Heating problems can arise at any time and although summer is the last time you’ll think of your heating system, it is in fact the best time to have it looked at. No one wants to start a cold winter realising they have heating problems. Having a qualified heating engineer to regularly service your central heating system is the best way to avoid breakdowns.
Read on for some signs that could point to heating problems…
Heating clicks on and off at the wrong time
Thermostats, electronic programmers and time switches should be set to provide the optimum heat when you need it. If the boiler switches itself on or off at incorrect times, or your home feels unusually hot or cold, the first things to check will be the controls.
It could be that a room or radiator thermostat has been accidentally changed, or you may have a time switch that needs to be re-set when the clocks change for British Summer Time. Both these heating problems are simple to fix by just correcting the temperature or time.
A time switch with a mechanical clock dial should be checked in case it is stuck, and an LCD display on an electronic programmer should be checked to ensure it’s showing the correct information. If a fault in either of these has developed they are easily replaceable.
Old thermostats should also be replaced if they don’t seem to be controlling temperatures properly, which can happen with age.
Cold spots in radiators
If the top part of a radiator is cold but the rest is hot the likely cause is trapped air inside. To release the trapped air you will need to turn off the heating first and then use a radiator key to slightly open the bleed valve on the radiator. When you do this you will hear a hiss as the air escapes but will need to be ready to close the valve again quickly before any water escapes. Lay an old towel under the valve or a paint tray to catch any escaped water.
Cold spots in the middle or bottom of radiators can be more difficult heating problems to fix, as they usually indicate a build-up of scale or rust that is stopping the normal flow of hot water. If you have an open-vented system you can try a chemical scale remover that is added to the feed and expansion tank. Your system will then have to be emptied and refilled after the chemicals have worked.
If more than one radiator in your home is affected it could be beneficial to ask a professional heating engineer to power flush your whole system. This consists of using a special pump to wash out all radiators and pipes with fast moving but low-pressure water. This will effectively remove any sludge without causing any damage.
Don’t ignore strange noises in your heating system – rattles, bangs and hisses are often easy to fix faults. You should, however, always try to locate the source of a new noise, as it could indicate serious heating problems. Noises coming from the boiler could point to a build-up of scale, problems with water flow or pressure, or a faulty thermostat allowing the water to overheat. If in doubt, call a professional Gas Safe registered engineer to check your heating, if it is powered by gas.
Homecure have qualified heating engineers available seven days a week for all heating problems.