In the heat of spring and summer, it can be difficult to remember just how essential central heating is… until autumn arrives with rain, wind and a chilly bite to the air.
It’s often at this time that you’ll flick on the heating switch, only to discover half of your radiators aren’t working. A great way to mitigate this scenario is to give your central heating system a power flush to make sure everything is in great working condition come the colder months.
Power flushing is essentially a deep-clean of your boiler, designed to remove the sludgy build-up and grime that can accumulate in your central heating system over the years; from pipes to radiators, and your boiler itself.
In this article, we’ll be covering how much power flushing costs, what affects the cost of a power flush, how to save money on a power flush, how to know if a power flush is the right thing for your central heating system, what’s involved in power flushing and how to find and hire a heating engineer.
If you want to make sure everything is in order for the colder months, keep reading to find out how to have your central heating properly serviced and cleaned to keep you warm in winter.
How Much Does Power Flushing Cost?
Having your central heating flushed through might not be as expensive as you think, and though it’s a few hundred pounds, you should get a better, more efficient and cheaper-to-run system in the long run.
|6 to 10 radiators||£300 to £500||£30 to £60 per hour||1 to 2 days|
|11 to 15 radiators||£450 to £650||£30 to £60 per hour||2 to 3 days|
|Radiator inhibitor chemicals||£10 to £15 each||£30 to £60 per hour||Dependent on amount of radiators|
|Magnetic filters||£60 to £120 each||£30 to £60 per hour||Dependent on amount of radiators|
For a home with 6 to 10 radiators, the cost for providing a power flush will be between £300 to £500. For larger homes with between 11 to 15 radiators, this cost will move up to be between £450 to £650 for the same service.
For each radiator, you’ll need a set of chemicals to cleanse and neutralise the system, which come in between £10 to £15 each for radiator inhibitor chemicals, and £60 to £120 each for magnetic filters.
The time taken to complete the power flush will vary depending on the number of radiators in your home, but it will typically be between one to two days’ work for your labourers to complete.
What Affects the Cost of a Power Flush?
There are a few factors that impact the cost of a power flush, and they’re good to know while you’re considering having this procedure done at home.
Number of Radiators
The more radiators you have, the higher your costs will be – this is simply because it’ll take longer for your labourer to do ten radiators than it would two.
More cleaning materials will be needed too, meaning both supply and labour costs will increase with the number of radiators in question.
Size of House
Similarly, the size of your home will dictate the price. If your boiler has to work harder to heat a large, multiple-storied home, the build-up will likely be harder to budge than that of a smaller appliance.
Age of Boiler
It’s suggested you have a power flush every five years or so, so if your central heating is older than this and you’ve not had it cleaned, the sludge may be harder to clear out and require a longer procedure than something that’s been well-maintained over the years.
How Can I Save Money on a Power Flush?
The best way to save money on a power flush is to properly maintain your radiators over their lifetime to reduce the need for invasive removal of sludge and build-up.
Servicing your radiators every five years with a power flush will suffice, but there are some other preventative measures you can look at to make sure you’re choosing the best option for your home.
If you’re not sure whether a power flush is what’s needed, there are some other options when it comes to cleaning your heating system:
- Power flushing
- Chemical flush
Advantages and Disadvantages of Power Flushing
Cleaning your central heating has several benefits, and can prolong the life of your boiler. After being flushed of debris, pipes and radiators will become hotter more quickly, and you’ll benefit from increased heat distribution across the house. The system will also be more efficient, helping to save you money on your energy bill.
It’s always worth checking your boiler first to make sure there isn’t an issue there first, as a power flush will be useless in that situation and will just cause you to lose money.
Advantages and Disadvantages of MagnaClean
MagnaClean is a magnetic filter that can be attached to your boiler’s pipework to draw away any sludge or debris from the water to stop it from gathering in your heating system.
This works to reduce the need for a power flush and can help to maintain your heating system by prolonging efficiency and production of heat.
They might not be the best option for everyone based on where your boiler is situated and installed, so it’s a good idea to discuss this with a heating engineer before settling.
Advantages and Disadvantages of a Chemical Flush
A chemical flush is a time-consuming process and needs to be carried out properly to ensure it has worked and your heating system is safe to use again. For this reason, it’s always best to have a professional carry out the work for you.
Unlike power flushing, chemical flushing isn’t done at high pressure and is gentler on your system if you’re worried about the potential for leaks caused by the pressure of power flushing.
Is a Power Flush the Best Choice for my Central Heating System?
There are a few ways to know if a power flush is right for your home:
Colour of Radiator Water
When you’re bleeding the radiators of air, it’s worthwhile taking a moment to look at the water.
If it’s murky, has bits of debris in it or is sludgy, it’s almost certain you’ll need it to be power flushed.
Constant rumbling, clicking or knocking suggest something is wrong either with the boiler itself, the system as a whole.
You should consider having your boiler serviced – and if the all-clear is given, it might be that a build-up of sludge and clogged pipes is putting immense pressure on the boiler, which can be alleviated with a power flush.
Age of System
If your central heating hasn’t been flushed for a long time – ten years for example – then it’s worth having it power flushed – you might be surprised at just how much better your heating becomes!
You don’t want to go and spend thousands of pounds on a new boiler, only to have it damaged by a system that’s not working properly. If you’re having a new boiler installed, then you should have your radiators flushed.
What’s Involved in Power Flushing a Central Heating System?
The heating engineer will pump your home’s radiators full of water at a higher rate than usual. This will encourage the build-up and any debris to come loose and work its way out of your heating system during the power flush.
Mixing in a set of chemicals will work to clear out any sludge to leave your heating system clean.
During the service, be prepared for a certain amount of disruption. You won’t be able to have the central heating on, so it’s a good idea to power flush your radiators during warm weather.
It can also be a dirty job, with tradesmen needing to remove each radiator and flush out the grime.
How Do I Find and Hire a Heating Engineer?
Where possible, it’s always best to seek out recommendations of traders through family, friends or neighbours who have recently had work done, and would suggest their trader as a good choice for you.
While power flushing isn’t the most expensive job out there, it is still money that can be lost to the hands of rogue traders – so where possible, find someone who has been used before recently by someone you trust.
If this isn’t possible, your next best bet is to use a database with pre-vetted traders so you know you are choosing from a pool of respected and reputable individuals.
Using HouseholdQuotes can help to streamline your search by offering multiple available traders in your area from just one search – meaning you don’t need to hop from tab to tab to find the right trader for you.
Ensuring the Professional Is the Right Fit
It’s always important to get a written quote before agreeing to any work on your home. This is to make sure that there’s something in writing to fall back on if there are any disagreements or misunderstandings down the line, as both you and your trader have something to refer to.
Seeking out their experience is an important step – especially if you have a large home, and need quite an extensive power flush completed. While someone might be comfortable doing this service on a smaller scale, it’s good to see if they have the experience of working on bigger projects before you agree to let them take on yours.
Similarly, seeing their references, and any photos or videos of their previous work is important. If you haven’t been able to get a word of mouth recommendation from someone you know, seeing the trader’s work in a visual format – alongside some testimonials from previous clients – can help to let you know if their work is what you’re looking for.
Finally, all reputable traders should carry their own insurance to cover both themselves and you in the event of an incident during the job – but it’s always best to check for proof of this for peace of mind before anyone gets started on a job.
If you’ve exhausted all other options and your heating still isn’t quite right, then a power flush might be a good option for you. Here’s our final checklist to make sure everything is taken care of:
- Decide if a power flush is right for you – it’s worthwhile having a heating engineer check that your boiler isn’t at fault before doing a power flush, as it could just be wasted money
- Ask friends and family for recommendations, or failing that, use HouseholdQuotes to consolidate your search and save you up to 40% of your quote
- Make sure you get a written quote before agreeing to any work
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do I Know If My Central Heating System Needs a Power Flush?
If you find you have to bleed radiators regularly, a power flush might be needed. Likewise, if there are still cold spots in radiators after you’ve allowed the air out, then you could need the entire system cleaning.
How Often Should You Power Flush Your Heating System?
Every five to six years is usually sufficient to keep your radiators in good condition.
Can I Power Flush My Central Heating System Myself?
It is possible to do it yourself, as long as you are comfortable with heating systems and understand the steps and precautions. It can be a messy job, so if you’re not sure, it’s best to get a professional in to take care of it and to ensure everything is done properly.
How Much Do New Radiators Cost?
Depending on the type of radiator you’re replacing, the prices will differ – a standard central heating radiator can be between £40 to £80, while a sleek, stainless steel option can be anywhere from £200 to £1000.
For full information on new radiator costs, see our page here.