If you are wondering whether your boiler requires servicing, the short answer is yes it does. Boiler require an annual service by a qualified professional to keep the manufacturer warranty intact. Most manufacturers withdraw a boiler’s warranty if you do not get it serviced at least once a year, or if you get it serviced by someone other than a professional.
However, there are many other reasons that make an annual boiler service beneficial for your boiler in the long term. You may easily overlook your annual boiler service thinking it is brand new and you do not need one. Alternatively, you may think you can put off your annual service until next year. However, an annual boiler service is essential in identifying developing problems early on before they turn into expensive issues. An annual boiler service also helps your boiler maintain good working order for longer.
Why Should I Get My Boiler Serviced?
An annual boiler service has a number of benefits both to the boiler as well as the residents of the home where it is installed. As mentioned above, an annual boiler service by a qualified professional helps keep your boiler’s manufacturer warranty intact. However, that is not the only reason for you to consider getting your boiler serviced. Below follow several reasons that can help you understand why an annual service is so important.
Good Safety Practice: An annual boiler serviced by a professional will help assess if your boiler is running safely, not just efficiently. Unsafe boilers are a serious health hazard, with over 250 cases of carbon monoxide poisoning receiving treatment from the NHS from 2001 to 2010. This is why it is so important to always have your boiler serviced by a Gas Safe registered engineer. These are the only professionals authorized to work with gas-related equipment. Since most modern boilers are gas-powered, a Gas Safe registered engineer will thoroughly check the system for leaks or other safety hazards. This gives you substantial peace of mind knowing your boiler is running safely without putting you or your family at risk.
Identify Issues Early On: A qualified professional can identify issues with your boiler early on before they develop into full-scale, expensive faults. This helps make sure your boiler operates smoothly and properly without any major problems. Annual boiler services can help you save on costly malfunctions and repair bills in the future.
Energy Efficiency: The more efficient your boiler is, the less energy it wastes heating up your water and home. The less energy it wastes, the more you save on your overall energy spending. Remember, boilers account for around 60% of your annual energy expenditure. Most modern combi boilers have an energy efficiency of at least 92% to meet regulations in the European Union and the United Kingdom. This means out of every £1 spent on heating, only 8p goes to waste. However, the older your boiler gets, the less efficient it becomes. An annual boiler service can help maintain efficient working and help you save on energy bills for longer.
Legal Responsibilities: Landlords in the United Kingdom are required by law to have an annual service and inspection of all gas appliances. This is part of the Gas Safety regulations that govern the use, maintenance and other aspects of gas appliances. Only a Gas Safe registered engineer can service, inspect and repair a gas appliance. The engineer will also issue a CP-12 Gas Safety certificate for your landlord and building records. A CP-12 indicates a Gas Safe engineer has examined and inspected your gas appliances, deeming them safe for use. However, landlords are not responsible for gas appliances owned by tenants residing in their properties.
Convenient: An annual boiler service is not as inconvenient as you might think it is. The actual servicing takes only around 20 minutes at most. The engineer will inspect your boiler and controls to determine if everything is in good working order. He or she will also examine the boiler for signs of leaks, corrosion, and rust. The engineer will test the flue for carbon monoxide emissions, and check if the boiler maintains the correct pressure. Once done, the engineer will leave you an itemized invoice, which you should keep for your next boiler service.
When Should I Get My Boiler Serviced?
Most boiler cover policies and manufacturer warranties require at least one annual service to make sure the boiler is working safely. An annual boiler service by a professional should meet most terms and conditions, but you should check with your insurance provider beforehand.
Usually, summertime is the best time to get your boiler serviced. For one thing, it leaves you plenty of time to get your boiler ready for winter, when you need it the most. Your boiler likely would have been switched off in the warmer months, so the engineer can address any minor problems that arise when switching it on again after a long break.
You can also find Gas Safe registered engineers easily during the summer because they tend to have less work. Most breakdowns occur in winter, which keeps heating engineers very busy all season. A mid-summer boiler service can help identify any problems, address them, and get your boiler ready for winter. Be sure to remember the date of your last boiler service and mark the date for the next one due.
If it has been a year since your boiler was installed or last serviced, a professional boiler service is likely due. If you do not get your boiler serviced when due, you allow potential problems to continue to develop into larger faults. Big faults mean big repair jobs, which mean big repair bills. A scheduled annual service can help you identify potential problems that may have developed over a year.
Signs Indicating You Need a Boiler Service
There are several very visible signs that can tell you if you need to get your boiler serviced as soon as possible. One indicator may be that you are not getting as much hot water in your taps as before. On the other hand, you may notice that hot water runs out quicker than usual. Your central heating may not work properly as well if your boiler is part of your central heating system. It may take longer to warm up your home, expending more energy than usual in the process. In short, you should consider calling a Gas Safe registered engineer if you have problems with either or both hot water and central heating.
Things to Watch Out For: You should not wait for problems to develop before reaching out to an engineer to service your boiler. If you observe your boiler and central heating system carefully, you can spot several indications that your boiler may need servicing.
If you go a step further and monitor little things about your boiler every day, you can tell when it is in need of service. Even small things like changes in temperature or fuel consumption can indicate your boiler needs servicing. You should maintain a checklist of the following items, and check them every day to determine if you should reach out to an engineer for service right away.
Water Level: You need to inspect the water level in your boiler consistently every day it is in use. Take careful note of changes in water level, and see if it drops to a point where it affects your boiler’s performance.
Cut-Off Testing: Most modern boilers have a low water cut-off system built-in. This shuts off the flow of water into the boiler if it drops below an adequate level. Test to make sure your boiler’s cut-off system works when the water level drops too low.
Combustion: Most gas and oil-powered boilers heat water using energy generated through combustion. The more efficiently this goes on, the more efficiently your boiler heats water and your home. You need to visually inspect the combustion and pilot light to see if it is working properly.
Pressure: Modern boilers have an operating pressure of between 1 to 1.5 bar. This is usually marked as a green zone on your boiler’s pressure gauge. You need to check if the boiler maintains operating pressure. If it constantly drops below or rises above the green zone, you may need to call an engineer. Be sure to check your user manual to determine the manufacturer-recommended operating pressure for your boiler.
Temperature: You need to monitor your boiler’s temperature readings carefully. Check your boiler’s temperature every day to make sure it is in operational limits. Any fluctuations could indicate service is due.
Pumps: Feedwater pumps supply water from the mains to your boiler for heating. This water then goes to your hot water taps and central heating system. Check your feedwater pump if water levels keep dropping. An annual service can solve this problem for you.
Flue Temperature: Your boiler’s controls should have a reading of the flue temperature. The flue contains hot gases that modern combi boilers reuse to heat water efficiently. If the flue gases are too hot or too cold, it will affect the efficiency of your boiler. Any problems with flue gas temperature should prompt you to reach out to a Gas Safe engineer right away.
These things may sound complicated to you right now. However, your boiler’s user manual likely came with information and instructions to do the above safely. Read it thoroughly.
What Is Included in a Boiler Service?
Now you know why a boiler service is so important and how to tell when your boiler needs servicing. Now it is time to look at what an average boiler service normally includes. Preferably, you should have a Gas Safe engineer visit you and do several checks on your boiler. Before the service begins, be sure to ask for the engineer’s Gas Safe ID. Most boiler services generally include the following things.
A Thorough Visual Inspection: The engineer will examine the physical condition of your boiler’s exterior. This is important to determine your boiler meets current safety regulations. The engineer will check for signs of leaks, corrosion, and problems with the pilot light.
An Examination of the Interior: Once the engineer has inspected the exterior of your boiler, he or she will remove the external casing to have a closer look inside the boiler. This means they will pay special attention to the boiler’s internal components. The engineer will check the following components and clean them:
- Spark probe
- Main injector
- Heat exchanger
A Flue Safety Check: The engineer will thoroughly inspect the flue to make sure it is working safely. The engineer will ensure the flue is unobstructed and fitted properly. There will also be a check for carbon monoxide leaks, which can be a serious health hazard.
Pressure Test: The engineer will perform a check on your boiler pressure. This is important to make sure the boiler is working at optimum pressure. If there are any problems, the engineer can inform you and help you take corrective measures.
Running Inspection: Once the engineer performs all the above checks, they will fire up the boiler. When fired up, the engineer will carefully check to make sure the boiler runs smoothly. Any running faults can be identified and dealt with.
A Service Report: Once the engineer has completed servicing your boiler, they should give you a service report. This report details all the items the service covered and what the engineer worked on. Carefully examine this report and be sure to ask your engineer about any item you do not understand.