The weather is absolutely freezing right now and with many of us still working from home, the risk of a broken boiler is not something we wish to contend with. But it’s a common problem at this time of year.
With January having the average coldest temperature of the year, Brits do their best to keep warm—including making good use of their boilers. It’s also the month which sees the most boiler breakdowns. So when you can finally get a plumber to come round, repairs can range from £100 to £500.
Before the ‘busy season’ starts, comparison expert Uswitch has put together a list of tips, to ensure people are prepared and avoid waking up to a broken boiler.
5 top tips to avoid a broken boiler this winter
1. The boiler pressure keeps dropping (or rising)
If you find that the pressure on your boiler drops regularly (or you have to ‘top it up’ a lot) or the pressure is often too high, then your boiler could be having problems. You need to get it checked out, before it stops altogether.
2. You’re not getting any heat or hot water
This type of boiler problem is hard to miss. If your boiler isn’t working at all it doesn’t necessarily mean there’s a really big problem – in some cases, it can be solved with a simple phone call.
3. The flame in your boiler isn’t blue
If you have a gas boiler, have a look through the window at the pilot light or gas flame (if there is one). The flames should be burning blue. If they look yellow or orange, then it’s time to get your boiler repaired by a Gas Safe registered engineer.
3. You can hear strange boiler noises
If your boiler is making any strange sounds – clunking, knocking, banging, ticking etc – then it could indicate a problem. Stay safe, get it checked by a professional.
4. Your boiler is using more gas than it should
If your boiler is using more gas, but you haven’t had the heating on more or used more hot water than usual. This could be a sign that you are having boiler problems.
Will Owen, Energy Expert at Uswitch.com explains that these five signs don’t automatically mean your boiler needs replacing. ‘Prevention is better than a cure. And this is certainly the case with boilers where a little maintenance along the way can save you a huge amount in boiler repair bills further down the line.’
‘The average annual boiler service costs £60 to £120. Which is a far easier amount to swallow than the potential £500 it could cost to fix’
Look out for all of the above, as this time of year is rife for broken boilers.