Top 5 Tips on Preparing Your Boiler for the Winter Months

A boiler breakdown never happens at a convenient time, especially in the winter. There are measures you can take to ensure you prepare your boiler for the colder months of the year and avoid any potential breakdowns or repairs. Here at MPH Plumbing, we offer a range of services to help you ensure the efficiency of your boiler. Modern boilers are usually so efficient that it’s easy to forget they’re there. However, taking steps to ensure its efficiency during the winter is sure to benefit in the long term. Below we’ve compiled 5 simple steps you can take to ensure your boiler is prepared for the winter.

1. Annual Boiler Servicing

Annual boiler servicing is advised for all boiler systems and usually must be completed and recorded to comply with the warranty of your system. A good hack is to book your annual boiler service just before the winter arrives. This way you can ensure your boiler is running at maximum efficiency during the time you rely on it most.

A boiler service involves an engineer inspecting and cleaning all components of your boiler. This will prevent blockages and ensure that your central heating system does not require any repairs. We can make repairs to fix faulty parts and your boiler will be left in perfect working condition. You don’t have to wait till winter to get your boiler serviced. If it’s been 12 months or more since your last service, it’s a good idea to book one.

2. Checking Your Boiler Pressure

If your boiler loses pressure and the level becomes too low, this will affect its operating efficiency. Checking your boiler pressure should be relatively simple. To check the pressure of your boiler, you simply need to take a reading from your boiler’s pressure gauge. Your boiler pressure gauge should ideally read between 1 and 1.5. If your pressure is too low or too high, you’ll need to use the taps to raise or lower the pressure to the appropriate level. It’s best to aim for the lower end of the range, as pressure will rise slightly as your system heats up.

3. Check Your Thermostat

A faulty thermostat can cause an incorrect temperature reading. This can cause your boiler to overcompensate if your room temperature is reading as too hot or too cold. If the thermostat has blown it will not send a signal to the valve which allows your radiator heat. This means your heating won’t come on. On the other hand, your thermostat may not know when to switch off the heating, causing a room to become too hot.

4. Insulate and Defrost Your Pipes

Standing water in your pipes is likely to freeze in the colder months. When water freezes, it expands, which is likely to cause your pipes to burst. If your condensate pipe freezes this can cause your central heating system to stop working completely. You can use tepid water to unfreeze the pipe by pouring it over the area where your pipe is frozen. Do not use boiling water as this can cause further damage.

One of the best methods to prevent freezing pipes is to get them insulated. Water expands when it freezes, and frozen water trapped and expanding in one of your pipes can cause the said pipe to burst. For boilers that are placed outside or in garages, pipe insulation is a must.

You can also keep your heating at a constant low temperature throughout the winter to prevent pipes from freezing. You can then set your timer for when you want your heating to increase. This will help keep the overall temperature of your house warm through the colder months.

5. Bleed Your Radiators

Air can become trapped inside your radiators. This will prevent warm water from circulating around them effectively. Your radiator will become cold at the top but warm at the bottom. This means it will take a longer amount of time to warm a room. This is when it’s time to bleed your radiators so you can heat your house efficiently.

To bleed your radiators you will need two things, a radiator key, and a cloth or towel.

  1. Turn off your heating. You can’t bleed your radiators with it on. If left on, you may get hot water spraying out of your radiators.
  2. Use the radiator key to turn the valve on the top of your radiator. Attach the key to the groove in the center of the valve and turn anti-clockwise. You should hear a hissing sound as any trapped air escapes from the radiator. Use your cloth to clean any excess water that leaks out.
  3. When the hissing stops and there is only water leaking out, retighten the valve by turning clockwise.
  4. Once these steps are completed and the valves have been tightened, turn your central heating back on.
  5. Check the pressure of your radiators by checking the reading from the gauge on your boiler. Bleeding your radiators can cause the pressure to drop. If the pressure has become too low, you’ll need to top it up. To do this use the lever tap on your boiler.
  6. Check your radiators to make sure they are heating up properly.

If you require a boiler installation, service, or repair in the Newport, Barry, Bristol, or surrounding Cardiff areas, contact MPH Plumbing & Heating today. Our engineers are highly trained and qualified as well as being Gas Safe certified. They pride themselves on their outstanding customer service and their outstanding reviews.

Top 5 Tips on Preparing Your Boiler for the Winter Months