People often ask us: Does my boiler need servicing?
And the short answer is Yes!
Whether you realise it or not; your boiler is the invisible hero in your home; quietly keeping you warm, and keeping your baths hot. If you want to keep it that way, regular boiler maintenance is vital.
Like so many things in life; it’s often not until misfortune strikes in the form of a breakdown or a fault; that you realise how much you rely on that little white box in the corner.
And it’s not just about keeping your boiler running smoothly either – it’s about safety. We all know the dangers of having unsafe gas appliances at home.
And yet, every year 60 people in the UK die from carbon monoxide poisioning.
So, if you want to keep your family safe and avoid a breakdown when you need your heating most; it’s crucial to schedule a boiler service every year.
Why do boilers need servicing?
You wouldn’t dream of driving a car without having a valid MOT. And car manufacturers also provide a recommended process for car servicing too.
So, it shouldn’t be surprising that something as hard-working as your boiler also requires some upkeep.
Let’s look at some of the reasons you should definitely be booking in for that service:
Service your boiler to keep your family safe
A boiler service is not just vital for keeping your boiler running efficiently, it’s vital for your safety.
Boilers have built in safety features to ensure correct operation. But over time, these can wear down, and leave your boiler in an unsafe condition.
If your boiler has been improperly fitted; repaired; or maintained; or any of their vents; flues; or chimneys have become blocked; they can pose three main risks to life:
- Gas leaks
- Fires and explosions
- Carbon monoxide poisoning
Despite these dangers; 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.
We find it mind boggling that according to the survey; over a quarter of UK home buyers say that re-decorating is their top priority when moving into a new house; ranking it far above addressing potential safety issues with a boiler.
If you want to keep you and your family safe; it’s crucial to get a Gas Safe engineer to service your boiler annually.
Service your boiler to avoid a breakdown
Let’s face it, nobody wants a breakdown. Having no heating and hot water is a nightmare, any time of the year.
Add to that the stress of having to try and find a heating engineer at the last minute; and regular servicing to avoid it, is a no-brainer.
Over time your boiler will accumulate dirt and deposits making it less efficient and a breakdown more likely.
By having your boiler correctly serviced; it will be fully inspected and any required maintenance can be carried out proactively, so you can avoid breakdowns altogether.
Research by Which? Found that around two thirds of boilers that are serviced every year never need a repair.
This number drops dramatically as you increase the time between services. So, spending a bit on a boiler service could potentially save you a much bigger repair bill.
Service your boiler to extend its lifespan
Boilers are a big investment, so you’ll want to make sure that yours lasts you for as long as possible.
Regular servicing maximises the lifespan of your boiler; and ensures that it is running as efficiently as possible; for as long as possible.
Service your boiler to keep heating bills low
If you want to save money on your heating bills, getting your boiler serviced regularly could help.
This is because a service 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 your boiler to light more easily and burn efficiently, which can lead to lower heating bills.
To learn more about boiler efficiency and your heating bills; check out our related blog: ‘What is an efficient boiler, and why should I want one?’
Service your boiler to maintain its guarantee
Regardless of which boiler manufacturer you choose; all of them require that you have your boiler serviced annually by a Gas Safe engineer to maintain their guarantee.
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 should any faults develop within that time; they will be repaired free of charge.
This will only remain valid if you keep up to date with regular servicing.
Servicing your boiler is a legal requirement for landlords
If you’re a landlord, it’s a legal requirement for you to present a gas safety record each year.
It’s convenient to have a boiler service carried out at the same time; to ensure that your boiler is working well for your tenants and doesn’t pose a safety risk.
Additional signs that you really need a boiler service
In addition to all of the reasons above; if you notice any of these warning signs, you should contact a heating engineer without delay:
- The flame in your boiler is yellow;
- The flame in your boiler is irregular;
- There are new stains or smoke marks on walls or nearby appliances;
- The boiler overheats or refills regularly;
- The water pressure drops;
- The pilot light often goes out;
- There is a hissing noise coming from the boiler;
- Your boiler is taking longer than usual to heat up;
- One room of your home is very warm, whereas another is really cold;
- There is a leak;
- It’s been more than a year since your last service.
How long does a boiler service take?
A boiler service usually takes less than an hour, but this depends on what sort of appliance you have, and what condition it’s in.
When should I get my boiler serviced?
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.
What’s involved in a boiler service?
Before getting your boiler serviced; it’s important to check that the engineer is qualified to carry out the work.
Rest assured that all our engineers at The Heating People are Gas Safe registered.
When servicing your boiler, The Heating people will conduct the following tests (where applicable to your boiler):
Visual Inspection of boiler and flue
Your engineer will complete a visual check to ensure that your boiler still meets current standards. This will involve inspecting your boiler controls to make sure that they are working correctly. The engineer will look for any corrosion or leaks and will visually check the flame in your boiler.
Removal of the boiler casing
Your boiler casing will be removed to check the functioning of the main component parts, such as the burner; heat exchanger; main injector; and spark/sensor probe.
A flue test checks that the flue is unobstructed and the flue components are sealed correctly. Thereby ensuring that no unsafe emissions are released.
A gas pressure check will ensure that your boiler is operating at the right gas pressure. The gas valve will be adjusted to check the burner is combusting efficiently and correctly (using a flue gas analyser). A gas tightness test will be conducted to ensure there are no leaks.
Using a flue gas analyser; the products of combustion will be tested to ensure that there are not high levels of carbon monoxide and to make sure the boiler is burning as the manufacturer intended it to.
The condensate trap will be cleaned, and if the tests have indicated that it is necessary, the burner; heat exchanger; electrodes; and magnetic system filter; will also be cleaned.
Check the expansion vessel
The expansion vessel will be checked to ensure that it still has water pressure to the manufacturer’s requirements. This will be topped up if required.
The Heating People will provide you with a service report/checklist which includes all 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.