Whatever type of property you live in, and no matter how big or small it is, one of the most important pieces of equipment in your home is your boiler.
If you have a conventional central heating system at home, then your boiler is vital in providing you with hot water for heating your home and showering.
However, if your boiler breaks down, not only does this usually happen at the coldest time of the year, boilers are also incredibly expensive to replace and not a purchase you want to make very often.
Get your boiler checked
There is no exact answer as to how often you should replace your boiler, because it really depends on how well the boiler has been looked after over the years.
If you have recently moved into a new house, then it's very unlikely that you will know the history of your boiler. For this reason, it's important to get a professional plumber or heating engineer around as soon as possible to check that your boiler is functioning correctly.
This check is important as it can alert you to any carbon monoxide leaks, inefficient heat pumps or any other issues that need to be addressed.
Your plumber will be able to let you know about the general health of the boiler and whether it's something that will be fine for years to come or if it's something you need to consider replacing.
Annual central heating maintenance
If you're not new to your house and have lived in it for a long time, then have a think about when your boiler and other central heating components were checked by a professional, Gas Safe registered plumber.
If you can't think of when it was, or if you've never had a plumber check your boiler, then get it checked as soon as possible.
Scheduling in an annual appointment for a plumber to come and look over your boiler will help your boiler run smoothly for years to come without breaking down during the winter. An annual check will spot any problems that can be taken care of before they become a big, inconvenient issue.
During the colder months, your boiler will be in use almost constantly which makes it inevitable that components start to wear out. Much like having a car regularly serviced helps avoid larger bills or breakdowns in the future, central heating boilers should be thought about in exactly the same way.
Add chemical inhibitor to your heating system
Though this should be taken care of during your annual heating maintenance checks, chemical inhibitor is worthy of mention on its own.
Over time, water running through your heating system will have a chemical reaction with the metal in your pipes and radiators. This leads to internal corrosion and rusting with tiny shards of metal breaking off into your system.
These tiny shards of metal can eventually cause the pipes to narrow and brown sludge to form in the bottom of your radiators.
When this happens, your boiler and all other heating components have to work much harder to ensure that your house is warm. Inevitably this puts extra stress on your boiler and can shorten its life (as well as increase heating bills), eventually leading to a complete breakdown.
However, by adding chemical inhibitor to your heating system on a regular basis, you can seriously slow down this process of corrosion and keep the internals running cleanly and smoothly, helping to prolong the life of your boiler.
Is your boiler over 20 years old?
If you think you've got a very old boiler, then it's worth getting a plumber round to check. Sometimes it's not obvious just how old an 'old boiler' is so professional assistance is always useful.
Modern combi boilers are much more efficient than their older counterparts, so you might find it's worth replacing your boiler as a way of upgrading your heating system and benefitting from lower heating bills in the years to come.