Your boiler is at the heart of your home, working to keep you warm and provide you with hot water all year round.
Although you should always employ a professional to service your gas boiler, there are a few simple things you can do yourself to help make sure it stays in top condition. The steps below tell you how to maintain a boiler and keep it in good condition.
Run your heating regularly
Run your heating at least once a month, even in summer, to keep it running efficiently and clear the boiler pump of any grit that may gather when it's not in use. Taking this easy boiler maintenance step can help keep your system running smoothly.
Turning your central heating on for 10 - 15 minutes every so often (even during spring and summer) can help to keep all the parts moving correctly and minimise the chances of a breakdown.
Get a regular boiler service
It's important to arrange a regular boiler service – even if your boiler appears to be working fine. A service may be included within your boiler cover if you have any.
Don't ever cover your gas boiler or block the air vents. Make sure the outside flues aren't blocked.
Call in the professionals
If you encounter a problem with your boiler, don't try and fix it yourself – always call an engineer who knows how to maintain a boiler system. If you're worried about gas leaks, take a look at our article about gas safety.
What is carbon monoxide?
Carbon monoxide is a tasteless, odourless, invisible and poisonous gas which is produced when gas boilers don't completely burn their fuel. It can therefore be tricky to spot and you're unlikely to know if you're at risk.
Caring for your boiler can help to keep poisonous carbon monoxide at bay. Find out more about carbon monoxide and how to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning in your home using the following tips:
Buy a carbon monoxide alarm
One way to protect against carbon monoxide poisoning is to install an audible carbon monoxide alarm in your home. If the alarm detects carbon monoxide, it will alert you straight away. Alarms cost approximately £15 - £30 and can be found at most DIY stores.
If a leak occurs call the National Gas Emergency Service immediately on 0800 111 999.
How to install a carbon monoxide alarm
Install your carbon monoxide alarm at least one meter away from your boiler (ideally within the same room) and you'll be alerted if your boiler starts to produce carbon monoxide. Remember to test your alarm at regular intervals.
If you're a tenant
Tenants aren't responsible for taking care of their home's boiler – this is the landlord's responsibility. By law, your landlord must ensure that your rental property's boiler is in working order, and serviced at least once a year.
Get a CP12 Certificate
If you're renting your home, it's your landlord's responsibility to get all gas appliances, including the boiler, inspected every year. By law they must also provide you with a copy of the CP12 Gas Safety Certificate.
If you suspect a gas leak
In the event of a gas leak in your home, contact the National Gas Emergency Service immediately on 0800 111 999.
For further boiler information and tips on how to care for a boiler, take a look at our range of boiler help and advice articles.
But remember, central heating troubles can be tricky to solve, so if you ever get problems with your boiler it's always best to call in a Gas Safe Register approved heating engineer to fix the problem safely.
If you ever suspect a gas leak, contact the National Gas Emergency Service immediately on 0800 111 999.