Servicing your boiler at least once a year is much more than just a basic safety check. It also helps you ensure that it’s operating effectively, as well as making sure any seals and gaskets aren’t showing any early signs of wear and tear.
Can’t I just check the boiler myself?
Whilst it’s always advisable to keep an eye on your boiler throughout the year (and not just during the winter months, when most families tend to start relying on it more); it’s important to have your boiler checked and serviced by an approved Gas Safe registered engineer.
The Gas Safe Register contains a list of approved businesses that are legally authorised to carry out gas work. You can quickly check for your nearest engineer by following his link: https://www.gassaferegister.co.uk/find-an-engineer/
To ensure your boiler is fully covered, you also need to check the terms of your warranty since failure to have your boiler serviced every 12 months could lead to it being invalid. This can be extremely costly should anything go wrong. Remember, a faulty boiler will not only waste money on energy but could also start leaking poisonous carbon monoxide. Unfortunately, because gas is both colourless and scentless this can often be difficult, if not impossible, to detect.
What can I expect from a boiler service?
If you have any specific concerns about your boiler, or the way it’s performing, then always be sure to discuss these with your chosen engineer. Other than that, the service should include a check of the heat exchanger; together with other parts of the boiler such as the flue – just to make sure that everything’s operating as it should and above all, safely.
During the service, your engineer is likely to check the different components, clean, test and undertake pre-emptive faul spotting.
Are there different types of boilers and does this make any difference to the service?
Yes: boilers can either have an open flue (which is a vertical, chimney-style version) or a balanced flue (which are horizontal and will run through your wall).
Because most open-flued appliances can easily allow combustion products to enter your home when something goes wrong with the flue (or even the ventilation); they sadly tend to cause more deaths resulting from carbon monoxide. For this reason it’s advisable to get the boiler serviced every 12 months since problems such as these aren’t usually noticeable to the naked eye.
Balanced flues, on the other hand, tend to be much less critical since flue problems are not only much rarer but usually less serious. What’s more, because they draw clean fresh air from the outside the burner airways don’t attract lint accumulations of the usual household elements such as carpet fibres, pet hairs and so on. This also means that cleaning needs to be done less often that open-flued alternatives.
What do I need to look for in an engineer?
Other than being Gas Safe registered, always be sure you understand exactly what your engineer is going to do. Unfortunately, whilst some companies offer an “annual safety check” this doesn’t necessarily mean that your boiler will be serviced; so always be sure to ask what the service does (and doesn’t) include.