What you need to know about your boiler and heating – according to your boiler engineer

21 February 2024 | Lara Kavanagh

Our Gas Safe registered engineers deal with all types of boiler and central heating issues, and know everything there is to know about boiler maintenance.

We asked them about the most common issues they see on the job, and any recommendations they have for customers who aren’t sure whether they need to book a callout. Over 67% of our engineers thought that if homeowners had a bit more information about maintaining a healthy boiler, the need for call-outs would drop dramatically.

Read on for some handy boiler maintenance tips from the pros. But remember, if you don’t feel confident making the checks below yourself, it’s best to call a central heating engineer to help. You should also never remove a boiler’s case yourself.

An OVO Boiler Engineer stands at the front door

Top 5 boiler and heating tips from our network of experts

1. Learn how to adjust your thermostat or boiler flow temperature

Turning down your thermostat or boiler flow temperature can help to reduce how much energy you use, which can lower your energy bills. It can also help to reduce wear and tear on your boiler and prevent overheating.

2. Find out how to check and adjust your boiler pressure

Your boiler pressure should be between 1 and 1.5 bar. It's important to check it regularly and make sure it stays within the recommended range. Learn more about what to do if your boiler pressure is too low.

3. Get your boiler serviced regularly

As one engineer told us: “Regular servicing will prolong the life of your boiler”. And it’s true. An annual boiler service can help extend the lifespan of your boiler, allowing your engineer to spot minor problems before they become major ones. Always get a qualified boiler engineer to do this.

Regular servicing can improve the efficiency of your boiler, saving energy and helping to lower your bills. But it’s also a vital safety measure, as engineer Cliff was keen to tell us:

“I recently had a job and the boiler looked fine. It was only on inspection I found the boiler wasn’t actually attached to the wall – just the pipework and flue held it in place. Moral of the story: even if it looks OK and works fine, always make time for your service. So much can happen in 12 months and it's better to be safe than sorry.” – Cliff

An OVO Boiler Engineer inspects a boiler

4. Get thermostatic radiator valves (TRVs) fitted and maintain them correctly

TRVs control the flow of hot water to your radiators, allowing you to set different temperatures in the different rooms in your home. This can help you save energy and money. Ask your fitter how they work.

5. Buy a carbon monoxide detector

A carbon monoxide detector will sound an alarm if it detects carbon monoxide in your home. You can’t see or smell carbon monoxide, so the device really can save lives. Install it in the room where you have your boiler. Test it regularly to make sure it’s working properly, and replace it as indicated on the packaging.

2 more bonus tips from our engineers

  • If you have a combi boiler, try running the tap slower when you’re filling up the tub for a hotter bath.
  • Turning your thermostatic radiator valves (TRVs) off and then back up to your required temperature for winter can help to stop the pins sticking. This means you shouldn’t have a problem when you turn your heating back on in the winter.

To keep your heating working as it should, don’t forget to bleed your radiators if they’re failing to heat all the way to the top. You can also think about insulating your pipes to avoid heat loss.

And remember, if you have any serious concerns about your boiler, pick up the phone as soon as possible and get an expert in to help.

Boiler insurance: peace of mind for your home and heating

We offer several boiler and central heating plans to keep you covered in case of a fault. All our plans come with unlimited call-outs, access to a network of Gas Safe registered boiler engineers, and a 24/7 emergency helpline.

Our expert team helped with over 120,000 repairs in 20231.

See our plans

1As OVO group, we completed 122,799 repairs between Jan 1st and Nov 12th 2023.