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5 Benefits of your annual service

Regular boiler servicing can keep you and your family safe, save you money and keep your guarantee valid. But despite this, a survey by the Gas Safe Register found that a worrying 24% of homeowners have either never had their boiler serviced or haven’t had it serviced once a year as recommended. Although easily overlooked, an annual boiler service has many benefits. We’ve put together this handy guide of the top 5 reasons why you should put booking a boiler service on your to-do list.

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5 benefits of your annual service…

Regular boiler servicing can keep you and your family safe, save you money and keep your guarantee valid.

But despite this; a survey by the Gas Safe Register found that a worrying 24% of homeowners have either never had their boiler serviced; or haven’t had it serviced once a year as recommended.

Although easily overlooked, an annual boiler service has many benefits. We’ve put together this handy guide of the top 5 reasons why you should put booking a boiler service on your to-do list.

1.   Your annual service keeps you and your family safe

First and foremost, an annual service is vital in keeping you and your family safe.

Your boiler could produce poisonous carbon monoxide (CO) if it’s not working properly. This can happen if your boiler was improperly fitted; improperly repaired or maintained; or if its vents, flues or chimneys have become blocked with dirt and debris.

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a highly poisonous gas that can be especially deadly because you can’t see; taste; or smell it.

According to the NHS, carbon monoxide poisoning kills 60 people in the UK every year. So don’t take the risk!

In addition to the risk of gas leaks and carbon monoxide poisoning; a faulty boiler can also cause fires and explosions.

So, if you have any gas appliances in your home; it’s essential to have them checked once a year by a Gas Safe engineer to ensure that they are safe.

Only Gas Safe registered engineers can legally fit, fix, and service gas appliances. This requirement ensures that engineers who are working on gas hold valid and current qualifications.

2.   Your annual service maintains your guarantee

An ATAG boiler with a 14 year guarantee badge.Want to keep that nice long guarantee that came with your shiny new boiler?

If so, you’ll need to have your boiler serviced annually.

All boilers supplied by The Heating People come with a manufacturer’s guarantee of up to 14 years.

This gives you the peace of mind that any faults will be repaired free of charge if they develop within that time.

But whichever manufacturer you go with; your guarantee will only remain valid if you keep up to date with regular servicing.

If you don’t have your boiler serviced, it will invalidate your guarantee. Resulting in expensive repair bills, should your boiler break down. 

Regular servicing maintains your boiler cover protection

Another thing to consider here is whether you have boiler cover.

If you do, then your home insurance policy will require you to keep up to date with your boiler service. And be able to evidence this with your service records.

Your insurance will be invalid if you don’t. And your insurance company won’t pay out should you need to make a claim.

3.   Your annual service results in fewer breakdowns

Nobody wants to be left without heating and hot water. But it’s often not until misfortune strikes in the form of a breakdown; that you realise how much you rely on your boiler!

Getting your boiler serviced annually helps to avoid a breakdown.

Just like with your car’s MOT, when you have your boiler serviced; all the main components are checked for wear and tear, and any required maintenance can be carried out proactively.

This means that your boiler is less likely to breakdown when you need it the most.

A survey in 2021 by Which? found that only around three in ten boilers that are serviced annually; have needed a repair in their first six years. This doubles to around six in ten boilers if the boiler is only serviced every two to five years.

Regular servicing identifies small problems early

As well as avoiding breakdowns, an annual service will identify any small problems early; before they turn into larger more expensive ones!

Identifying a potential problem before it leads to a complete breakdown; can save you from expensive repairs or the need to replace your boiler entirely.

During your service, your engineer will spot any problems before they escalate. This will save you money on repairs, and the inconvenience of being without heating and hot water.

Regular servicing extends the lifespan of your boiler

Replacing a boiler can be costly. So you’ll want to make sure that you get the most out of your investment. To keep your boiler running smoothly for the next 10-15 years, you’ll need to look after it.

Regular servicing maximises the lifespan of your boiler. It ensures that it runs as efficiently as possible, for as long as possible.

4.   Your annual service maintains your boiler’s efficiency

A well-maintained and regularly serviced boiler will work more efficiently than a neglected one.

An efficient boiler will help you to save money on your heating bills; as well as being better for the environment.

During a service, your engineer will clean up any deposits that have built up in the boiler.

Ensuring that the internal combustion areas are free of dirt and debris will improve the heat transfer. This allows your boiler to light more easily and burn efficiently, which leads to lower heating bills.

Regular servicing helps your boiler run optimally, using only as much energy as is necessary to heat your home. Again, saving you money.

5.   An annual service is a legal requirement for landlords

Landlords are under a legal duty to have an annual safety check on all gas appliances and flues.

It’s also a legal requirement to maintain gas appliances, flues/chimneys and pipework in a safe condition. You need to make sure that both checks and servicing are carried out by a Gas Safe registered engineer.

In the UK all landlords must ensure the following in relation to gas safety in properties they rent out:

  • Pipework, appliances and flues provided for tenants are maintained in a safe condition.
  • Appliances and flues are checked for safety by a Gas Safe registered engineer annually.
  • All gas appliances are maintained by a Gas Safe registered engineer (this can be accomplished by following the manufacturers recommended maintenance for their appliances/equipment). And all gas equipment (including any appliance left by a previous tenant) is safe or otherwise removed before re-letting.
  • A documented record of safety checks, known as a Landlord Gas Safety Record, is made available to the tenant within 28 days of completing the check or to any new tenant before they move in.
  • A copy of safety check documents is kept for a specified period.

What is the difference between a gas safety check and a service?

We’ve mentioned gas safety checks. So, what’s the difference between a gas safety check and a service?

Gas safety check

A gas safety check assesses the basic safety of gas appliances in your home. Its purpose is to ensure everything is working correctly and is safe.

A safety check includes:

  • Checking gas appliances are burning correctly with the correct operating pressure
  • Ensuring harmful gases are removed from the appliance safely
  • Checking ventilation routes are clear and adequate
  • Making sure that any safety devices are working properly

Boiler service

A service consists of a full check of a gas appliance. And alongside the gas safety checks listed above your engineer from The Heating People will:

  • Conduct a visual inspection of your boiler and flue to ensure that your boiler still meets current standards.
  • Remove the boiler casingto check the functioning of the main component parts, such as the burner; heat exchanger; main injector; and spark/sensor probe.
  • Conduct a flue check to ensure that the flue is not obstructed in any way. And the flue components are sealed correctly to make sure that there are no unsafe emissions being released.
  • Conduct a gas pressure test to ensure that your boiler is operating at the right gas pressure.
  • Adjust the gas valve to check the burner is combusing efficiently and correctly (using a flue gas analyser).
  • Conduct a gas tightness test to ensure there are no leaks.
  • Conduct combustion analysis using aflue gas analyser to make sure the boiler is burning as the manufacturer intended it to.
  • Cleaning of thecondensate trap and where necessary, cleaning of: the burner; heat exchanger; electrodes; and magnetic system filter; will also be cleaned.
  • Check the expansion vesselto ensure that it still has water pressure to the manufacturer’s requirements. This will be topped up if required.
  • Provide you with a service report/checklist which includes all of the information about the safety of your boiler. Our installers will also fill in the service record in your boiler’s manual. Which is important to maintain the validity of your boiler guarantee.

Who should perform my annual service?

To keep your boiler operating safely and efficiently; it’s critical that you have it regularly serviced by a Gas Safe registered engineer.

To check that your engineer is Gas Safe registered, you can ask to see their ID card.

You can verify their details with the Gas Safe Register . We’ve linked to their website at the end of this article.

At The Heating People, our team of Gas Safe engineers have the experience and expertise to keep your boiler running smoothly and efficiently; and minimise the risk of any problems developing in the future.

When should I get my annual service?

Although we only tend to only think about our boilers during the winter, when the weather turns colder; you rely on your boiler all year round.

To keep your boiler running smoothly, you should have it serviced once a year.

The best time to book in for a service is during the summer when your heating demand is lower. Because this helps to find and fix any faults before the cold weather hits, and your boiler is working much harder.

Will I get any documentation?

It’s useful to know what documentation you will receive when your boiler is serviced:

What is a Gas Safety Record?

A Gas Safety Record is a document that may be given to you by a gas engineer after they’ve done gas work at your property. But it’s only a legal requirement to provide one to a landlord.

What is a landlord Gas Safety Record?

It’s a legal requirement for landlords to have their gas appliances serviced every year by a Gas Safe engineer.

Because this is a legal requirement, landlords will receive a  Landlord Gas Safety Record when they have their boiler serviced.

This document will include:

  • A description and location of each appliance or flue that was checked
  • The name, registration number and signature of the engineer who made the checks
  • The date the checks were carried out
  • The address of the property where the appliances or flues are installed
  • Your name and address (or an agent’s where applicable)
  • Information on any safety defects and actions needed or taken to fix them
  • The results of all operational safety checks carried out on the appliances
  • Undertake any necessary remedial work (your engineer will inform you of any additional costs)
  • Alert you to any issues found during the service

Final thoughts

To sum up… you wouldn’t dream of driving a car without a valid MOT, and the same is true of your boiler.

Whilst there are many reasons for having your boiler serviced annually by a Gas Safe engineer; the safety of you and your family is the most important. Don’t leave it to chance, book that service!

Useful links

Gas Safe Register

Which? article on boiler servicing