Boiler servicing - an annual boiler service can save you money, prevent a boiler breakdown and could even save your life. Find out about getting your boiler serviced here.
An annual boiler service can save you money, prevent a boiler breakdown and could even save your life. Find out about getting your boiler serviced here.
We tend to take heating and hot water for granted and don’t give our boiler a second thought till it breaks down. As with anything, it’s best to prevent boiler breakdowns and one of the easiest ways to do this is to have a regular boiler maintenance check. Harvey Morgan, of HSM Plumbing, Central Heating and Boiler Repair Experts in Surrey says: “It’s important that you install an A-rated, condensing boiler for energy efficiency and make sure it’s regularly serviced.” Here are the top reasons to get your boiler serviced:
- You could save money on repairs – a boiler engineer will be able to pick up on any minor faults which could escalate to a full blown break down in the future. This could save you money and help you avoid the inconvenience of a broken boiler.
- A boiler check could save your life – according to the Health and Safety Executive, carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning kills around 20 people per year and the main cause is from gas appliances being incorrectly installed, maintained or ventilated. A boiler service will identify any carbon monoxide leaks, which can cause illness, brain damage or death if inhaled – the substance is so dangerous because you cannot see, smell or taste it. The symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include headaches, vomiting, drowsiness and breathlessness. As well as regular boiler servicing, installing a CO alarm can detect dangerous leaks before it’s too late – if you do buy one make sure it conforms with BS EN 50291 standards.
- Boiler maintenance can reduce your fuel bills – a boiler engineer will make sure that your boiler is running as efficiently as possible, which can save you money on your fuel bills and subsequently cut your household carbon emissions.
- Ensure your insurance is valid by servicing your boiler – many boilers come with a warranty which is only valid under certain conditions; usually one of them is that the boiler be regularly serviced by a certified engineer.
- Stay within the law with boiler services – while there is no legal requirement for homeowners to have their boilers serviced, landlords are legally obliged to have the boiler serviced annually and provide a Gas Safety (if it’s a gas boiler) certificate to prove the work has been done.
Hiring an engineer to service your boiler
If you have a gas, oil or solid fuel boiler, you should have a service every year or more often if the manufacturers guide advises. It is best to get this done at the end of summer before you need to start using your boiler again.
Gas boiler servicing – if you have a gas boiler, it is essential that you hire a Gas Safe registered engineer – by law anyone who maintains or installs gas appliances must be Gas Safe registered. Gas Safe warn that there are around 7,500 illegal gas fitters operating in the UK, so make sure you check the engineer’s card and identification for proof. At the end of the service the engineer will provide you with a Gas Safe certificate. “In the right hands gas is perfectly safe, but in the hands of an illegal gas fitter it can kill,” says Phill Brewster, the Gas Safe Registers National Investigations Manager.
Solid fuel boiler servicing – if you heat with solid fuel such as wood or coal, you need to hire a HETAS registered engineer to service your boiler. HETAS is the body responsible for approving and installing solid fuel appliances in the home. As well as servicing your boiler, HETAS advise regular cleaning of your chimney and flue.
Oil boiler servicing – oil boilers should be serviced by an OFTEC engineer.
What does a boiler service entail?
According to Gas Safe, a boiler service will check that:
- The boiler isn’t producing carbon monoxide
- There is proper ventilation for harmful gases
- That the boiler is in the right place and onthe correct setting
- The boiler is safe and in good working order
Boiler servicing cost
Prices for boiler servicing will vary depending on where you live and what type of boiler you have. The Energy Saving Trust suggests that a service will cost between £50 and £75. However, you may be eligible for a free boiler service if you are on most types of benefits and meet certain terms or eligibility; for example if you are disabled, or are a pensioner. You should contact your energy provider to find out if you qualify for a free boiler service.