2021 Update

Do you have faulty central heating? What to do next

Joe Bailey

It’s one of the most important parts of our home so are you ware if your central heating is faulty or not?

Faulty Central HeatingFaulty Central Heating

Ask the majority of homeowners if they know how their central heating system works and you’ll probably get a number of blank stares. It’s one of the most important parts of our home, however there are many things that can go wrong with central heating.

If you’re selling a home, you may need to deal with these issues before you sell.

How do you know if you have faulty central heating? Well, you may have experienced one of these 5 issues before. Read on and see if anything sounds familiar.

Issue #1: Cold downstairs, warm upstairs

This is where one or more of the radiators in a property are cold at the bottom but warm at the top. It is a very common issue, and most homeowners have experienced it if they have central heating. It’s also the one problem that seems to have the popular response which involves ‘bleeding the radiator’.

However, the problem may be more complex. It could be an issue because there has been a build up of sludge in the radiator. While this sounds bad, it often only requires you to remove the radiator from the wall and flush it with water.

It could also be a much more worrying problem, if any one of these occur:

  • An initial poor quality fitting
  • A blocked pipe (which could affect the whole property)
  • A pump problem (it may be broken)

It's well worth contacting the professionals if bleeding doesn’t work, because those three problems alone could be catastrophic for the central heating system.

Issue #2: Warm downstairs, cold upstairs

Earlier we looked at the problem that presents as a radiator being cold from top to bottom. The reverse is also possible, and it’s no less annoying.

However, it’s also the easiest problem to fix. This is where ‘bleeding’ the radiator comes into play. You can buy a radiator key at any DIY store, and this allows you to tighten the nut at the base of the radiator. If all goes well, you should see some dirty water leave the radiator.

While this may seem relatively easy to solve however, if the problem persists (and in most cases it won’t) then you'll need to ask the professionals for their help. Bleeding can be a necessity every now and then, but if you seem to be doing it all the time, there’s a problem.

Issue #3: A weird noise

Boilers do, now and them emit a funny noise. It is to be expected. From windy conditions outside to the sound of pipes bearing up against cold weather, a central heating system can be a little noisy at times. But if you hear a loud and persistent rattling sound, you may well have what is termed ‘kettling’.

You could have the system flushed to make sure that it isn’t being clogged by anything. Another possibility is pressure. Checking the system is running at the right pressure could mean the problem is dealt with. It could also mean there is some trapped air, and you can manage this with bleeding.

Issue #4: Loss of pressure

This is an extremely common problem that everyone who has ever owned a boiler will be aware of. The pressure on a system should be perfect. This is because if there is any variance, even to the smallest degree, the boiler will start to fail. If left for too long, that failing boiler will eventually stop working.

There should be a pressure gauge somewhere in the boiler. If you're able to work with the pressure to get things back to normal, then go for it. However, it's often a good idea to call out an engineer just to be on the safe side.

Issue #5: Cold radiators

This is where the radiator itself is just cold. It may seem a little basic, but one of the very first things you should do in this event is check the thermostat is actually on. Sometimes people are caught out by this, so it’s well worth taking a quick look to see if that is the problem.

Once you know that the thermostat is in full working order, you then have to look at other avenues that will solve the problem. There could be a blown fuse, for example. There are also other potential causes of the problem, including issues around the pump.

However, if the thermostat is switched on, the impact you can have on the problem becomes limited. There may be a lot of work needed, and this will be technical work that should only be carried out by an engineer.

Whatever you do, don't try and fix it yourself unless you are trained in that type of work. You could end up doing more damage yourself, which will make it costly and disruptive to repair.

So, what if I'm selling my house with faulty central heating?

This is where things become a little tricky.

You've lived in a warm property with hot water right up to the point when you sell up. Therefore, it’s pretty safe to assume you had a fully working central heating system. Otherwise, you would have had it fixed.

If someone buys a property, it's good common sense to carry out a survey. Then the legal contracts come into play. Solicitors and agents usually take care of the survey results, and then the buyer can make their own decision.

In the cold light of day, and if the buyer has a survey done, there is nothing they can do about faulty central heating when they move in.

However, it is important that you ensure your home is fit for living in before you sell it. While the buyer may be responsible for arranging surveys (and they’d be foolish not to), you should still make sure the property is fit for purpose. Don’t forget that selling a home forms part of a legal agreement, and buyers have every right to run rigorous checks on a property before they take the keys.

Is there an easier alternative?

If you've lost a couple of sales because of the issues - or if you can't find a buyer, and if you don't want to do the repairs yourself, our service may be a good option. We're familiar with lots of types of property issues, and certainly aren't put off by a bit of central heating. We buy any house - issues and all. We can make you an offer quickly, and buy from you in as little as 2-3 weeks.

So click that link if you'd like to read more, or hit one of those big "Get An Offer" buttons to contact our team, and see how much we could offer for your home.

Related Articles:

We buy any house: Get a formal offer on your home in 24 hours
No items found.
No items found.


Selling your home to Yes Homebuyers

  • We buy your home directly from you so you can sell your house fast and avoid waiting around to find a buyer on the regular market. 
  • You can get a "ballpark" offer from us within 5 minutes, a formal offer within 24 hours, and we can complete on the purchase of your home in as little as 2 weeks.
  • Our quickest purchase was made within six days.
  • We guarantee the price we will pay, unlike some buying platforms who reduce their offer shortly before completion.
  • There are no fees or costs involved and we cover all legal fees involved.
  • There are no contracts or tie-ins even if you accept an offer, and no viewings to take care of.
No Obligation

Ready for a faster house sale?

Let's get started ➞