‘I’m a heating expert and here’s boiler red flags to look out for’

Heating expert shares top tip on using radiator valves

Many people will be looking to turn their heating on for the first time in many months within the next few weeks.

However, there are some “red flags” to look out for when turning on the boiler this autumn.

Mark Ingram, tutor at Engineering Real Results, said: “The best time to carry out a check on your boiler is right away before the temperature really starts to drop and Gas Safe engineers up and down the country are in high demand and short supply.

“It’s a good idea to turn your heating on for short spells so you can check everything is still ok with the system.

“As a general rule, boilers usually need replacing every 15 years. They are a real investment and should be treated in the same way as a car, so paying for a regular service is always recommended.”

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1. Whistling or banging

A boiler often lets out a gentle hum as it whirs into action but anything more than this should be checked out.

Mark said: “Any whistling, banging or whirring noises need investigation as they could indicate broken parts or wear and tear that needs attention.”

2. Radiators not heating up properly

After a long break, radiators should heat up fairly quickly. If homeowners are finding they are taking a while to get hot, this could be an indication of a fault.

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The expert noted: “The odd radiator feeling a little cold could simply need bleeding, which is an easy job and doesn’t need a specialist.

“If you’ve tried that, it could be a more serious problem such as a blockage or sludge in the system which needs the attention of a qualified engineer.”

3. Funny smells

Healthy boilers don’t emit any smells so if there is one, it might be time to call in the experts.

Mark explained: “Carbon monoxide is the obvious worry with boilers and while the gas is odourless, it can sometimes start off by having a faint smell.

“It’s not worth taking any chances. If you notice anything smelling a little funny, call an engineer for some expert advice.”

4. Water leaks near the boiler

Water leaks near the boiler are a sign there is something wrong, so make sure to turn it off and consult an expert.

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