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How To Maximise Your Boilers Life Span
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How To Maximise Your Boilers Life Span

To maximise your boilers life span it is important to understand what problems can cause issues.

 People have this belief that as long as they get their boiler serviced then they are doing enough to make the boiler live forever. Most engineers don’t know what a full service should actually consist of, so the level of service that is required just isn’t being completed. This is one of the many things can affect the life span of your boiler but hopefully by the end of this post you will have all you need to reduce your maintenance bills.

Choosing the right boiler will help it live longer

To increase your boilers life span you have to get the right boiler.

The first step is choosing the right boiler your application. If you’re not a heating engineer then you’re probably wondering how on earth you are meant to know what boiler you should have. If you would like further advice get in contact I’ll be happy to advise.

Its quite simple, if you live in a 1 bed flat then a 35kW combi boiler is the wrong boiler, if you’re a landlord and you have a 6 bedroom HMO, then a 28kW combi boiler isn’t enough.

I don’t mean always get the best boiler money can buy, I have installed some cheaper boilers for people on a budget and they’ve been working just fine, no problems. I treated them right when I installed them which is the most important thing for increasing a boilers life span

A boilers life expectancy is determined by stop-starts so size it correctly

Go for a boiler which is of adequate size, do not oversize!

Do you understand what the kW rating of a boiler means? The kW rating of a boiler plays an important part of a boilers life expectancy. Â An oversized boiler is one of the most common mistakes I come across.

Why is oversizing a boiler a problem? Oversizing your boiler causes it to over heat, meaning the boiler has to shut down and start up more often. Stop – starting of the boiler will put extra wear on the components, leading it to break down sooner. (manufacturers actually measure life span by stop – starts)

This boiler sizing calculator will help you size your boiler correctly.

Efficient controls hold the key to a happy boiler

Modern central heating controls can create a happy environment for your boiler, thus helping it to increase its life span.

The way we control our heating systems has massively improved over the years. We are moving on from the on-off control strategy that we have used for the past 50 years and we’re now moving into an era where are utilising modulating controls, such as weather compensation and Opentherm.

The new controls reduce the boilers work load massively and ensure the boiler runs at a temperature which is equally matched the actual heat requirement of the building, This changes on a daily basis, sometimes hourly. The warmer the outside the temperature the lower your boilers working temperature needs to be. The lower the boilers temperature the better. This also reduces stop-starts meaning the boiler will live longer.

These control strategies have been explained in much more detail in our resource centre so if you’re interested in learning more be sure to visit that section, or follow the links above.

The most important day of your boilers life is installation day

Giving your boiler the best birthday will undoubtedly give it the best chance in life.

One of the biggest issues we have today within the trade is cheap boiler installation companies. Wham bam thank you ma’am, they come in rip your old boiler off the wall chuck the new one on, get their money quick and they’re never to be seen again. An “expensive” boiler installer, is charging you for time. Time for him to treat the boiler with some TLC.

A clean boiler is a happy boiler.

Just like us, a central heating system can perform better if what we put into it is clean and clear. The water quality is massively important because a clean boiler is a happy boiler. Bits of debris get caught in vital components leading to an earlier break down. Some systems are worse than others so make sure your engineer pays a lot of attention to this. A good flush out will be required and a water sample should be taken to see what minerals are dissolved within the water, how soft the water is and how conductive is.check water quality boiler servicing

How can we ensure your new boiler can stay clean.

Some of you may have heard about a chemical mix that we call corrosion inhibitor. Adding a corrosion inhibitor can help slow down the process of corrosion, but it doesn’t stop it. This has been common practice for many years now, but I do have a few issues with this type of method. Here’s a short list to name a few.

The chemical which slows down the process eventually breaks down, and what is left behind actually speeds up the process.

It’s not a one size-size fits all, it might say that 1 tub will do up to 10 radiators, but there is a little bit more to it than that, each system can have it’s own issues which need a specific build up of chemicals thats measured specifically to the system, tests have proven that in many areas pure cold water from your taps is good enough for fill water. Corrosion inhibitor is still used widely in the UK, but you need to make sure that your water quality is checked regularly. 

You’re not supposed to just turn it on and walk away.

It’s all in the set up, when we turn a boiler on we should tell it what type of system it is dealing with. Some boilers are more advanced than others, obviously the more advanced boilers have more settings to tamper with. You would be surprised how powerful a boiler is and how much it can deal with. When we set up a boiler in your average 3 /4 bedroom semi, we typically reign it back by around 50%. It’s like driving around quiet streets in a Ferrari, completely impractical.

With maintenance it's better to be pro-active than re-active

Being proactive with your boilers annual service and maintenance will help with its life span.

An annual service is highly recommended by both gas engineers and boiler manufacturers. I personally feel that a boiler service is being tarnished with a bad name recently due to large companies offering a service with their home care plans. Its very common for these companies to push their engineers to be in and out as quickly as possible, spend no more than 20 minutes in that property. This is wrong.

Over a period of time the boiler begins to come out of sync to its original settings, or components which need to be charged to a particular pressure begin to lose that pressure. An annual service is there to bring everything back to how it would have been from the initial installation. As more and more components come out of sync to the manufacturers settings the more likely the boiler is to become faulty. So when it comes to boiler servicing and maintenance, being pro-active is much better than reactive. This is a sensible way to increase your boilers life expectancy. If you would like know more about what a boiler service should consist of please visit our boiler service page.

In conclusion

A boiler is one of your homes biggest investment, and you’d be surprised just how much you rely on it. You wouldn’t fill your car with dirty oil, you wouldn’t miss a service, and you’d make sure you change them tyres before they blow up. So I try and advise people to have the same outlook on their boilers too.

You boiler will be getting used more frequently if you’re a family of 6 or a landlord who has multiple tenants. It’s a wise move  to take this side of things more seriously, and put in the measures in to prevent breakdowns and help increase that life expectancy. You’d be amazed how much you need them when it’s the middle of winter.

Thanks for taking the time to read this post, I hope you have found it useful and you’re coming away with some knowledge that can be valuable to you in the future. Please leave a comment below with any questions or feedback. That would be awesome. Thanks again.

Jamie Cureton
Jamie Cureton
Jamie is an extremely passionate heating engineer. He particularly enjoys the technology aspect of the industry especially how new heating controls work to help people save money and keep warm.
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