Gas boiler repair can be costly, so avoiding a frozen boiler is a priority. According to the Heating and Hotwater Industry Council (HHIC) "setting the heating timer/room thermostat to continuous is one way to prevent the condensate pipe from freezing up." This is a great way to avoid shouldering an expensive boiler service cost.
The most energy efficient way to do this is to leave your heating on low constantly. While it is likely to cost slightly more to have your heating on all the time, you may save in the long run, and gain peace of mind, by ensuring your pipes don't freeze up.
This strategy may not be suitable all the time, but if there's a particularly cold stretch of winter weather it's an approach that can pay off.
How to thaw a frozen pipe on a condensing boiler
If you are unfortunate enough to end up with frozen pipes your heating will come to a standstill, but luckily it's a problem that's easily fixed.
The best thing to do is to place a hot water bottle on the pipe, or pour warm water on it and then reset your thermostat.
Alternatively you can boil a kettle and pour the boiling water over your pipes. You may need to do this a few times to properly thaw them though. This might take awhile, but it will help keep your boiler service cost low.
What happens if it keeps freezing?
While the above is a great solution if it works, it's of little use if you have to do it every day. If it does become a recurrent problem though you can still do something about it, although it will take a bit more work:
- You could think about having the pipe moved to somewhere inside.
- You could also have your pipe replaced with one with a wider diameter.
- Try installing insulation around the pipe.
If none of the above help, the problem may lie elsewhere, in which case it's probably time to call in an engineer.
Content courtesy of: http://www.uswitch.com/boilers/guides/boiler-maintenance/