggested that once a month or so, during the summer months that you switch your boiler on for 15 to 20 minutes or so, to avoid any potential seizing. Lagging the pipes is a very simple exercise that will provide good insulation, reduce heat loss and keep your heating bills lower. Radiators tend to build up a certain amount of sludge over a period of time, so having the whole system flushed by reliable plumbers and boiler repair specialist Oldham can offer will not only reduce your bills by having the efficiency improved, it also means your boiler doesn’t have to work too hard, which will extend its working life.
While central heating brings great comfort, it must be remembered that it is also potentially dangerous. Gas is highly flammable and not something for the DIY enthusiast to play around with. Carbon monoxide can also be produced by a faulty system, which is odourless but deadly.
Some maintenance is simple, but it is vital that you respect your limits and call in the professionals if you are in the slightest doubt.