How Do I Look After The Water In My Heating System?

How Do I Look After The Water In My Heating System?

Posted on May 5, 2021

If you take care of your heating system, it’s easier for it to also take care of you, keeping your house warm when you need it to.

The water that travels around your home is a big, and very important, part of your heating system. So it makes sense that you should take care of it.

If you look after the water in your heating system, it will help you to:

  • Avoid cold spots on radiators
  • Lower your heating bills
  • Reduce your carbon footprint
  • Decrease the amount of sludge build-up
  • Keep your boiler working efficiently and prevent breakdowns and repairs

Here on our blog, we cover a lot of potential boiler breakdown scenarios and what you can do about them. One of the biggest causes of boiler breakdowns within the first 5 years is sludge.

What is sludge?

Corrosion in your heating system, also known as black iron oxide, causes a build-up of sludge. It’s a natural occurrence within the pipes and radiators when oxidation happens. These fine particles of iron oxide build up until they eventually form thick, black sludge. This sludge then starts to cause problems by settling in your radiators and causing cold spots and blockages.

The cold spots in your radiator(s) could be sludge

Any blockages will stop the hot water from circulating around your radiators properly, resulting in cold spots or completely cold radiators in some cases. When you notice that you’re feeling the chill, you’ll likely turn up the heating even more not realising that you are then putting even more strain on your boiler as well as increasing your energy bills. Not only can you end up spending more on your bills, but unfortunately, these sludge blockages can also result in costly repairs in addition to poorly functioning heating.

Sludge could lead to boiler inefficiency

The more sludge that builds up in your system, the less efficient your boiler will be. Due to the radiators giving out less heat (or none at all), you will keep turning the radiators and heating up. This means your boiler will have to work harder to heat your home. Subsequently, it will use more fuel and be on for longer, decreasing in efficiency whilst increasing your energy bills.

What can I do to prevent sludge in my heating system?

Don’t despair! Thankfully, these issues can be easily prevented.

If it’s already too late, and you suspect sludge may be causing your problems, then you need to call a Gas Safe registered engineer to come and take a look. If there is indeed sludge in your system causing an issue, the engineer may suggest a system flush to clean out the whole system.

However, there are steps you can take before you get to this stage. Let’s talk about prevention. It’s important to note that unfortunately, you can’t stop sludge completely – Corrosion is inevitable. But that doesn’t mean you can’t slow down and manage the process to stay in control of your heating system.

Magnetic filters

Here at Aura Heating, our expert heating engineers will be able to advise on magnetic filters. These cleverly catch the sludge, capturing it as it travels around your heating system. By collecting the black sludge at this stage, it stops it from entering the vital parts of your heating system and stops it from settling.

The magnetic filters come in different shapes and sizes, depending on the needs of your home and system, but the premise is the same. They collect any corrosion and debris (such as scale) before it has a chance to cause any damage. Along with your annual boiler service, the filter should be checked and any build-up of sludge captured throughout the year be removed.

You could also consider a Smart filter, which allows you (and us) to keep a watchful eye on the build up of sludge, and nip any problems in the bud. If it becomes obvious that sludge is building up at a rapid rate, one of our heating engineers can get the problem fixed before it has a chance to do any damage.

Get in touch with us today for more information and a guide on costs for magnetic filters, installation, and services.

In short, a magnetic filter in your heating system will:

  • Prevent sludge build up
  • Help to save you money by keeping your boiler working efficiently and reducing the likelihood of costly repairs from sludge problems
  • Help the environment by lowering your carbon footprint – This could be the easiest way you can reduce your household emissions and do your bit

Chemical treatment of the water in your heating system

Another way to look after your heating system, is to add certain chemicals to your water. Our heating engineers can advise which chemicals can be added to the water to help slow down the corrosion process, and thus reduce the amount of naturally occurring sludge in your system.

These chemical cleaners (only for use by a heating engineer) help to ensure that your heating system continues to work as efficiently as possible.

They can also help keep your system in good working order by loosening:

  • Any debris already in your system
  • Sludge as outlined above
  • Limescale
  • Natural system corrosion

For more information on water treatment for your heating system, get in touch with us today. Our expert team can advise what can be done for your heating system and give you a cost estimate.

Is it time to look after the water in your heating system?

Your boiler and heating system need care and servicing to stay in excellent working order. It does such an important job in keeping you and your loved ones warm. If you want to ensure a reliable heating system, then you need to look after the water inside it.

You might not be able to stop sludge completely, but you can help to prevent it from causing you problems and slow down the corrosion process.

If you’re interested in knowing more about:

  • A power flush
  • Magnetic filters
  • Water treatment
  • A boiler service

Then get in touch with us here at Aura Heating today to see how our expert heating engineers can help.