5 common winter issues caused by gas central heating

29/11/2018 /
by
Electric Radiator Solutions Team

Central heating systems become neglected during the long summer months, but when the cold weather starts to hit, our first thought turns to switching that much needed heating on.

Unfortunately, after a lengthy period of not being in use, once the boiler system is turned on, numerous faults can come to your attention all at once. Not only can this leave you in the cold with no hot water or heating, but the costs of repairs can soon add up. As expected, gas engineers are in high demand throughout winter for boiler breakdowns so who knows how long you could be waiting until you feel the warm again! This is a huge inconvenience for anyone, especially with the expense of Christmas right around the corner. Here are some common problems that occur with gas central heating.

Radiators

Radiators become our saviour throughout winter months. There’s nothing more comforting than a cosy, warm home, especially after battling with the rain, wind and snow outside. Unfortunately, there are various issues you can face with your radiators.

If you find your radiators are warm at the bottom, but remain cold at the top there could be air trapped within the radiator that is blocking the heat from circulating. This can be simple and cheap to repair by investing in a radiator key to bleed all the radiators and let the air blockage escape. Switch off your system and place a bucket under the corner of your radiator to catch any dirty water that may leak out during the process. Place the key in the valve and turn anti clockwise until you can hear the air escape. When you are finished, ensure the valve is closed tightly. Depending on the condition of the radiators, the above could require calling out a professional.

Another reason radiators may not be producing heat efficiently could be due to a blockage within the radiator system. Dirt such as dust can build up in the pipes and cause obstructions. This isn’t a quick fix like bleeding the radiators. You will need to power flush the pipes to rid of excess grime, which involves removing the radiator from the wall so hiring a professional to complete this job would be recommended.

Radiator valves and pipes can also become worn over time and small holes may appear or the valve may break completely. This can cause a leak and if not repaired quickly or correctly can become quite severe and expensive - especially if the leak isn’t controlled and it results in you having to restore damaged flooring. Because of the devastation this can cause, it is highly recommended to call a professional immediately who can assess the radiator and repair the source of the leak efficiently. Although you will incur fees for a call out, you will avoid more extensive bills.

Boiler

Sadly, the complications don’t stop with gas central heating radiators. The boiler itself can present with an array of issues which not only affects your radiators and heating.

Plummeting temperatures throughout the winter months can cause condensation in your pipes which freezes and creates a blockage. If the blockage isn’t attended to quickly, the boiler will shut down and the pipes can burst from the pressure, causing a whole new set of problems to tackle. The best tip to try and avoid this is to keep your pipes insulated but unfortunately there is no long lasting preventative measure and dependent on how low the temperature drops, it is inevitably out of your control.

Another reason why your boiler keeps shutting down could be due to low water pressure. Often, water pressure is compromised after you have bled the radiators, or when there is a leak somewhere in the system, although there can be many more complications involved. It is most beneficial to call in a professional if this keeps occurring before more or irreparable damage is caused.

As with radiators, boilers can become clogged with sludge which will require flushing out as to not cause further concerns.Trapped air within the boiler can also lead to an array of strange sounds being transmitted from the boiler itself. This is known as “kettling” and can sound like banging, whistling or gurgling. If you hear these noises, it is recommended that you hire a professional to check your boiler to ensure there aren’t repairs that have been missed. The longer a defect is left, the more damage is likely to be incurred, which could even result in forking out for a new boiler altogether.

Electric heating systems

If that all sounds like something you can live without and you’re fed up of winter maintenance costs, you can convert to electric radiators so you don’t face the issues you would with a gas central heating system. With electric heating systems there is no interaction with your boiler - that means you’re at no risk of facing the cold in your home if your boiler breaks down.

Electric radiators can save you a lot of money in the short and long term. Unlike gas central heating, electric radiators are powered through the mains. With gas radiators, up to 50% of heat is lost through the pipes whereas with electric you’ll be using exactly what you pay for. Electric radiators are an easy DIY project, they don’t need yearly servicing like gas radiators and they’re maintenance free (no bleeding them or flushing out pipes) so just think of how much money you’ll have spare not having to call out the professionals.

They’re also extremely environmentally friendly so you’ll be doing your bit for the planet without any inconvenience to you! Yet another bonus to electric radiator systems is the lack of background noise they bring. Say goodbye to clicking, thumping and gurgling and say hello to a quiet, relaxed and warm home!

If you’d like some friendly and professional advice regarding switching to electric radiator systems, contact our team at Electric Radiator Solutions, the UK’s leading electric heating company.