The boiler is an absolutely crucial element in most modern homes today. Without your boiler, you would not be able to get access to instant hot water in your home and you would struggle to stay warm in the winter using your central heating system. However, a faulty boiler could be posing a bigger danger than you realise to your health and the health and safety of your family. A faulty boiler may not only be less efficient to run and costly to repair, but it could even be putting your life in danger. The good news is that most of the time, boiler faults are not dangerous and can easily be repaired – but it’s still important to keep a close eye on your boiler to ensure that it’s not becoming a health hazard. Here are some sure signs to look out for.
A healthy boiler that is working well should burn with a blue flame. If you’ve noticed that your pilot light is burning a different colour of flame or is constantly going out, this could signify some serious issues with your boiler. A yellow pilot light is a clear cause for concern since this usually indicates that the gas-to-air ratio in your boiler is off, which usually leads to carbon monoxide leaking out of the boiler and into your home. Since this dangerous gas is colourless and odourless, it can be all too easy for the effects to take hold in your family before you even realise the damage has been done. And, if left untreated, carbon monoxide poisoning can be seriously dangerous or even fatal. Some of the first signs and symptoms to look out for include sickness, tiredness and headaches.
One of the easiest ways to keep an eye on your boiler and ensure that it is not posing a risk to your family is to install a carbon monoxide detector in your home. This should be placed close to the boiler and you can get them quite cheaply from most good hardware and homeware stores. If your boiler is leaking carbon monoxide, the detector will alert you to the situation as soon as possible so that you can act quickly before any real damage is done. Don’t ignore a carbon monoxide detector – if you’ve had an alert, keep everybody out of the house and call a Gas Safe engineer to take a look as a matter of urgency.
If you can see soot around the area where the boiler is kept or there are unexplainable black marks on your boiler, this could be a sign of a very dangerous problem. If you’ve noticed this, it could be a sign of fires or other electrical problems that are causing burning in your boiler and this could put your house at an increased risk of fire. It’s better to be safe than sorry; if you notice this problem then switch your boiler off and have an engineer check it out. It could also be a sign of a carbon monoxide leak.
Carbon monoxide gas is naturally odourless, but many companies add an odour to it to make it easier to detect a leak in your home and keep yourself and your family safe. If you get a strong smell of sulphur or gas when you are near your boiler, you should switch it off immediately and call an engineer. Don’t ignore the smell of gas coming from anywhere in your home; even if it is not coming from the immediate area around your boiler, there could be a gas leak in your central heating system which can be extremely dangerous and will need attending to straight away.
For households that do not possess a carbon monoxide alarm, one of the first signs of a carbon monoxide leak is the physical symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning. If you have noticed that you are getting a lot of headaches, feeling sick, and feeling more tired than usual particularly when your boiler is running, it could be that these symptoms are caused by the boiler. It’s worth paying a visit to the doctor, but get somebody out to look at the boiler too – it could save your life.
If you have noticed any of the above signs and suspect that your boiler may be faulty in a dangerous way, it’s important to act fast. The longer you leave your boiler running and wait for a Gas Safe engineer to come out and take a look at it, the more risk there will be to your health. If you notice any of the above signs, you can call the Gas Emergency Service and request an emergency engineer who will typically be able to come out to your home on the same day. If you are unable to switch your boiler off, you should vacate the house until an engineer is able to investigate and give you the all-clear.
In some circumstances, a faulty boiler is better off replaced than repaired. And if your boiler is over ten years old, tends to break down quite a lot and is lacking in energy efficiency compared to the newer and more modern models of today, there are many benefits to investing in a replacement. Not only will your home be completely safe once again, but you can also save money and manage your heating much easier with modern smart controls.
The boiler installation cost is often worth it compared to the amount that you will spend repairing an older, faulty boiler over time. Do not miss this boilers price guide from Boiler Central to find out more about what you can expect the boiler replacement cost to be for your home and learn about the typical Combi boiler cost and more. You can use their handy features to determine which boiler is best for your needs.
Your boiler is an essential part of your home – but some faults could put you in grave danger. It’s important to be vigilant and know the signs so that you can address them as quickly as possible.