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  • Why check my boiler and heating before calling a boiler engineer?

    You could  easily spot a simple matter that saves you the cost of paying for a gas engineer call-out.

  • Why do boilers and central heating experience more problems during cold weather?

    Increased boiler and heating use as temperatures drop tends to see faults develop as a result of reduced use over summer e.g. sludge build-up and problems with internal parts.

  • How to check the age of a boiler

    You can check the energy efficiency and age of your old gas boiler on the UK energy performance database.

    Or you can contact Aura Gas and we will look-up details of your boiler.

12 Checks to Prevent Boiler & Heating Breakdowns

WITH Autumn and the dreaded Winter not far away, it’s important to not get caught out by boiler and central heating problems.

Your central heating is probably turned off over the summer months. Even with the terrible rainy weather we often suffer in the UK, you’re likely to have used your boiler just for hot water but not heating.

If you wait until the weather starts to cool down, you are more likely to suffer a breakdown or other faults. Home heating including your boiler is known to struggle more often as temperatures drop.

Problems with heating can cause higher energy bills and safety problems such as leaks of deadly carbon monoxide – or worse, heaven forbid, could lead to an explosion – so it makes good sense to assess the state of your heating system.

While you and other people at your home maybe using the boiler for, say, taking more showers over the summer, your boiler is not going to be under as much strain as in colder months. Take the time to check your boiler heating system can cope with more load before you turn up thermostats for the colder weather – it could save you hundreds of pounds.

Boiler heating checklist

Before deciding to call a gas engineer, here are some fairly easy steps to check your heating. If you do no more than just the top two, you are likely to have made certain your boiler and heating are ready for winter:


Check 1: Is boiler working?

It sounds obvious – but simply switch on your boiler when the weather is mild and check it heats your radiators correctly. Doing this will give you advance warning of any problems before freezing weather strikes. If it really is broken, get a quote from Aura Gas to buy and install a new one.


Check 2: Boiler service

About half of UK households, according to a 2017 study, haven’t had a boiler service in the past year so if you’re one of those, it makes sense to book in a service before the end of summer or in the run-up to winter.


Check 3: Boiler instruction manual

Locate the instructions that came with your boiler or download them online (simply Google details of your boiler). It’s useful to study it in case it does breakdown. You can best understand and appreciate its workings and the safety aspects of what is a hazardous unit.


Check 4: No heat from boiler / Poor radiator heat

Assuming your boiler is working, lack of heat such as barely warm radiators is likely to be caused by air in the system and/or problems with the boiler pump, central heating controls or an important boiler part such as a diverter valve. Bleeding radiators should fix the air issue but you will probably want to call an engineer for the other faults.


Check 5: Boiler shuts off

A broken thermostat means a boiler can’t assess water temperature corrcetly so it is likely to turn itself off to avoid overheating. Try replacing your thermostat. Alternatively, the heat exchanger maybe faulty so could require replacement.


Check 6: Blue boiler flame / electronic ignition

Some checks if your boiler is not igniting:
a. Gas supply working? Check other gas appliances in your home and the gas shut-off valve. If there is no gas when all these are on and open, you must call your energy supplier.
b. Try pressing the boiler reset switch. Alternatively, you may turn off the electricity supply and then turn it back on again (not unlike solving PC computer problems!).
c. Low water pressure can cause boilers to not ignite. See possible solutions below in the ‘heating system pressure’ point below.
d. Make sure the pilot flame is a strong blue (not yellow). Bits of dirt can clog up pilot injectors.


Check 7: Heating system pressure

If water pressure is low (below 1 bar or 18-21 psi, typically), it’s possible you have a leak somewhere – or your system might require occasional or regular boiler repressurisation. Check your boiler manual for instruction to repressurise. If these are not the problem, you may well need a Gas Safe engineer to replace a pressure relief valve.


Check 8: Boiler heating is slow

You may prefer a more powerful boiler and/or hot water tank if you find your heating is slow to warm up in the winter, especially if this happens when running a bath or shower. If you are considering replacement of an old boiler, book a free home survey with us to assess your living space for boiler that will suit your heating needs.


Check 9: Boiler leaks

This is a major fault and requires calling an expert i.e. a Gas Safe registered engineer.


Check 10: Uninsulated pipes

It is possible to save hundreds of pounds by insulating pipes, walls and lofts.


Check 11: Noisy pipes

Domestic hot water pipes should run (almost) silently. If a pipe is apparently rattling on mountings or on a surface it is close to or has contact with, try using a piece of foam or other type of padding. Other noises might be due to water pressure issues and a plumber may help you with this.


Check 12: Carbon monoxide

If you’ve not got a carbon monoxide alarm, we highly recommend getting one. Should your alarm sound, it is important to immediately open all windows and doors for ventilation. Then, stop using your boiler and any other appliance that burns fuel and leave your property.

Do not use cigarette lighters, matches or even turn on lights (in case of sparks). You or other household residents will need medical help if affected by carbon monoxide symptoms. If you think your boiler is emitting carbon monoxide, it will need to be checked by a professional.

This article has covered hot water boiler heating systems (aka hydronic) which are most commonly installed across the UK, powered by natural or LPG gas (e.g. propane) and oil-fired.

** Safety factor: Which? recommend you employ qualified heating engineers such as Aura Gas who are on the Which? Trusted Traders website and / the Gas Safe Register (formerly run by Corgi).

Benefits of a New Boiler

A+ Energy Efficiency

New gas boilers adhere to the latest guidelines and can deliver savings of up to 40% on  your household’s energy bills.

Instant Hot Water

No more waiting for the hot water tank to heat up!  You can enjoy instant hot water available throughout the day and night when you need it with a new combi-boiler.

Ease of Use

The latest gas boilers come with up-to-date technology giving you complete control in finding the right comfort levels for you and your family.


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