How to Care for Your Boiler System in Cold Weather

Boiler System in Cold Weather

As the weather gets colder, your boiler is sure to be put to the test. Winter is the most common time of year for people to experience problems with their boiler system. Coming home to a cold house is the last thing you want to deal with. Prevention is key. When temperatures drop, your boiler may need a little more care than usual.

Keep things cool

Keep things cool
Instead of only turning on the boiler when things get uncomfortably cold, consider keeping it set to a cooler setting at all times. If the boiler is running constantly, it will keep all of the external pipes warm. This may reduce the risk of the condensate pipe freezing or breaking.

If you are leaving your home for an extended period of time during the winter, you may choose to either drain the boiler and turn it off completely, or you can run it on low while you’re away. Many homeowners choose to do the latter because it greatly reduces the risk of freezing or bursting pipes.

Keep pipes insulated

Keep pipes insulated
Another way to prevent freezing pipes is by insulating them. Simply wrap any exposed parts with pipe insulation, which is readily available at most home improvement shops. This will help maintain the temperature of the pipes so they’re less likely to freeze when the weather gets cold.

Bleed the radiators

Bleed the radiators
Sometimes a problem with the boiler can actually be narrowed down to the radiator. It’s common for air to get trapped inside radiators, which reduces their efficiency. This is easily resolved by bleeding the radiators. Look for the bleed valve and use the special key to open it. This will release any trapped air. Bleeding the radiators should be done on a regular basis during the winter.

It’s also recommended to thoroughly clean your radiators with a power flush. This cleaning technique will flush out any debris or sludge that may be reducing the effectiveness of your radiators. Clean radiators heat better and use less energy.

Attach a carbon monoxide detector

Attach a carbon monoxide detector
If your boiler begins to produce carbon monoxide, it may be detrimental to your health. Carbon monoxide is invisible and odourless, so you won’t know if there is a leak until it’s too late. Attaching a simple carbon monoxide detector is the most effective way to know if your system is leaking this dangerous gas. If your unit begins to emit carbon monoxide, an alarm on the detector will sound. Open windows, exit the building and call for emergency assistance if this happens.

Schedule regular maintenance

Schedule regular
Your boiler should be serviced by a trade professional at least once a year. During this appointment, your boiler system will undergo a thorough inspection. If any leaks, cracks, corrosion or damaged parts are noted, they should be addressed right away. Fixing a problem while it’s still minor may help to save you money from a more costly repair down the road.

Never put off repairing a problem with your boiler. If anything seems out of the ordinary, it should be inspected as soon as possible. You don’t want your boiler to completely go out when it’s snowing outside. In the worst case scenario, the cold weather may freeze the pipes. Frozen pipes are more likely to leak or burst, causing a terrible flood in your home.

Most boiler problems can be easily fixed if they’re caught early enough. Some may even be prevented altogether with proper care. Before the weather starts to get too chilly this winter, make sure your boiler is ready for the cold temperatures.