How to look after your boiler and central heating

Published 16 May 2024 
It’s easy to take central heating for granted, but life wouldn’t be the same without it.
  •  How much will it cost to replace my heating? 
  • Simple maintenance tricks to keep your heating in good working order.
  • Remember to test your heating in summer.


The majority of houses will probably have a gas or oil-fired boiler with radiators in each room.

It's an efficient and effective way to heat a home, but one that we don't take much notice of – unless it stops working. 

With Allianz Home Insurance, this cover is available ( with a cover limit of a £1,000) with our home emergency cover, which can be purchased as a optional extra

Some simple maintenance will help keep your central heating system ticking along from one year to the next. By staying on top of the maintenance, you'll find you have fewer breakdowns and fewer chilly winter mornings.

We recommend you get your boiler serviced once a year by a registered Gas Safe engineer if you have gas central heating or an OFTEC registered engineer if you have oil fired heating.


To safeguard against pipes freezing during the winter and causing problems with your central heating system, buy ready-made lagging to fit around water pipes that are exposed to the cold.


When the weather turns cold for long periods, keep your heating on low during the night to stop your central heating pipes from freezing up.

Letting pockets of air out of your radiators is known as bleeding them. If air builds up in a radiator it will stop the water from circulating properly and the radiator will feel cold at the top.

Flick the heating on for a few minutes each week during the summer months when you’re not using it regularly. This will help to keep the pump running freely, so when you turn the system back on in the winter it should fire up without a problem.

You don't have to be a qualified plumber to know something’s wrong with your central heating system. Some of the problems to look out for include:


  • Finding cold spots at the top or bottom of a radiator.
  • The boiler flame glowing yellow when it should be bright blue.
  • A clanking sound coming from pipes or radiators.
  • Using more gas than usual.
  • The boiler pressure is too high or low.
  • Your carbon monoxide detector is triggered.

If you have a maintenance plan with an organisation where you pay for them to look after your boiler, then the first thing to do is give them a call. They might include a breakdown service as part of the package.

If you don't have specialist cover and your system has suddenly stopped working because of a burst pipe or electrical fault, you may be able to get help from your home emergency cover. 

This type of insurance covers you against boiler breakdowns and plumbing emergencies. You can usually get help any time of the day or night, every day of the year.

With an Allianz Home Insurance  policy, you can add our Home Emergency optional extra to cover you up to £1,000 per emergency. You won't need to pay any excess and we arrange for a tradesperson to come round and help with the problem.

If your central heating system stops working because of a fire or a storm, or if someone vandalises your home, you may be able to claim on your home insurance. 

Home insurance provides cover for both the fabric of your home and its contents. If a storm floods your home and damages your central heating, you can use your home insurance to pay for the repairs.

You can also use home insurance and emergency cover together. So, if you have an emergency with your central heating system that causes damage to your carpets or floods your ceiling, you can use your emergency cover to stop the problem and home insurance cover to pay for repairs.

Get a quote online in minutes...