Radiator with heating control

How to keep your oil boiler running smoothly

Taking the time to maintain your oil boiler can help to improve its efficiency and lifespan, saving you money and avoiding the inconvenience of an unexpected breakdown. These top tips should help keep your appliance working as effectively as possible.

Get your oil boiler serviced regularly

Domestic oil boilers should be serviced every year. As well as ensuring that your warranty remains valid, it is also important for your safety. During a service, a qualified engineer will conduct a thorough examination of the boiler. The boiler and burner will be cleaned and the burner combustion will be reset to allow the boiler to continue operating as efficiently as possible. The boiler and flue system components will also be checked and consumable parts such as the nozzle or flexible fuel hose will be replaced as necessary. This will further ensure the safety and reliability of the boiler’s operation. Learn more about what is involved in an oil boiler service.

Always ensure that your oil boiler engineer is OFTEC registered, and ideally manufacturer accredited.

Keep your oil topped up

Low levels of oil in your fuel tank can cause many problems for both the boiler and your heating system. It is important to keep an eye on fuel levels not just in winter when you are using the most, but also in spring and summer, when it is easy to forget.

Most modern oil storage tanks have a visible fuel level guage, while some require a manual check. Make sure you are familiar with how your tank works.

If you do run out of oil, you risk causing damage to the system as a result of sludge that gathers in the tank over time. You will also need to bleed air from the oil line to get your boiler to start again.

Monitor your system’s water pressure

If your boiler is operating as part of a sealed heating system (which is the case for most systems these days), it is recommended that you routinely check the system pressure on the pressure gauge. This gauge may be found on the boiler’s control panel or elsewhere on the system. If you are not sure, your installer can advise you. The best time to check the pressure is when the system is cold. It should usually read at around 0.7bar for a bungalow and around 1.2 bar for a two-storey house.

If your pressure has dropped below the desired level, you can top it up using the filling link, which, depending on the type of boiler you have, will either be within your boiler or somewhere else on the system. Be aware that if your system pressure drops regularly, this may indicate a leak that will need to be dealt with. Contact your installer or service engineer for assistance.

Protect your boiler and system from corrosion

Taking steps to prevent corrosion can significantly improve the lifespan and operation of your boiler and heating system. One way to help reduce corrosion is to treat the system water, which help prevent corrosion within the radiators, pipework and boiler. AS well as ultimately causing damage to your system, build ups of corrosion can also reduce efficiency and therefore result in you paying more than you need to to heat your home. This is because blockages oiler, pipes, valves and radiators can cause a reduction in heat output. Leaks may also occur from the radiators and boiler.

To help prevent this, it is advised that you fit a magnetic filter in the system pipework, which can substantially help reduce the amount of debris in circulation within your system. Power flushing your system can also help to maintain the quality of your system water.

Understand your settings

Fully understanding your boiler controls and settings will help you to get the best use out of your boiler and heating system, allowing you to maintain a comfortable home and keep heating costs to a minimum. A traditional two-channel programmer, when set up correctly, will allow you to define the times when you want your heating and hot water heating to operate. This means that rather than running all the time, your system will turn on when you want and need it to, reducing unnecessary usage. Smart technology offers a far greater level of control and is compatible with most systems. Thanks to intelligent features and the option to control your system via app wherever you are, you can make significan energy savings.

Apart from the boiler itself, it is good to familiarise yourself with room thermostats and thermostatic radiator valves (TRVs), both of which can also be converted to smart controls if you wish. TRVs are fitted to all or most radiators and allow the individual temperatures in each room to be set at a desired level. Note that they are intended to be used to adjust the room temperature and not for use as an on/off switch for radiators.

Finally, do not be tempted to adjust the main boiler temperature control. This is something that is set by the engineer to provide the optimum level of heating from your home and shouldn’t be used to reduce the temperature of your home.

For all your oil boiler installation and service needs across North Wales, speak to the experts at D.R. Plumbing & Heating today. Call now on Wrexham 01978 291 923 or Mold 01352 620 125 to find out more or request a free, no-obligation quotation.

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