During the colder months of the year, you want to be certain that your central heating system is working effectively. Unfortunately, the arrival of sub-zero temperatures can cause complications and take your boiler out of action.
The culprit in this case is often the condensate pipe, which is a crucial part of your heating set-up yet one which can be compromised in a cold snap. But what is it and what do you need to know to handle any issues that arise?
Eco Benefits and Pipe Positioning
A little over a decade ago, new regulations were introduced to ensure that a more efficient and sustainable type of boiler design was used in all new-builds across the UK. Condensing boilers are now the norm and require the use of a condensate pipe to expel the waste that is generated as they operate.
This pipe typically protrudes externally from the premises, and the condensate itself can turn to ice if outside temperatures dip low enough. This perhaps explains why around a fifth of homes will suffer a boiler issue annually.
Experts like http://www.hprservicesltd.com/gloucester-boilers/boiler-service-gloucester/ can provide scheduled check-ups and emergency aid. Yet even with a regular boiler service Gloucester residents and those living elsewhere in the UK should take extra precautions to prevent condensate pipe problems in the winter.
If you want to keep your boiler’s condensate pipe clear, there are several options. Insulating the pipe with specially shaped foam is the cheapest and simplest option, although it may be tricky if the pipe is in a difficult to reach position.
Running your central heating at a higher setting to keep it hotter and thus reduce the amount of condensate that is produced in the first place will mean that there is less to freeze and a lower likelihood of blockages occurring.
Maintaining a low yet constant level of heating during the night will mean that when the outside temperature falls to its lowest, there will still be enough warmth in the system to stop freezing. Bear in mind that this will increase your heating bills and thus might not be ideal for everyone.
Installing a heating element within the condensate pipe itself is a fairly efficient option, as well as being inexpensive, so long as you seek expert help with the addition of this component.