Tuesday, January 7, 2014

What to do When Your Boiler has a Breakdown

English: Condensing Boiler Exaust
English: Condensing Boiler Exaust (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Would you know what to do if your boiler suddenly broke down leaving your home without heat or hot water?

The short answer is probably not but here’s a quick guide to some things that you can do to help avoid the worst should this happen.

  • Firstly, a boiler service every year is a must as this will highlight any problems, or potential problems and help ensure that the boiler is in tip top condition.
  • Learn how to relight the boiler manually if the pilot light has gone out. This will save you calling out a heating engineer for a boiler breakdown.
  • Many calls for boiler breakdowns are found to be because the gas and electric supply has stopped working for some reason or the boiler itself has been switched off!
  • Read the user guide for your boiler and central heating system to ensure you know what to do in an emergency.
  • If your boiler is working, check whether your thermostat temperature has been turned down too low and learn how to bleed radiators.
  • It’s also important to lag pipes to help prevent a condenser boiler from freezing.
  • The drop in water pressure can also lead to combination boilers failing but this pressure can be increased manually.

For anyone with an old boiler, it might be time to invest in a new one as they are more efficient and should save money every year on fuel bills. Heating supplies website Plumb Nation estimates that by investing in a high-efficiency, A-rated condensing boiler, a household could save around £225 a year on their heating bills!


Why a boiler service every year is vital


However, the most effective tactic that a household can undertake is to carry out an annual service of the boiler. Many Home Plan providers, such as Corgi HomePlan, will undertake this on an annual basis as part of their package.

Indeed, even the consumer champion Which? says that getting a good boiler service is vital to ensuring the proper performance of a boiler when it is needed most.

The Which? website even has a very helpful video detailing what a householder should expect from their annual boiler service and a very good page on paying for service contracts and what they involve.

According to Which?, the average cost of a boiler service is £63, though this amount varies greatly depending on where you are living in the UK.

The bottom line from their report is that people will inevitably save money by having a regular boiler service with people responding to the survey confessing that they enjoyed the peace of mind that came with having a Home Plan policy, such as one of those from Corgi HomePlan, which has this service included in the monthly premium.



Boiler services are often included in Home Plan policies


Some plans providers have varying levels of packages for boiler breakdown cover which also includes the heating controls and the central heating system.

It’s this message that prevention is always better than the cure is also underlined by the gas industry itself.

Those responsible for gas safety insist that having a boiler service at least once a year will help improve its condition and improve energy efficiency. Anyone who needs to find a contractor to undertake a boiler service should contact the Gas Safe Register.

The message from the heating and gas industries is that even if you don’t believe that a HomePlan, even the modestly priced packages, are for you then an annual boiler service is the very least a homeowner can do to ensure that the boiler will work through a harsh winter and not let them down.


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