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A Homeowner’s Guide to Boiler Safety

A Homeowner’s Guide to Boiler Safety

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Is your home heated with a boiler? In the US, boilers are a lesser-used method of heating the home, with Air Conditioning Heating and Refrigeration News estimating that, in 2017, only around 9 million US homes were heated with them – just 7.5% of the 120 million households in the country.

If you’re in this minority though, it’s important you treat your boiler with the respect it deserves. Boilers can be dangerous, and as such owners need to understand the principles of how they work, boiler servicing requirements, and how they can extend the lifespan of their boiler. To help you heat your home safely, we’ve brought together this expert guide on how to keep your boiler safe.

How do boilers work?

A boiler heats a home by burning gas or oil to heat water. This water is then circulated around piping to radiators throughout the home, which release heat. The water is recirculated back through the system, losing heat energy, before it’s heated again by the boiler, and so on. Water heated by the boiler can also be directed to taps and showers.

Owners can choose what temperature their boiler heats water to – both for the heating and hot water systems. Here, components called thermocouples within the boiler measure the temperature of the water in the system, sending a message to the boiler to stop heating the water when it reaches a pre-set level.

Understanding boiler servicing

Given they use flammable fuels and the water held within them can cause water damage in the event of a leak, it’s crucial you service your boiler regularly.

Each year it’s important you book in a full boiler service, and if you hear any strange noises, or experience any reduction in features and capabilities, always arrange a qualified gas engineer to visit your property.

When it comes to qualifications, go for a boiler operator that has the correct training and license – while only 10 states plus the District of Colombia require a license, you shouldn’t take any risks when it comes to competency.

How to extend the lifespan of your boiler

There are several things you can do to keep your boiler in top condition:

  1. Regular servicing – Each year, without fail, book a boiler service. It’ll detect any issues and improve the operating efficiency, saving you money.
  2. Magnetic filter – If you have metal pipes, get a magnetic filter installed that can remove iron oxide from the water, protecting your boiler components.
  3. Top up your radiators – Regularly check that your heating system is free from air, bleeding radiators to ease the pressure on your boiler.
  4. Consider boiler age – If your boiler is over 10 years, start saving for a replacement. Few last over 15 years, and older models can run inefficiently.

With the tips above, you can be a smart, safe boiler owner. Keep an eye on your system, service it, and you’ll save money and prevent costly headaches over the long run.

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