As we enter what is likely to be another hot summer, the effects climate change is having on our planet means it is almost impossible to predict how the weather is going to change one season to the next. This is why it is important to prepare for the worst – particularly when it comes to your heating, as Sime’s John Moran explains.

A recent study has revealed that a third of homeowners haven’t checked their boiler in the last year.

Boiler breakdowns are most likely to occur in December and January, which is the busiest time for installers and typically, the time you need it to be reliable. Looking after your boiler by turning it on during the summer, bleeding your radiators and testing your water pressure, can reduce the risk of boiler breakdowns. Summer is also the best time to get a new boiler – particularly if you have been experiencing problems with it and are worried a breakdown is imminent.

Even if you think your boiler is fine, it is still important to ask yourself the following questions:

How old is my boiler?

If your boiler is over 12 years old then it might be time to get a new one. The average life-span of a boiler is between 12 and 15 years old and if you can no longer buy the parts to repair it, then you should consider looking for a new one.

Has it been serviced recently?

Boilers should be serviced once a year by a registered Gas Safe engineer. To find your nearest one, click here.

The importance of servicing your boiler annually is huge. Many homeowners are unaware of the dangers a faulty boiler poses to your family/residents if you are a landlord.

Carbon monoxide, also known as the ‘silent killer’ claims the lives of, on average, 30 people a year. You can find out more about the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning on the Gas Safe Register website.

If you woke up on a cold December morning with no heating or hot water, would you know what to do?

Worryingly, many people wouldn’t. There are a number of reasons this could happen and usually, this can be resolved quite easily without the help of an installer.

When you get a new boiler, it’s important to read the manual and familiarise yourself with it to ensure that, if a problem does occur, you know what to do. The manual will also tell you what the error codes on your boiler mean.

User manuals for all of our boilers can be found in the downloads section of our website.

Frozen pipes

Frozen pipes are a common problem for homeowners in the winter. During cold snaps, if your pipes are exposed to the outside then there is a risk of them freezing which, as a result, could affect the functionality of your boiler.

This problem can easily be fixed. In the same way you would de-ice your car, you can de-ice your pipes by applying warm water to the source.

During cold periods we would recommend operating your boiler at a higher flow temperature when it’s cold to reduce the risk of your pipes freezing. This can be done simply by adjusting your boiler’s thermostat (not your room’s thermostat) to a higher setting to decrease the amount of condensate generated.

Flooding

Another result of unpredictable weather is flooding and, unfortunately, this has affected several unsuspecting homeowners this year. In June, some areas of the UK received two months’ worth of rainfall in just 24 hours.

Floods can have a detrimental effect on your home and gas appliances. In order to stay safe when your home is flooded, it’s important to consult a Gas Safe registered engineer who can advise you on what to do. If you are evacuated because of a flood, you need to ensure that your gas supply is switched off and the gas should not be turned back on until your gas appliances have been safety checked.

For more information about what to do in a flood and to find your nearest Gas Safe registered engineer, see here.

If you have any questions about your Sime boiler, you can contact our customer service team by calling 0345 901 1114 and selecting option 3 between 8.30am and 5.00pm Monday – Thursday and 8.30 am and 3.45pm on a Friday. Outside of these hours you can email enquiries@sime.co.uk.