Your Radiators Need Bleeding
Bleeding is the term used for letting air out of a radiator and heating system. Bleeding a radiator involves opening a small valve at the top of the radiator to allow any trapped air to escape. If a radiator will not heat up or if it gets hot at the bottom but not at the top, this is probably due to trapped air. Air in the system can also cause a bubbling noise when the heating is running and bleeding all the radiators will often solve this. You can easily bleed a radiator yourself, using a radiator key. You need to be ready to close the valve immediately once the air has been released (at the point water starts to come out).
This water could be hot and may be dirty so you should have an old towel or something similar to hand to protect furnishings, carpets or of course yourself. If you are the least bit unsure how to bleed a radiator you should contact your installer to do it for you. It is often necessary to repressurise your system after you’ve done this and your installer will be able to show you how to do this, or do it for you.
The Water Pressure Needs Topping up on Your System.
Combi and system boilers and your heating system work under pressure. If the pressure drops below a certain level the boiler will not fire. Combi and system boilers need a minimum pressure within the system to work. Leaks in the system will cause your boiler to lose pressure. Leaks can be very small and you may not be able to see them. It is easy to solve this loss in pressure by topping up your system – your installer will be able to do this quickly.
However, it is essential they also find and fix the leak. It is a good idea to regularly check the pressure gauge to make sure there are no tiny leaks within your system – ask your installer to show you how if you’re not sure. You can find the correct pressure levels of your boiler and instructions for repressurising the system in the user instructions. If you are in any doubt, we recommend you ask a competent person, such as an installer, to repressurise your system for you.
You Should Have a Filter Installed on the System
Your boiler system will benefit from having a filter installed. A filter will help keep the water in the system as clean as possible. This will help the system run efficiently and will extend the life of your boiler. It is sensible to add filters to your system.
The water within any system can become dirty over time, creating what’s known as sludge. This sludge means your system won’t work as efficiently and can damage the boiler. There are various types of filter available and your installer will be able to advise what’s best for your system.
We’ll Need to Flush Your System Before Fitting the New Boiler
Your heating system should be thoroughly cleaned. Flush it with high pressure water in line with the boiler’s instructions. This should always be done before installing a new boiler. This is done to clear out any sludge that has built up over time and could cause the system to run ineffectively or damage the boiler.
It’s normal in old heating systems for sludge to built up so this should be taken away before introducing a new boiler. The process does come with some risk – poorly made or damaged joints may leak under this extra pressure. Your installer should warn you about any risk to your property and be ready to deal with any leaks.
You Might Benefit from Changing Your Open-vent System
An open-vent system may not be the best boiler system for you. Usually this is because you want to make changes to your home such as adding a loft conversion or freeing space currently needed for a cylinder (for example an airing cupboard). If you are planning changes to your house, a combi or system boiler may be more suitable.
Open-vent systems need further space for tanks, which are often in the loft. This means that if you are converting your loft, you may need more space.
You Need a Combi Boiler, System Boiler or Open-vent Boiler
Your installer is recommending what sort of heating system best suits your house. There are three main types of boiler systems:
Combination or ‘combi’ boiler – The boiler heats the hot water as you need it. There are no storage tanks as the boiler connects to the water mains.
System – the boiler works together with a hot-water cylinder. But may not need tanks, usually found in the loft. The system can be filled directly from the water mains.
Open-vent – traditional systems that are normally found in older houses. They work alongside a separate hot-water cylinder, usually found in the airing cupboard. They also need tanks, normally in the loft to store cold water.