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How Often Should I Service My Boiler?

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Your boiler is the focal point of your home’s hot water and central heating system. It is, therefore, vital that you service it regularly as failure to do so may have dangerous and costly implications. But how often should you service your boiler? And how crucial is boiler service? Stick around to the end of this guide to unearth the answers to these questions and more.

How Often should a Boiler Be Serviced?

If you have a gas or oil boiler, it is recommended that you have it serviced at least once a year to keep it in optimal operating condition. Arranging for your boiler to undergo annual servicing will also help identify minor issues and resolve them before they develop into significant problems.

However, you shouldn’t have to wait for a year to pass before arranging another boiler service should the boiler develop issues before the next servicing is due.

It is worth noting that failure to service your boiler within 12 months since the last boiler service may result in your boiler warranty being voided. It could also lead to legal issues if you are a landlord.

Electric boilers don’t require annual servicing. However, you should have them checked over once in a while to ensure they are in good shape.  It is also advisable to check your boiler insurance as the insurance provider might insist that you service your electric boiler annually.

What Are the Indicators that My Boiler Needs Servicing?

Now that you know your boiler needs to be serviced at least once every 12 months, the next big question would be telling when the next servicing is due. Here are some factors that may indicate it is time to perform a boiler service.

  • You recently moved into a new property, and you don’t know when the previous owner last serviced the boiler.
  • A year has passed since the last boiler service
  • The boiler or pipework is leaking
  • Poor energy efficiency, resulting in high monthly energy bills
  • Your home is taking a long time to heat up
  • The boiler is making strange hissing sounds
  • The boiler is leaking gas
  • Your carbon monoxide detectors have gone off

How Important Is Servicing My Boiler? 

If you still doubt the importance of servicing your boiler at least once every 12 months, perhaps the following reasons will help make up your mind:

  1. It minimizes wear and tear

As a boiler is a mechanical device with moving parts such as the pump, it is subject to wear and tear, which can drastically lower its performance. When some boiler components start wearing out, they lose their effectiveness, and the boiler will struggle to perform at peak conditions.

The heating engineer will inspect and repair or replace any worn-out boiler components during the annual boiler service. This will ensure that your boiler is performing optimally and give you peace of mind knowing that your boiler won’t bail out on you during the winter season.

  1. It promotes safety

Safety is a primary concern in several homes that have installed gas boilers. This is particularly true as natural gas is associated with several safety risks, including gas and carbon monoxide leaks. The heating engineer will inspect your boiler and pipework for signs of corrosion and leaking during a boiler service and repair them before they pose a safety concern.

Some of the risks that an annual boiler service will help mitigate include:

  • Carbon monoxide leaks, especially if you haven’t installed a carbon monoxide detector.
  • Gas leaks that can cause fires and explosions
  • Electrical faults such as naked and loose wires can lead to shocks or spark explosions
  • Water leaks can cause scalds, dampness, and electrical faults
  1. It improves boiler efficiency

Annual boiler service ensures your boiler achieves the highest possible levels of efficiency. A super-efficient boiler will reduce your carbon footprint and lower your annual energy bill as the boiler would be cheaper to run.

The service contractor will open your boiler unit to clean and rinse the heat exchanger to improve your boiler’s efficiency. Removing any deposits and limescale build-up in the heat exchanger will ensure a better heat transfer to the water in your heating system. It will also help increase the lifespan of the heat exchanger and boiler.

  1. It is a legal obligation.

If you are a landlord, you are required by law to have the boiler and flue system of the rented property serviced annually to ensure the safety of your tenants. And failure to meet this obligation might result in a hefty fine or even a prison sentence.

  1. It helps uphold the boiler warranty and property insurance

Although most boilers come with lengthy warranties, which can span 10-15 years, the manufacturer reserves the right to void it should you fail to perform annual boiler service.  And a voided warranty means you won’t be covered should your boiler develop issues, even if it is the manufacturer’s fault.

Moreover, failure to perform an annual boiler service might also result in your home insurance being voided. If your home’s insurance is revoked, you will have to foot the repair costs for any damages inflicted on your home by a faulty boiler. This means that you could end up paying thousands of pounds in repair costs while you could have avoided it by conducting a comparatively cheap boiler servicing.

Who Should Service My Boiler?

Boiler service should be done by a fully qualified heating engineer, regardless of your type of boiler. It is important to note that having your boiler serviced by an uncertified technician will result in your boiler warranty being voided. It is, therefore, advisable that you insist on seeing the heating engineer’s ID before they can start working on your boiler.

That said, if you have a gas boiler, the boiler service should strictly be done by a Gas Safe Registered engineer. Similarly, if you have an oil or LPG boiler, an OFTEC registered engineer should do the boiler service.

What Happens During a Boiler Service?

The heating engineer will perform several tests during a boiler service to ensure that your boiler is in peak working condition. They will also perform minor repairs and cleaning to ensure any small problems in the boiler, such as sludge build-up, are arrested before they develop into major issues.

How Much Would it Cost to Service My Boiler?    

For something that important, you will be surprised to learn that the cost of servicing your boiler is cheap and only makes a fraction of what you would spend conducting an emergency boiler repair. Although this cost will vary depending on a number of factors, expect to pay somewhere between £50 and £80. However, if you live in London, the cost would be higher and might add up to £160.

Some of the factors that influence boiler service costs include:

  • The type of boiler, i.e., is it a combi, system, or regular boiler
  • Boiler fuel
  • Boiler manufacturer and model
  • Location of the boiler in the house
  • Heating engineer rates
  • Where you live

What is the ideal time to service my boiler?

There is no right or wrong time to service your boiler, provided you do it once every 12 months. However, it is recommended that you arrange for your boiler to be serviced in the spring or summer months. Conducting boiler service during this period has its perks which include:

  • It allows for any boiler issues to be identified and fixed before the heating season starts
  • It is easy to schedule a boiler service as heating engineers have lots of free time
  • Most heating engineers charge a lower rate than during the winter months
  • The procedure won’t disrupt your home’s heating as you would likely not be using your central heating system at this time.
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