A central heating system is a wonderful thing to have in your home. You do not need to rely on firewood or the city heating to keep yourself and your family warm! However, this increased level of control and convenience does come with a potential downside. That is, if your boiler breaks down, it is entirely up to you to fix it. And since it is a bit more complex than a fireplace, furnace, or similar, your contribution to the repair efforts will be much more limited. You do not want to make things worse or cause a serious accident. Both of which are troubling possibilities when dealing with a malfunctioning boiler. So, then, what to do when your boiler breaks down in winter? We will strive to answer this question to the best of our ability.
Check if you can solve the issue yourself
Just like you should educate yourself on the common plumbing problems, it is constructive to understand the most common issues with boilers. This will help you know what to do when your boiler breaks down in winter since you will see if you can tackle the issue yourself. Some problems you can fix yourself if you are careful. Thermostat settings are easy to reset to your preference if they had somehow been altered. If your boiler’s pilot light is out, you will probably be able to reignite it if you know how to do it or have your boiler’s instruction manual. Your pipes could end up freezing due to the cold. If your boiler’s pressure is low, you can re-pressurize the system and then restart the boiler. Finally, resetting might work if you think your boiler should be working, and yet it isn’t.
Contact the proper help
However, you should be aware that it is often dangerous to meddle with your boiler. If none of the simple fixes we have mentioned work, it’s best you give up on doing things yourself. It is a rather extreme example, but if you mess up the pressure and some other settings, an explosion is a distinct possibility. So, when it comes to what to do when your boiler breaks down in winter, it is much better to take fewer risks since such damage is harder to recover from. It’s also good to keep in mind the best time to replace your heating system since it will be necessary periodically. The person you should contact in such a scenario differs, however. If you own the house, you need a professional to come and fix things. If you are renting, then you contact your landlord.
Ask if a warranty applies
Depending on whether or not your boiler is relatively new, you have the option of trying to call on your warranty. However, this course of action comes with a huge disclaimer! In the best-case scenario, you will call the warranty in. Then, the store you bought it from will either send their employees to try and fix it or ask you to bring it in for repairs. If the repairs work, that’s great! If not, you might be able to get a replacement boiler. The whole thing would take a few days, but you would be fine. In the worse scenario, however, the store you purchased the boiler from will drag their feet and do everything they can to be unhelpful. It is a strategy to discourage you from pushing through with the whole thing since you cannot ask for outside help or buy a new one while waiting.
Look for ways to bridge the repair time
It does not need to be said, but living in an ice-cold house is not fun. Thankfully, if you have already been renting long-term storage where you can keep your belongings for a prolonged time, you can use it to bring other valuable items, so they’re safe. And you, yourself, can vacate the home, leaving it to the repair crew to fix the problems before you come back. You can, of course, rent out a room or look for a hotel. But you can also take the chance to enjoy some time with family and friends. Use the opportunity to visit family members you haven’t seen in a while. Or ask a friend so you can organize a sleep-over and catch up on things while having fun. The situation is not ideal, but you can still find ways to make the best of it without spending a ton of money.
How to keep warm
Trying to tough it out when your boiler’s out will probably be among the most miserable experiences you’ll ever have. It will certainly drill into you the importance of the fact that heaters need maintenance even during summer season to avoid breakdowns in winter. Still, the course of action of what to do when your boiler breaks down in winter and you want to stay warm is straightforward. Eat warm, prioritizing soups and teas. Double down on the layers! They are one of the best ways to ensure you retain your body heat more efficiently. Keep doors and windows tightly closed, though you will still want to air out the room occasionally if the repairs stretch. Fill water bottles with hot water, and keep them under covers as heath sources. Of course, you can also make use of electric heaters, though they will likely balloon your electricity bills.
Summary and final advice
As you may have noticed, you have three approaches available to you when it comes to what to do when your boiler breaks down in winter. You can try to call on your warranty, attempt simple repairs yourself, or call in professionals for trickier problems. Just remember one thing: never, absolutely never, take on undue risks. It is much better to part with more money than you would have liked than it is to risk injury to yourself and your loved ones. If you look at it that way, the decision should be easy.