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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?

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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.

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Is your boiler working efficiently?

Most of the time our boilers simply tick over in the background, providing us with hot water and heating all year long and for the most part we don’t really think about how to look after them. This is despite the fact that servicing your boiler on a regular basis will result in fewer breakdowns and a more efficient boiler that could save you money on your energy bills.

You may do the recommended professional boiler servicing once per year, but do you think about maintaining your boiler in between services? If you follow our 10 maintenance tips listed below, you could save yourself money in the long run and ensure you have heating when you need it.

  1. Check your boiler on a daily basis for things like water leaks, error codes on the console and anything else that looks different or unusual. This includes listening to your boiler for strange noises.
  2. Look at the boiler flame. Does it look strange or flicker in an unusual way? The flame should be crisp blue rather than yellow.
  3. Check the flue both inside and out for any blockages or ventilation issues. Clear them out thoroughly. Also check for breakages to the flue or surrounding piping.
  4. Look at the relief valve and discharge pipe for leaks and the drain system for obstructions. Your instruction manual will show you where these are.
  5. Periodically you should turn your boiler off and restart it – checking that is starts normally and reignites without any issues.
  6. Look in your boiler manual for the water pressure level and ensure your boiler is meeting them. A loss of pressure can mean there is a leak somewhere and if it rises too high you should switch it off and call an expert.
  7. Feel all of the radiators in your home regularly throughout the winter to ensure they are reaching expected temperatures. You may need to bleed the system if they are not. Equally, your radiators should not get too hot.
  8. Test your carbon monoxide alarm at least once per month and change the batteries every year.
  9. Check your pipes throughout the house for leaks and insulate them if needed to prevent burst pipes during colder weather. This is especially wise if you are turning off your heating for a prolonged period of time.
  10. Finally – get on the phone and book your annual boiler servicing. This may be the single most important thing you do with regards to your safety and your comfort throughout the year.

Looking after your boiler really is simple and by following these tips you may never have expensive and inconvenient breakdowns.

Of course, if it does break down, we can help you to source competitive quotes for a new boiler from reputable companies.