With the freezing winter months finally starting to set in, your heating and hot water systems are about to be put to the test – and it’s a time of year when you really can’t afford to go without them.

That’s why Alan Jeffery, one of our commercial engineers, gives you simple advice in this video on how to avoid a commercial boiler breakdown, and what to do if you do have one.

1. Test your heating systems now

If you’ve spent the last few months enjoying a warm autumn, you probably haven’t even thought about your heating controls.  But you don’t want to wait until the temperature does drop before trying to turn on a faulty system.

So it’s worth doing a routine check now, before it’s too late.

Turn on your heating and give it a chance to get going.  Then take a walk around your premises, checking every radiator to see if they’re warming up.  If just one or two of them aren’t working, you might just need the radiators bleeding.  If none of them are working, you might need to get the whole system checked by a professioal.

You should also take a look at the pressure gauge on your boiler.  If the pressure is too high, you must get in touch with a Gas Safe engineer as soon as possible. If it’s too low, there are a number of possible causes, and it’s probably safer to call out an engineer than to try to re-pressurise the system yourself. In addition, your business insurance policy may require you to get a professional solution.

Before the winter starts, it’s best to test your equipment and make sure it all works.  In most cases, boilers don’t break down without some warning signs, so if you notice it acting strangely, you ought to take action as early as possible.

2. Get your equipment professionally serviced

Just like any other piece of equipment, boilers and heating systems can suffer from wear and tear.  And even if they haven’t broken down, they could still be working at a much lower rate of efficiency. That means you could be spending more than you need to on your heating bills.

‘From experience, we find that most heating systems break down in the winter,’ says Alan.  ‘And that’s when you’re more reliant on keeping the place warm, so it’s more important to get the boiler serviced and maintained.’

As well as making sure that your equipment is safe and helping you stay compliant, a Gas Safe engineer can replace worn parts before the boiler becomes faulty, which means you might never have to deal with an actual boiler breakdown.

3. Make a plan before it’s too late

‘We also recommend that you have a contingency plan in place,’ adds Alan.  ‘In case anything goes wrong, you’ll know who to contact in an emergency.’

This doesn’t have to be a complicated process. It’s about having procedures in place to carry your business through a worst-case scenario.

Make sure every team member knows who to call if the heating system breaks down, and make sure they know what changes need to be made to your operations.   For instance, a restaurant might be allowed to serve food despite having broken radiators, but it might not be allowed to continue serving if there is no hot water.

Perhaps most importantly, your plan should include just how long you can expect to keep trading without working equipment.  Fortunately, many boiler repair services usually offer a speedy, same-day response – so you won’t have to be stuck for too long.

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