How do I clean my Central Heating System

You are probably used to giving your home a deep clean, especially now during the pandemic, but have you ever considered cleaning your central heating system?

This potentially neglected part of your home requires your care and attention from time to time too, and that is because of the build-up of sludge (a mixture of the dirt and rust that forms in the central heating pipework) that develops over time.

If left untreated, this can cause problems to your system, and that could cause you more than a few cold nights, as well as a few expensive heating bills, as a consequence.

When it comes to cleaning your central heating system, you might want to consider the following 5 easy tips. 

1. Know when it’s time to clean your central heating system

If your boiler takes longer than normal to warm up, and if some radiators in your home are colder than others, then there could be circulation problems that have been caused by sludge. That is one sure sign that your home heating system could do with a clean. 

If you discover brown or black water when bleeding your radiators, this is evidence that your central heating system needs to be cleaned and treated. 


If your heating bills are higher than normal, it might be because of your change in usage, or it could be because the boiler is working harder to achieve the desired output of heat. 

And if you have a look in your system’s Feed & Expansion tank and notice brown gunk on the walls and base, then you know you clearly have a problem.  

2. Flush your central heating system

This is one of the most effective ways to remove the sludge that has built up within your heating system. Flushing system kits are available to buy, and they are used for flushing out the sludge that has burdened your heating system. It’s a fairly simple job to do, although it can be very messy and it will take you a day or two to complete properly.  

There is a how-to guide here to help you through the process, although you might want to hire a heating professional if you are in any way unsure about your abilities. 

3. Consider using home heating oil additives

While you will be familiar with home heating oil, you might be less familiar with heating oil additives. As they are made up of antioxidants, detergents, and other chemicals, they can help to keep the fuel lines in your tank clean and can reduce the deposits of rust and grime that would normally congeal into sludge.

So, think about heating oil additives in two ways. Firstly, use them as a pre-emptive measure, as you will then have less clean-up to worry about later. And secondly, if there is a build-up of sludge, some home heating oil additives have the capability to dissolve it, so shop around for the most effective products. 

4. Install a filter to your central heating system

This is another way to protect your heating system from the debris and contaminants that can block up your pipework. A filter is designed to trap the sludge before it becomes a problem and can be emptied on a regular basis to ensure that the insides of your central heating system remain clean.

Again, while it is possible to install a filter yourself, it’s in your best interests to hire a heating professional if you are unsure as to what to do. 

5. Get your boiler serviced

It’s advisable to get your boiler serviced once every 12 months as, despite the expense, you will save money in the long run when your heating system is running efficiently. Now is the perfect time to get ahead before the cold weather sets in.

If you have noticed the signs of sludge in your system, and need advice on how to clean your system, or if you have any other questions related to your home heating, give us a call on 1850 366 425, and one of our support staff will help you with your problem.

For further advice and support, take a look around our website and be sure to ask us for a quote when you next need to top up your home heating oil. 


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