Oil boilers can be an efficient and affordable heating solution for homes, and they’re especially popular in properties that aren’t connected to the mains gas network. But if you have one of these appliances in your home, there’s a chance it’s not operating as efficiently as it could be. If this is the case, you may be wasting money and energy, which is bad news for your pocket and the planet.
To help you avoid this problem and ensure your oil boiler is functioning as efficiently as possible, it’s worth paying attention to the following tips.
Arrange regular boiler services
When it comes to services, you should treat your boiler like you do your car. By arranging regular checks, you can help to ensure that it keeps running smoothly over the long term. In general, it’s recommended to get your oil boiler serviced once a year, unless the manufacturer recommends more frequent checks. Make sure you get an OFTEC registered heating engineer to do this.
As it states on the website of heating oil suppliers https://heatingoil.co.uk/, boilers gradually lose efficiency over time, and in part this is caused by the build-up of sludge as a by-product of the combustion process. When an engineer services your boiler, they will check that all of its parts are working properly and they will look out for any corrosion or leaks. Importantly, they’ll also clean the appliance if necessary, helping to remove any sludge or soot that could prevent it from working properly.
Check if you need to bleed your radiators
Air often becomes trapped in radiators over time, and this can limit the efficiency of your heating system. You’ll know if this has happened if your radiators have cold spots at the top or if they take a long time to heat up.
If air is trapped in your radiators, you should bleed them. This is a fairly quick and simple task, and you’ll find detailed instructions on how to do it online.
Consider a powerflush
If your radiators still don’t get hot even after you’ve bled them, a build-up of sludge in the system could be to blame. The most effective way to deal with this is to arrange a powerflush of your heating system.
Carried out by a heating engineer, this is a cleansing of the whole system. The engineer will pump special chemicals through the pipes, radiators and boiler to remove debris, and they will collect and dispose of the sludge and contaminated water. The process can usually be completed within a day, although in some cases it takes longer.
Turn the temperature down
Many of us are guilty of setting our central heating temperature unnecessarily high. By slightly lowering the settings on your boiler, you could see potentially significant energy savings without sacrificing your comfort levels. Often, just a one degree reduction in temperature can lead to a big drop in energy bills, and the change in temperature is hardly noticeable.
Use your heating controls wisely too. For example, running a boiler at a lower level on a more consistent basis can be more efficient that having it on intermittently on a very high setting.
Insulate your pipes
If your central heating pipes aren’t already insulated, consider addressing this. Lagging these pipes with easy-fit foam tubes can reduce the loss of heat, keeping the water in the system hotter for longer and meaning your boiler doesn’t have to work as hard.
Know when it’s time to get a replacement
Getting a new oil boiler can be a considerable investment, so it’s understandable if you’re keen to put it off for as long as possible. However, delaying in this way could actually end up costing you more in the long term. Old boilers are not only more prone to breakdowns, they are also much less efficient than newer models. If your current appliance is costly to run, now could be the time to purchase a new one.