How do I bleed the radiators?
If you have cold spots at the top of your radiators, it means that there is trapped air that needs to be removed so your radiators will heat your room efficiently.
Before you start, make sure your central heating system is switched off. You'll need the radiators to be cool enough to handle.
Some modern radiators can be bled with a screwdriver. However, for most types of radiator you'll need to use a radiator key.
- Attach the radiator key into the square section in the centre of the radiator valve
- Use a cloth or strong tissue paper to hold the radiator key
- Have another cloth under the radiator valve to catch any drips
- Turn the radiator key slowly in an anti-clockwise direction
- If air is escaping you'll hear a hissing sound
- Once the air has escaped, liquid will start to leak from the valve
- Close the valve quickly by turning the radiator key
- Check the pressure the pressure gauge on your boiler. If the pressure is too low you'll need to repressurise the boiler.
Why do I need to service my boiler?
Can I run a bath and shower at the same time?
If you have a hot water storage cylinder, usually found in the airing cupboard, you should be able to run a bath and have a shower at the same time. If you have a combi boiler, which heats the water as it is needed and doesn't have a hot water storage cylinder, and you open two taps, the boiler will split the water between them and you will get a reduced flow rate of hot water at both taps.
If you regularly need lots of hot water at the same time, it is worth considering having a system boiler, such as Baxi EcoBlue System and hot water storage cylinder, such as a Baxi Megaflo Eco, to ensure you always have enough hot water. Your installer can survey your home and advise the best boiler to suit your needs.
What is a condensing boiler?
The difference between an old non-condensing boiler and a new condensing model is the amount of useable heat it produces from the fuel it burns. Old boilers usually have a pilot light, which is burning all the time, whether the boiler is on or not. A non-condensing boiler could be as little as 60 per cent efficient, meaning for every pound spent on gas, 40p is lost.
A condensing boiler is much more efficient. It has a much larger heat exchanger, which extracts over 90 per cent of the heat from the fuel it burns, making it much more cost effective to run. It extracts the heat from the flue gases, which would otherwise be lost to the atmosphere, and recycles the heat back into the heating system. The water vapour in the flue gases can be so cool that it condenses (hence the name!), and is taken away to a waste pipe through a condensate pipe. Condensing boilers do not need a pilot light burning all the time, because they fire up when there is a demand for heat, using an electric spark.
Do I have a condensing boiler?
If your boiler was installed after the Building Regulations changed in April 2005, it is almost certainly a condensing boiler. However, there are certain things to look out for:
- Look at the user guide; it will say HE, high efficiency or condensing as part of the name of the boiler
- Look at the flue terminal which will be sticking out though an external wall near the boiler. If it is plastic and white steam puffs out of it when the boiler is working then it is likely to be a condensing boiler. Non-condensing boilers will have a metal flue (because the gases are hotter) and the gases will normally not be visible, except in cold weather, as they are much hotter than those from a condensing boiler
- Look at the pipes coming out of the bottom of the boiler. If you can see a white plastic pipe that leads to a drain, for example under the sink, that is the condensate pipe and you have a condensing boiler
If the points above don't help you determine whether you have a condensing boiler, contact the manufacturer with the boiler model name and number and they will be able to help you.
What are Baxi boilers’ energy ratings?
As part of the Energy-related Products (ErP) initiative, all gas boilers must show their energy efficiency rating. All Baxi boilers are A-rated, which means they operate at over 90% efficiency.
Are Baxi Customer Support engineers Gas Safe registered?
Yes, all Baxi Customer Support engineers are Gas Safe registered and experts on Baxi boilers.
Do you use third party contractors?
Yes, Baxi does sometimes use third-party subcontractors to carry out work on our behalf. This usually happens when we are busiest, to help us with annual servicing. The only other time we'll use subcontractors is in more remote areas of the country, for instance in remote parts of Scotland and on the Isle of Wight, where we do not have Baxi Customer Support engineers.
The companies that we use are carefully selected and trusted by Baxi, and fully trained on our products. We have very good relationships with these companies and they are aware of the high standard of work that we expect.
What is a back boiler?
A back boiler unit (BBU) is a boiler that is built into a fireplace, behind an electric or gas fire.
Back boilers were very popular during the 1970s and 1980s when conventional boilers were as big as a washing machine and much more difficult to install. Baxi launched the iconic Bermuda boiler in 1966, and sold millions before it was discontinued in 2015. Customers with a back boiler will still be supported by Baxi Genuine Parts, who can help with spare parts.
Why should I consider replacing my boiler?
Most people only replace their boiler when it breaks down. However, there are still a number of benefits to upgrading to a modern high efficiency gas boiler such as better efficiency, better reliability or having different hot water needs after an extension to your house.
Efficiency - by law, all boilers built after 2005 must be high efficiency condensing models which operate at over 90% efficiency. Older models (or models over ten years old) are significantly less efficient and cost a lot more to run. A modern boiler can save up to £340 a year off gas bills and prevent 1,500kg of CO2 entering the atmosphere. Find out how much you could save by using our efficiency calculator.
Size - combi boilers are the most popular boilers on the market and don't require any additional hot or cold water tanks. Replacing an older system with a combi boiler can save significant space in a loft and/or remove the need for an airing cupboard, letting homeowners reclaim valuable floor space.
Changes to your house - changes to your house (such as an extension) can mean that your existing boiler isn't suited to your additional hot water and heating demands. Similarly, if you're thinking about installing underfloor heating or solar panels it might be a good opportunity to think about upgrading your boiler set-up.
Broken down/very old/parts no longer available - sometimes maintaining and repairing an old boiler isn't as cost effective as replacing it with a new model. We make sure spare parts are available for ten years after a boiler has been discontinued (often longer) but sometimes it's not possible to find a replacement part for older boilers.
No longer safe - when your Gas Safe registered engineer carries out an annual service they may find that your existing boiler is no longer safe. In these instances you will need to replace your boiler.
Please remember that all work on a boiler must be carried out by a Gas Safe registered installer.