Most of us will have our central heating regularly serviced to ensure it’s in good working order. Until recently, central heating filters weren’t something that was discussed – heating engineers knew of their benefits but there was no clear recommendation for homeowners to install them. Now, as people want to extend the lifespan of their boiler, more experts are recommending they be fitted. But what are central heating filters and why would you want one?
Heating filter basics
A heating filter, also known as a magnetic filter, is a device that helps collect sludge that builds up in a heating system as part of its everyday operation. Much of this is made up from rust, so the filter uses a large magnet to draw that metallic debris to it and trap it. This then helps the heating system to work at optimum efficiency and gives the boiler a longer lifespan.
Any iron and steel components within a heating system are liable to corrosion and rust. The debris from this process creates the sludge that blocks up the system. The boiler heat exchanger, radiators and pump are the most liable to suffer from it while older style, iron pipes can also suffer badly from corrosion. Newer pipework is less corrosive but also tends to be narrower in size, meaning it is more likely to become blocked.
Why sludge in heating filters is a problem
A little sludge in the system isn’t going to lead to a major breakdown but it can build up over time and cause serious problems. A blocked boiler, for example, can overheat and then shut down, which means your home will be out of heating. You would then need either a power flush to the system or the heat exchanger would need to be replaced and both would require an engineer.
Collecting the sludge with a magnetic filter means that this kind of problem can be avoided. The substance tends to find the lowest point in the system because of its weight, which also means it can put stress on pipes and result in a leaking pipe.
How are central heating filters installed?
If you are having a complete boiler replacement, then a filter can be added as part of this process. In fact, some manufacturers will even offer an extended warranty for the boiler if a filter is fitted at the same time. You can also have them installed on existing systems, however if your boiler is in a small cupboard, there may not be enough space for it as filters tend to be wide.
Maintenance of the filter should take place at the same time as maintenance of your boiler. Because it attracts the sludge, the filter does need to be emptied and cleaned periodically. So, talk to your heating engineer about adding this when your annual service is due if you have one fitted.
DHS offer central heating in Bristol and the South West, if you want to talk to an expert about servicing or replacing your boiler, contact us today.
Call DHS today on 0117 924 7200, email us, or request a call back.