All about Boiler Ventilation
When your central heating system is installed the installer should have carried out a survey to ensure that there was sufficient working ventilation to the boiler. Modern condensing boilers are very safe provided that proper care and attention has been paid to the ventilation in the room and that the boiler is serviced regularly. If they are not installed correctly then many problems can arise from the less problematic costs of inefficiency through to the fatal risks of carbon monoxide production.
There are some safety matters relating to ventilation that you can carry out yourself and you should perhaps make a note to carry out a visual inspection of your systems ventilation, say quarterly, to keep your family safe. If you rent a property it is your landlords responsibility to ensure that the gas appliances and pipework are safe although this should not stop you having a look for yourself.
If you go on holiday and the property has a gas boiler, eg a regular boiler, do not be afraid to ask the letting agent when the boiler was last serviced, there are too many stories in the media about families that suffered the consequences of carbon monoxide poisoning from a badly maintained boiler.
Whilst it is hard to believe, the picture on the left is a real boiler with a climbing plant clinging to it. The problem with plants is that they can grow very quickly and they need pruning every year, the best approach is to keep them well clear of any gas boiler.
This illustrates the need to keep your gas appliance vents and flues free from any garden foliage and other blockages which can develop over time. Failure to do this will make your heating inefficient at best and could result in you putting your family at risk of poisoning from deadly carbon monoxide gas in the worst case scenario.
You should also ensure that nothing on the outside of your property has blocked the flue of the gas boiler.
The boiler flue is designed to help the boiler exhaust gases to escape to the outside whilst the boiler is working. Some boilers also have a small fan within the flue to assist this process and expel gases for a short while when the boiler has closed down.
During the year, unrecognised by yourself, some plant growth or storage of garden materials may block the vent making your heating
If you have an open flue boiler you should be aware that new regulations will be introduced 1 June 2008. After that date any open flue boiler which has less than 90 percent of the required ventilation will be classified as a potential risk.
If a boiler is operating inefficiently it could be emitting lethal carbon monoxide gas and you would not know it. Fortunately there are carbon monoxide detectors sold which are small battery operated devices which can be placed within the room that houses you’re boiler.
If there is a problem and carbon monoxide is suddenly produced the detector will emit a loud audible alarm alerting you to the problem so that you can get your family to safety quickly.