How to improve boiler efficiency

An inefficient boiler can mean higher energy bills, lukewarm radiators and a heating system that never quite works properly. Try our top boiler efficiency tips to keep your boiler at its best.

1. Book an annual service

Treat your boiler like your car. Regular servicing keeps it running safely and smoothly, which really makes sense in the long term.

An annual check by a Gas Safe registered engineer should prevent your boiler from seizing up in the winter and help you detect any minor issues before they become major problems. Not sure how to find one? Here’s a guide to help you.

During the annual service, your engineer will remove any dirt, which will help to prevent corrosion. They can also check that you’ve got your boiler set up in the most efficient way.

If you’re a HomeCare customer, an annual service is included in your package. If you don’t have HomeCare cover, you can always book a one-off check-up at any time.

2. Keep your boiler clean

It’s not an obvious cleaning job, but keeping your boiler dust-free pays dividends in the long run. You’ll prevent its tubes and pipes from getting clogged up, hampering its performance, and causing higher heating bills.

To prevent dust settling on your boiler, give its outer housing a once-over whenever you clean the house. You should never try to clean the interior of your boiler yourself, but that will be done during servicing – another reason to have your boiler serviced regularly by a Gas Safe engineer.

3. Bleed your radiators

This easy maintenance task can help improve your radiator’s heat efficiency – and help keep your bills low too.

To work out if your radiators need bleeding, fire up the heating and see if any take a while to warm up or have cold spots at the top.

If you’ve never bled a radiator before, it’s very simple. This article explains what you need to do – and we also have a handy video guide on this page that should help.

4. Top up the pressure

A pressure drop will really hinder your boiler’s efficiency, but it’s easy to correct.

Check the gauge on your boiler. It should read around 1.5 bar if the pressure is healthy. If it doesn’t, it’s time to tweak it. See our step-by-step guide to fixing boiler pressure.

5. Consider having a Powerflush

So, you’ve bled your radiators and they’re still not getting hot? ‘Sludge’ might be to blame.

Deposits in your pipes and radiators can build up over time to such an extent that your boiler can’t heat your home efficiently. Eventually your central heating may suffer corrosion – a much bigger (and more expensive) issue to put right.

So if your radiators have cold spots, some aren’t working, or your heating is very slow to take effect, it might be time to Powerflush. A Gas Safe registered engineer can do this for you.

A Powerflushing unit sends water through your central heating system at high speed, dislodging any build-ups of sludge, rust, and debris. Your boiler and central heating will be far more efficient afterwards and should last longer.

6. Insulate your pipes

It’s always worth lagging your central heating pipes with simple, easy-to-fit foam tubes. Your boiler won’t have to work so hard and you’ll save money heating your home.

Insulating your pipes helps reduce heat loss, keeping water hotter for longer. Lagging is available at most DIY stores. Just make sure you know the correct size for your pipes.

7. Turn the heating on during the summer

Like a car that hasn’t started for a while, your boiler can seize up if it’s left off for prolonged periods, leading to expensive breakdowns. So switch your heating on once a week during the warmer months – just 15 minutes will do – to keep it ticking over.

8. If all else fails… get a new energy-efficient boiler

If you’ve tried all these tips and you’re still struggling to heat your home and water efficiently, it might be time to get a new boiler.

Modern A-rated condensing boilers are much more efficient than older boilers. You can find out more about boiler efficiency in this article – and you can find out what makes British Gas a great choice for getting a new boiler here.