Boilers don’t last forever and the older they get, the more faults can occur which could put you and your family in danger.
Carbon monoxide is known as the ‘silent killer’ and the deadly gas can be released into your home as a direct result of a faulty boiler.
Did you know 1 in 10 adults in Britain have experienced carbon monoxide poisoning to some degree in their home?* Don’t get caught out at the weather turns colder and you fire up your heating. Here are CORGI HomePlan’s tell-tale signs that you may you need to get your boiler checked:
Your boiler needs frequent repairs
If you find yourself having to constantly re-set your boiler, you may have a problem. If your boiler is old and needs frequent repairs, it’s recommended that you get a new one as it may become a hazard to yourself and your home.
Your home isn’t as warm as it normally is
Got the heating on but still feeling the chill? This is a clear indication that you’re not receiving the full benefits of heating in your home, but still wasting energy and paying the heating bills. Your boiler should be running efficiently and that way, you’re benefitting yourself and the environment. Likewise, if your water hot water tap is running luke warm, this could be a sign of a faulty diverter drive and you’ll need a Gas Safe registered engineer to come and check your heating system.
There is a strange smell emitting from your boiler
You should regularly check for any dark markings around your boiler. Should they appear and/or there is a strange smell present, it could be a sign that the burning function on your boiler is faulty. Get this checked by a Gas Safe registered engineer as soon as possible as your boiler could be leaking poisonous and fatal carbon monoxide into your home.
There are strange noises coming from your heating
This may be for a number of reasons, the pump in your boiler may not be running correctly or the bearing of your fan could be getting old. This wear and tear can cause issues so make sure to get it checked over by a qualified engineer.
Carbon monoxide detector is beeping
If your carbon monoxide detector keeps beeping while your boiler is operating, this is a sign there could be a problem which could be hazardous to you and your family. If this happens, contact a Gas Safe registered engineer to investigate. You can also ring the National Gas Emergency Helpline on 0800 111 999 who will be able to assist.
Symptons of carbon monoxide poisoning
Loss of consciousness
If you suspect you or anyone in your house has inhaled carbon monoxide, it is important that you get fresh air immediately; turn off the appliance(s) and leave the house. If you think you are in danger ring the National Gas Emergency Helpline on 0800 111 999. You should seek medical attention as soon as possible – visit your GP or go to the hospital as soon as possible – let them know that you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning.
Carbon monoxide myth busters
True or False: It is possible to smell carbon monoxide being emitted in the home.
Answer: False. 28 per cent of people in the UK wrongly believe that you can smell carbon monoxide gas. Carbon monoxide is both colourless and odourless so is almost impossible to detect without an alarm. Worryingly, 49 per cent of people do not have a carbon monoxide alarm in their home.*
True or False: Carbon monoxide poisoning is extremely difficult to diagnose.
Answer: True. The symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are similar to that of flu so it makes diagnosis very difficult. They include; headaches, nausea, dizziness, tiredness, confusion and eventually loss of consciousness.
Currently, GPs don’t all have access to equipment to check carbon monoxide levels and the only way to the presence of carbon monoxide is with a blood test. 46 per cent of GPs have seen patients with carbon monoxide poisoning symptoms but only 18 per cent say that they wouldn’t consider CO poisoning as a diagnosis.*
True or False: Carbon monoxide won’t leak if I have new gas appliances or if I have my appliances serviced regularly.
Answer: False. Although having brand new gas appliances, such as a new hob or boiler, will significantly reduce the chances of them leaking carbon monoxide it doesn’t rule it out. CO can be emitted from appliances new or old and if you’re worried you should see your GP. Regular servicing of your gas appliances is the best way to reduce the risk of your home being subject to a CO leak and having an alarm fitted is the best way of detecting if and when something has gone wrong.
True or False: Carbon Monoxide can only leak from my boiler.
Answer: False. Carbon Monoxide can leak from any gas appliance in your home. This could include an oven, gas fire, or a boiler. CO is produced when there is not enough oxygen to form carbon dioxide. For example, when a flame is burnt in a poorly ventilated space. One of the main things to look out for in your home is the colour of your gas fuelled flames. If flames burn a yellow or orange colour rather than blue it means that they are not burning properly and you should call a Gas Safe registered engineer to check everything is working safely
For a more information on how you can keep your family safe from the dangers of Carbon Monoxide, visit here.
* CORGI HomePlan, survey of 2,000 homeowners, June 2015
* Gas Safe Register, 2015