5 Ways to Prepare Your Boiler for Winter

As temperatures begin to dip and frost, snow and rain become more regular, your home’s boiler can go from being a helpful appliance for a comfortable living environment to an absolute winter essential.

Since your boiler gets used more heavily during winter than in other seasons, it’s important to make sure it’s prepared before the temperatures start to drop. Below, we’ve listed five ways to prepare your boiler for winter, from preventative maintenance to simple cleaning.

Schedule a service

Because your boiler plays such an important role in heating your home and water supply, it’s important to get it serviced at least once every year.

The best time to service your boiler is shortly before winter, since this helps you identify and solve any problems before it gets used heavily. Schedule a regular service with a Gas Safe certified engineer and you’ll enjoy reliable, dependable heat from your boiler all winter.

Experiencing boiler issues? The months before winter are also the best time to schedule any repairs for your boiler. Companies like Go Assist, which offers Vaillant repairs, can quickly fix even the most complex boiler problems, helping you enjoy a comfortable winter.

Use your boiler all year

Like many other appliances, boilers work best when they’re used regularly. If you stop using your boiler for long periods of time, you could increase the risk of it seizing up and failing as winter kicks into gear and you need it most.

While there’s no need to run your boiler constantly during summer, turning it on for 15 to 20 minutes can help keep the parts inside your boiler in good condition and prevent a range of common problems.

Check for leaks and cracks

Boiler breakdowns are alarmingly common, costing UK homeowners as much as £787 million per year in repair bills.

Part of the reason for this incredible cost is that a damage boiler can also cause major damage its surroundings. Leaks from a broken or cracked boiler can easily damage your walls, flooring and other building materials, leading to costly repairs and replacements.

As part of your annual boiler check-up, make sure you look for cracks, leaks and dampness in the area around your boiler. Damp, mildewy areas around your boiler can indicate that water is leaking out and making its way into your home.

Clean up the area around your boiler

Your boiler works best when it’s installed in an area with plenty of ventilation. This means that dust, boxes and even clothes stored in the same area as your boiler can all seriously affect its performance, forcing you to pay more for the same level of heat.

Clothes and other flammable items can also create a fire risk if they’re stored too close to your boiler. Every year, check that your boiler’s installation area is clear of dust and possessions for optimal safety and advice about energy-efficient boilers.

Check for carbon monoxide warning signs

Although it’s uncommon, residential boilers that are not working properly can potentially release carbon monoxide, an odorless, colorless gas that’s potentially deadly.

About four people are treated for carbon monoxide poisoning in the UK every day, making this a health risk that’s worth taking seriously. Luckily, checking your boiler for the major warning signs of a carbon monoxide leak is fairly simple.

First, check that the pilot light on your boiler is blue, rather than yellow or orange. Second, make sure you have a carbon monoxide alarm fitted. If your boiler starts to produce CO, this alarm will let you know it’s time to ventilate and exit the affected area.

If you already have a carbon monoxide alarm, double check that the batteries are charged and that the alarm is working correctly. For extra safety, you can test your carbon monoxide alarm every few months to make sure it’s always ready and working properly.


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