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10 tips for keeping your boiler in tip-top condition

The cold is creeping in. It is inevitable. If you don’t want to freeze, follow these tips. Your boiler will work to perfection and you will save money on your energy bills.

Keeping nice and warm is a technical issue: if your boiler works properly, you are sure to keep warm. But it is also a financial issue: your heating consumption is equivalent to around 25% of your annual energy consumption.

If you don’t want to be cold or waste energy, you should seriously consider regularly servicing your boiler. The formula is simple: technical fault = Cold + Expense.

 

Official boiler servicing

The regulation is clear and indicates that if you have a boiler at home, you should have it serviced it at least once every 2 years.

It is extremely important not to confuse boiler servicing with the gas installation inspection:

  • Boiler servicing only applies to your boiler and it is mandatory every 2 years (although maintenance insurance policies include an annual service). You are free to choose who services your boiler: you can take out insurance or directly call an authorised technician.
  • The gas installation inspection applies to the gas meter, the piping, taps, rubbers… It is mandatory every 5 years (4 years in the Basque Country) and your gas distribution company is responsible for the inspection: they will call you to let you know they will be visiting your home, send a technician and charge you a cost as a small addition to your bill.

“A well-maintained heating system can save up to10% on your energy consumption.”

10 tips to be warm

  1. Cleaning is essential. Your boiler will work better if it is clean. Also check the soot, because too much soot could mean bad combustion. And, while you are at it, check the joints to make sure no unwanted air is getting in, which also reduces the boiler’s efficiency.
  2. Check the air grilles and make sure they are not blocked. Make sure they are always clean and unobstructed.
  3. A well-connected boiler is a happy boiler. It is always worth making sure all the connections are properly plugged in. Check the electrical connection and the gas pipes and the incoming and outgoing water connections.
  4. The correct pressure. Your boiler’s normal operating pressure should range between 1.2 and 1.5 bars. Switch it on, wait a few minutes and check that it is within these parameters. If the pressure is higher, "purge" some of the radiators to reduce it. If, on the other hand, the pressure is too low, simply open the tap slightly, to allow more water to reach the heating circuit.
  5. Get the temperature right. Crucial to your comfort and your pocket. We recommend you keep your home at a temperature of 18ºC when you are going to be away for a few hours, and also while you are asleep. During the hours you are active at home, it is good to keep the house at around 21ºC. That said, you should know that spending on heating increases by 7% for each degree above ambient that you need. If you dress adequately, it should be perfectly possible to spend a pleasant winter in a house that never goes above 20ºC.
  6. Keep an eye on your radiators. You should purge them to get rid of the air accumulated inside. Use a screwdriver and a recipient so you don’t soak your carpet and little by little twist the purging valve for all the radiators. You will hear a whistling sound. When it stops and you see drops of water coming out, close the purge valve. This will enable your radiators to heat up uniformly and use energy more efficiently. A trick: if the radiators are warmer underneath than above, it means air has entered. Now you know what you must do…
  7. If you are going to be out for some time, close off the main gas service shutoff valve. …
  8. Contact an authorised technician if you have any queries or for any changes you want to make. …
  9. Be vigilant and attentive to fake gas maintenance services. You decide who and when will check your boiler.
  10. If you notice a smell of gas, immediately open doors and windows: do not use any electrical switches, close off the main gas service shutoff valve and call the emergency gas service.

 

The warmest sense of peace

There are too many things to think about every day. Don't make your boiler servicing another one. Forget about it with a maintenance insurance that includes the annual boiler service and a technician, who can reach your home within 3 hours. Any time of the day, any day of the year.

“Set your heating to 18ºC when you are not at home and 21ºC when you are.”

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