Now that Summer is over and September’s here, it won’t be long until the weather is a lot colder, and homes are likely to get colder along with it. This means you’ll be more inclined to use your boiler in order to heat your home, and if you haven’t used it in a while, you might not notice that it isn’t able to perform as well as it should be. If you don’t know much about boilers in general, we’re here to explain a few things about them for you.
What boiler do I need?
If you’re currently looking for a new boiler but aren’t sure which one you need to get, you should know that it’s largely dependent on factors like the size of your property, your hot water requirements, and your home’s insulation levels. It’s important to get a boiler that matches your home’s size because one that’s undersized won’t adequately heat your home and one that’s overpowered will waste money on extra gas that isn’t needed. When we’re talking about boiler ‘size’ we mean the output in kilowatts (kW) rather than the physical dimensions of the boiler.
Calculating boiler size
In order to calculate the boiler size required by your home, you need to take into account the number of radiators your home has. If you’re calculating for a combi boiler you need to account for the number of bedrooms and how many baths/showers your home has.
There are three kinds of boilers, combi boilers, heat only boilers, and system boilers. A heat-only boiler provides heating directly from the boiler itself and works alongside a hot water cylinder. A system boiler is more often associated with newer properties and is like a heat-only boiler but instead works with an integral pump and a diverter valve.
What is a combi boiler?
A combi boiler is the most common kind of boiler for UK homes. Short for combination boiler, they serve as both a central heating boiler as well as a water heater. Because they combine two essential services in one compact unit, they’re able to save space rather efficiently. More often than not, your best bet when it comes to choosing a boiler is a combi boiler but remember to calculate the kW output based on how many bedrooms your house has and how many bathrooms/showers it has.
Why is my boiler leaking?
Back to your current boiler, one problem you may have noticed with it is leakage. This isn’t something you should shrug off, it can mean there’s a serious problem, like a broken valve or seal. If your boiler is leaking from the pressure valve it’s normally a sign that the pressure is too high. Make sure to check if the gauge needle on your boiler is in the red zone rather than the green, as this means it is over-pressure.
It’s not uncommon for boiler leaks to be caused by corrosion within either the pipes or the water tank. Sometimes a specific part can be replaced but if corrosion is widespread then it’s more likely that the entire boiler would need to be replaced.
Why is my boiler losing pressure?
Boiler pressure is the balance of air and water within the sealed system, if the balance is lost, i.e. not enough water within the sealed system, then so is the pressure, which affects performance. If your boiler is losing pressure, it can be due to a number of reasons, such as a leak as mentioned above. It could also be because the expansion vessel is faulty. The expansion vessel is supposed to accommodate for any expansion created when water is heated up and when it’s faulty it means it won’t be able to handle the expanding hot water. Either way most times a boiler is losing pressure it’s due to a leak or a faulty part.
Why is my boiler making a banging noise?
If you’ve noticed the pipes of your boiler occasionally making seemingly random banging noises, it can understandably make you feel a little bit worried. There are a few reasons this could be happening, with one of the most common causes being air getting into the pipes, causing fluctuations in pressure that result in the noises you might be hearing. When air gets into the system it can be due to a variety of reasons, like a previously replaced part or a faulty valve. It’s possible to drain the air from your system but if you aren’t familiar with the procedure you should get a professional’s help.
Trapped water within a boiler can also cause these loud noises to occur. The trapped water gets too hot and becomes steam, causing a rapid increase in volume that also causes a rapid change in boiler pressure. A restricted water flow could be caused by a broken pump or a number of other things, and like most boiler problems, would need to be resolved by a professional.
If you have experienced any of the problems mentioned, or perhaps even a completely different one, you may have come to the conclusion that you need a new boiler. If you’re not sure how much it should cost, we have a great combi boiler pricing guide.
If you are looking for quotes from local combi boiler installers, just enter your details into our simple form and let us do the work. Trusted boiler companies will be in touch to talk you through options & quotes.