Winter can be a demanding time for your condensing boiler, and in the particularly cold winter of 2012-13 a record number of households reported burst pipes and broken down boilers.
However, there are lots of boiler maintenance tips that you can follow to make sure you don't end up with a nasty bill for calling someone out to fix a broken boiler. After all, even a cheap boiler could cost around £1,000, so it's better to be safe than sorry.
What could go wrong with my condensing boiler?
Condensing boilers are the most common type of new boiler. The good news is that condensing boilers are 10-20% more efficient than regular boilers. The bad news, however, is that the system is more likely to freeze up in cold temperatures.
If the temperature outside is below freezing and your condensing boiler isn't working, or it's displaying an error, then your condensate pipe could be frozen.
How to stop your condensing boiler from freezing
Gas boiler repair can be costly, so avoiding a frozen boiler is priority. According to the Heating and Hotwater Industry Council (HHIC) "setting the heating timer/room thermostat to continuous is one way to prevent the condensate pipe from freezing up."
The most energy efficient way to do this is to leave your heating on low constantly.
How to thaw a frozen pipe on a condensing boiler
The best thing to do is to place a hot water bottle on the pipe, or pour warm water on it and then reset your thermostat.
What happens if it keeps freezing?
- You could think about having the pipe moved to somewhere internal.
- You could also have your pipe replaced with one of a wider diameter.
- Try installing insulation around the pipe.
Keeping your boiler checked and maintained
Boilers often break down in winter, and there couldn't be a worse time to be living in a cold house with no hot water.
It's a good idea to sign up for boiler cover - that way you have protection if something goes wrong, and with some plans, you even get an annual service for your boiler included in the cost.