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Scary Boilers

As it’s Halloween we need to go over the HORROR Stories that are going to come out about BOILERS!!!

So, now that the weather has got a bit cooler, the overwhelming number of issues that come from our tenants are reports that their heating and hot water does not work or a variation of this.  So, we’re going to look at some ways to ensure your boiler is going to keep you warm throughout the winter months.  Keeping on top of boiler troubles is key for both landlords and tenants and there are steps that both can take to minimise the risk of boiler malfunction. This is our list of top tips:

1. Boiler Service:

As a landlord, you have to have a gas safety check carried out on your boiler annually to make sure it is running safely. One quick, easy, and cheap way to stay on top of the condition of your boiler is to have a full service carried out on the boiler at the same time. Most gas engineers offer this as a low cost add on to the gas safety check, whilst they are on-site, so for us, it really is a no brainer!

2. Understand Your Boiler:

When you move to a new home, buy a new property, or have a new boiler installed, be sure to understand how it works. A quick flick through the instructions will go a long way to ensuring you operate the boiler correctly and get the best from it.

3. Check the Pressure:

From a tenants point of view, the first thing to look at is the pressure on the boiler.  Most gauges are pretty easy to read, and you need to have this set between 1 – 2 bar.  If it is below this, then you need to add some pressure to the boiler.  Most boilers will have their instruction manual online as a PDF document if it’s not immediately obvious on your model how to do this, so you just need to Google the make and model of your boiler and this will come up. Most boilers will simply cut off if the water level is too low, to avoid doing damage to themselves, so if you’re not getting heating or hot water, this is an early one to check. Keeping on top of it will ensure you know it will be there when you need it!

4. Bleed the Radiators:

OK, this isn’t strictly a way of keeping your boiler running, but air doesn’t heat up in your radiators the same way water will. Landlords and Tenants alike should be mindful of when radiators were last bled and look to do so at least once a year (usually at the start of the cold season) or in any void periods. This will mean you get the most heat from your radiators when your boiler is running, giving you more bang for your buck (or heat for the pound)! If you’re not sure how to do this, a quick Google will give you the answers, but we will be covering it in the future here, so keep an eye out!

5. Test it Early:

One thing we see every year is the run of calls on the first proper cold weekend of the year that boilers have gone down. Obviously, this then becomes a really busy time of the year for heating engineers and they may not be able to get to you right away. The top tip here is to run the heating before you absolutely need it. When you know the weather is cooling off, turn the heating on and check that everything is running as you’d expect. It’s much easier for someone to come and solve it in the middle of October when things are still fairly mild than in the busy periods for heating engineers and it’ll avoid you being cold.

6. Power Flush the System:

Over time, debris builds up in a heating system and turns to sludge in the pipes and radiators. Like air, this doesn’t heat up like water and it really isn’t very good for the boiler. Especially considering the age of some properties across the country, some of these radiators may have been in place for quite some time. A simple way around this is to have an engineer power flush the system when the property is empty, then you know the incoming tenants will be warm throughout their tenancy!

If you’ve got any questions or more tips for keeping your property warm, let us know and we’ll add them to our list!

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