If you’ve got an older central heating system, or you live in a larger property where the demands of hot water and central heating require a good reservoir of heated water, then the chances are you’ve got a regular boiler installed. You know the kind – there’s a boiler unit mounted on a wall, a hot water storage tank in an airing cupboard and a cold water feeder tank in the loft somewhere. You might also be thinking about bringing the system up to date just because it’s a bit older now, but that isn’t always necessary.
The thing is, we’re pretty much conditioned into thinking that new is better and that life will be much better and easier with the latest version, and that goes for heating boilers too. It’s not always true though, and in many cases perfectly good boilers are replaced when all they needed was a bit of care and attention. It is done at a cost that that isn’t always justified, with money that could be spent more effectively on other things, so what can you do to make sure you don’t spend more than you need to?
It should be fairly obvious that regular wear and tear over the years will lead to boilers becoming troublesome and less efficient. You might not notice it at first, but sooner or later you’ll feel a shake or hear a knock in the pipes, or the fuel bills will increase even without us using any more hot water. Eventually, these minor faults will become major ones and by that point you might have to replace the boiler, so the trick is to find the faults and fix them before they become an issue.
There is only one thing that is essential when it comes to keeping your boiler working in tip top condition and picking up problems almost before they occur, and that is making sure that your boiler is serviced regularly. The best time to arrange this is between spring and autumn, when service engineers are quiet and you aren’t relying on the system to be working. Most faults occur in the late autumn and winter when the boiler is switched on after being unused for months, and the owner finds that parts have seized up, so a service early in the year gives you two benefits. Firstly, you get the engineer to come out at a suitable and convenient time (not to mention you won’t be paying for an emergency visit) and secondly all the parts can be checked and repaired or replaced if necessary – the system will be tested properly so you know it will be ready for when you do need to use it in winter.
With all that in mind, you should consider arranging a yearly service for your regular boiler right away. It is a false economy to wait until there is an actual problem, and the regular servicing will probably save you more in the long run.