It's everyone's worst winter nightmare: getting ready to jump in a skin-tinglingly hot shower only to find that the boiler's broken down. Property ownership comes with quite a few responsibilities and one of them is looking after your boiler.
Before you decide to throw in the towel and search for new property for sale, try these top boiler care tips:
Lag your pipes
There's a special type of insulation for pipes called lagging. It's usually sold as a semi-split foam tube that you need to slip over your pipes before the depths of winter set in. It stops the water in your pipes from freezing and bursting, prevents condensation forming and damaging your property, and saves you money on energy bills by keeping the heat inside your pipes where it belongs.
Turn your heating on during the summer
When it's 25°C outside you probably don't feel like putting the heating on. Although turning your boiler off can save you money, it can also increase the chance of it seizing up when you switch it back on in the autumn. Switch it on once a month for 15 minutes to keep it ticking over.
Bleed your radiators
Air pockets in your central heating system can put strain on your boiler, as it has to work harder to heat your home. Check for air pockets by feeling the radiator and making sure there are no cold spots. You should also keep an eye on your boiler's pressure: it should be between 1 and 1.5 bar.
Power flush your system
Sludge builds up inside boilers over time and makes them less efficient. You can remove this gunk with a professional deep clean known as a Powerflush. This cleans through all of the pipes and radiators too, so they'll feel warmer with lower heating bills and can make your boiler last longer.
Get an annual service
You should have your boiler checked over once a year by a qualified boiler engineer. Make sure you choose someone who is listed on the Gas Safe register. They'll be able to catch any little niggles before they become big problems and will also be able to tell you if your boiler poses any carbon monoxide risks.