Winter Boiler Checks: How to prepare for winter

As winter comes around and the temperature outside drops, you’ll need your boiler to be in full working order. If it fails during the summer months, it’s a nuisance – but maybe not the end of the world. If it fails during the winter, however, having no heating and hot water can be a huge problem. So, that’s why it can be well worth doing a few simple winter boiler checks to prepare.

It’s also a good idea to check your boiler for winter sooner rather than later. This gives you the best chance to avoid any nasty shocks. It’s also much easier than you think to make sure your boiler is ready for its winter work. So, don’t leave it to chance. Start thinking about your boiler checks now and reduce the risk of your boiler breaking down at the worst possible time.

How do I get my boiler ready for winter?

It seems that mid-October is the time when most people in the UK to reach for the thermostat. So, that should give you an idea of when you should check your boiler for winter. But what are the most essential winter checks to keep your central heating and hot water working? Here are just a few things you can do to make sure you’re not left out in the cold this winter:

Is your boiler working ok?

It sounds obvious – and that’s because it is. The first step when performing your boiler checks is to make sure it’s working OK now. In summer, it’s unlikely you called on your boiler all that much. So, turn on your central heating. Is the boiler making an odd sound? Are your radiators heating up properly? If not, there are two signs you need to get your boiler looked at.

Check your boiler pressure

This can be easily combined with the first step. On your boiler, there’s a gauge that shows you the pressure. For a lot of boilers, this should typically be somewhere between 1 and 1.5 bar[. If the gauge is pointing above or below this range, you can find guides on YouTube that help you set it right. If the problem doesn’t go away, however, you might need to call someone in.

Book in for a boiler service

You should already be booking in a boiler service every year to make sure it’s working properly. But a surprising amount of people don’t do this. If you’re not already getting an annual service, now is the time to do. If yours isn’t due its next service, there’s nothing wrong with calling out a registered Gas Safe engineer to check your boiler for winter.

Is your boiler fully covered?

Most newer boilers are still likely to be covered by their manufacturer warranty. But what about older models? If you’re no longer protected and you find yourself without hot water and heating this winter, repair bills can be really expensive. But it doesn’t have to be. With our boiler cover, we’ll take care of you if something goes wrong. It can give you so much extra peace of mind.

And we always aim to have someone with you within 24 hours of a boiler breakdown.

Turn up to maximum power

If your boiler seems to be working fine and all your radiators are heating up, the next essential winter check for your central heating is to turn it up to max power. That includes the boiler and all individual radiators too.

Leave it like this for a short while too. The reason for doing this is to see if the boiler trips out – or if there’s another issue that needs fixing. If something isn’t quite right, it’s better to know it now and be able to call a Gas Safe engineer to put it right.

Check your condensate pipe

For some condensing boilers, part of the pipework can go outside your home. This means that, in colder weather, there’s a risk that it might freeze over. If so, this can leave you without hot water and heating – causing your boiler to make a strange noise. But it’s easy to spot and just as easy to fix as part of your winter boiler checks. Tepid water is all it takes to thaw it out.

Are tanks or pipes insulated?

If your heating system includes either a tank or pipework in the loft, your winter boiler checks should make sure these are properly insulated. It’ll stop heat escaping and prevent frost from forming. It can also help you avoid any standing water freezing in the pipes. If this water does freeze, it’ll expands and increase the risk of a burst pipe. 

Fit a carbon monoxide alarm

Even the most rigorous winter boiler checks can’t pick up every single potential problem. And not all issues can be seen or heard. If carbon monoxide is leaking from your boiler, it can put you and your family at serious risk. With your boiler in use more during the winter months, a carbon monoxide alarm can alert you to any danger that needs immediate attention.

All it takes to prepare your hot water and heating for winter are a few simple boiler checks. It’s a great way to check for any potential issues you weren’t aware of. At Warrantywise, our boiler cover can give even more peace of mind. If something does go wrong, we can get you back up and running as soon as possible. Get a quote today or get in touch if you want to learn more.