Big increase in boiler breakdowns

National boiler, heating and home cover specialist Hometree, has reported that the increased use of home heating has resulted in a 12% increase in year-on-year boiler breakdowns over the winter. With many people on furlough or working from home, and a large number of householders keeping their heating on throughout the day, boilers have been put to the test over the last few months.

“With the boiler being a crucial component in ensuring that homes are kept comfortable during the coldest months, the additional usage whilst working from home has meant increased wear and tear,” says Kemley Sellars from Hometree. “It really highlights the importance of having your boiler serviced in the coming months, ensuring that it’s working for next winter where many may have transitioned post-Covid to working from home more often.”

To prepare boilers for next winter, Hometree offers householders the following advice:

  • Check your radiators. To begin, you should switch on your heating as normal. Once your home is fully heated, you can start to check each of your radiators for cold spots, which is normally caused by trapped air. If you feel that your radiator is cold towards the bottom, you may have to bleed them to remove this trapped air.
  • Service your boiler. An annual boiler service conducted by a Gas Safe engineer is crucial to ensure your boiler is in full working order.
  • Insulate your pipes. The increasingly low temperatures in the winter months can cause any standing water in your pipework to freeze. It’s important to use the months outside of winter to ensure all your pipework is insulated.
  • Check your boiler pressure. If your boiler pressure drops, you could suffer from a loss of hot water in your home. Your boiler’s pressure should always stay within the green zone on its pressure gauge once your system is switched on. To avoid a pressure drop, it’s recommended that you check and use the filling link/loop, and bleed your radiators if the pressure is too high.

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