The weather is starting to get colder as we creep into autumn and for many of us (as much as we don’t want to admit it) it’s time to turn the boiler back on. If you’ve had your boiler turned off for the summer it’s possible that, when turned back on, your system could present faults or even not work at all. We’ve put together a few pointers for successfully restarting your boiler after summer.
Get a Boiler Service
You should get your boiler serviced every year for the end of summer as is ideal as it will show any issues that occurred as a result of not using the boiler for a month, as well as highlighting any general problems. Heating engineers are usually less busy during the warmer parts of the year, meaning you can book a quick and convenient appointment.
Gradually Increase Your Boiler Use
If you’ve had your boiler switched off over the summer you should have been aiming to fire it up once or twice a month to help prevent a build-up of things like dust, and corrosion. This will also flag up any potential issues before switching back on permanently when the weather gets colder. If you haven’t been doing this and it’s not too cold yet you could still fire it up a couple of times over the coming weeks.
Bleed Your Radiators
If your radiators have stopped working effectively over the summer you won’t have noticed – once the heating comes back on you’ll need to check all the radiators are heating up properly. If you find that one or more of your radiators isn’t heating up in certain areas (or not warming up at all) then you might need to bleed your radiators to remove trapped air.
When it comes to radiators, it’s also worth noting that thermostatic radiator valves can get stuck if they’re left closed for too long, which means that they won’t work when it comes to turning the heating on again. Try to keep them open as much as you can during the summer months.
Don’t Turn the Heat Up Too Quickly!
It can be tempting to crank the heat up as soon as we start feeling the cold, but doing this could mean you set the temperature higher than necessary and end up wasting both energy and money. Instead try to turn your heating up one degree at a time. Generally your thermostat should be set at a temperature you feel comfortable at. For most households this is between 18 and 21 degrees Celsius (and slightly higher for the elderly). It’s also important to remember that turning a thermostat up won’t make your home heat up any faster, it will just reach a higher temperature.
Check for Issues
During a long period of inactivity (over the summer) is when problems with your boiler are most likely to happen.
If your heating system makes a whistling sound when you turn it on there could be a build up of sludge or limescale on your boiler’s heat exchange, known as kettling. A build up of this nature can restrict the flow of water causing it to overheat, steam and boil.
Pilot light going out
You should start by checking that there are no issues with your gas supply before trying to reignite the pilot light. This could be caused by a broken thermocouple that’s stopping the gas supply or maybe even a draught blowing the pilot light out.
Maybe You Need A New Boiler?
If your boiler is very old then you might want to consider installing a new one. Most boilers have a lifetime of around 10 years and as time goes by they can become less efficient which should make installing a brand new boiler a top priority before it gets even colder and a working boiler more of a priority.
Increase Boiler Pressure
Boilers lose pressure over time and a boiler that doesn’t have enough pressure won’t work. You can see the pressure of your boiler by looking at the pressure gauge and it should be at around 1 bar, any less and there could be an issue with your system. There are several reasons the boiler pressure could be low, such as there being a leak in the system, the pressure relief valve needing to be replaced or the radiators have recently been bled.
Checking for a leak in the system should be the first thing that you do and if you see one then you should contact us. If you can’t see a leak then you can re-pressurise the system.
If your boiler is in a cupboard then clear the space around it of any coats, shoes or anything else that might have been put to one side during the summer. This is because boilers require ventilation and our engineers need easy access for any services.
Boiler Not Working After Being Off All Summer?
If you’re not having any luck getting your boiler going again after summer then you should give APG a ring. We can give you a no-obligation quote!