Your boiler is a box that brings gas, electricity and water together to heat up water for your taps and your central heating system. It works hard every day heating up and cooling down, pumping and making sure your home is warm and comfortable. There are a few simple maintenance jobs you can do yourself to keep it in tip top condition and working safely and efficiently, as well as making sure you have it serviced annually.
Look after your boiler
Keep your boiler clean by wiping the case with a soft, damp cloth and then drying it.
If your boiler is in a cupboard, be sure to allow the manufacturer's recommended clearances so it can be accessed and serviced safely. It's also crucial to keep air vents, grilles and flues free from blockages.
Do not remove the case. Only a Gas Safe registered engineer is legally qualified to remove your boiler's casing. If you think there might be a problem with your boiler, call an expert. Doing it yourself with gas is extremely dangerous and can cause leaks, fires, explosions and Carbon Monoxide poisoning.
Fit a room thermostat and set the timer
If you don't already have a room thermostat, consider having one fitted. You can expect savings of £70 and 280 kg carbon dioxide a year, according to Energy Saving Trust. Find out more from the EST website.
It is best to plan out and set the timer when you need your boiler throughout the day. This will ensure that your boiler isn't working hard when you don't need it to be. With a modern boiler, leaving the house unheated when empty and programming the boiler to start heating your home half an hour before you need it should be enough to warm your home when it matters.
Turn down the heating
Try turning your room thermostat down by one degree then leave it for a day. If you still feel warm enough, try turning it down another degree. Carry on until it feels a bit too cool and then turn it back up one degree. Every degree that you turn it down could save you around £90 a year on your heating bill.
Maintain your hot water cylinder
Your cylinder thermostat should be set at 60°C/140°F. This is hot enough to kill off harmful bacteria in the water, but use caution as it's also hot enough to scald. For extra safety, consider installing a thermostatic mixing valve which will automatically ensure that hot water at your tap is at a safe temperature.
If your tank is not insulated, you can easily lag it yourself. You can insulate the hot water pipes around it at the same time. The tank jacket and pipe insulation should cost no more than around £15, and could save you a further £35 a year.
Watch this video to find out how to replenish the air-gap on a Megaflo cylinder.