It’s common knowledge that boilers are an expensive investment and are integral to our wellbeing at home, which is why it is so important that they’re serviced regularly, to mitigate smaller issues and help avoid the costs of emergency repairs.
Aside from the hefty costs saved by servicing your boiler, a boiler service helps with giving homeowners peace of mind that their home is safe to live in and isn’t emitting lethal gases (if it’s either an oil or gas boiler). Additionally, you’re less likely to be faced with no hot water or heating, which are necessities during the colder months.
A cold house and cold showers are issues within themselves, but during the winter, this problem could have serious implications – especially for older or more vulnerable members of a household.
Why should I get my boiler serviced?
Heating engineers recommend an annual boiler service for a multitude of reasons. Some of the reasons include:
- Lowering the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning
Carbon monoxide is produced in a boiler when fuel is not burned completely due to a lack of oxygen. A stuttering pilot light or dark staining around gas appliances is often a sign of carbon monoxide leaks
- Keeping your running costs at a fair price
A faulty boiler can use excessive amounts of gas if it is not working properly, meaning your bills could increase, too.
- Preventing breakdowns
Having an annual boiler service can flag any potential issues that could cause your boiler to break down, which can help to nip any issues in the bud, therefore preventing a breakdown
- To lengthen the lifespan of your boiler
It is more likely that your boiler will stand the test of time if it is maintained and looked after, meaning you won’t have to buy a brand new and expensive boiler as soon as you may have to if your current boiler is not serviced annually.
- Validating manufacturer warranties
Most boiler manufacturer warranties require that the boiler is serviced regularly in line with the manufacturer’s instructions and statutory regulations. If it has been more than 12 months since you last had your boiler serviced, the manufacturer can refuse to cover the cost of any repairs in the event of any breakdown.
How often should I get a boiler service?
Boiler manufacturers and engineers recommend that the average boiler should be serviced once every 12 months – even if it doesn’t appear that anything is wrong, or you haven’t noticed any issues. Think of it like a car MOT, where an annual checkup is necessary.
Boilers are advanced and complex utilities and although one part not functioning effectively may not mean that your boiler will stop working, leaving the boiler unserviced after identifying this could mean that your utility bills and subsequent repair charges could be much higher than fixing the initial problem.
Should I service my boiler in between annual checks?
There are times when a boiler service will be required to fix an urgent issue. If the thermostat isn’t responding, the boiler turns off for no reason, your utility bills are higher than usual or your radiators feel cold, you should get in touch with the professionals.
Aside from your annual boiler maintenance, if any of the following happen in between checks, then you might need emergency repairs:
- The boiler is making loud clanking or crashing sounds
- There’s no hot water or heating in the house
- The flame within the boiler is orange or yellow instead of blue
- The boiler pressure begins fluctuating up and down
- Your gas is unusually high
Boiler service cost
The cost of a service will depend on the company you use, the type of boiler you have and also the part of the country you’re in. There are also different ways you can pay for a boiler service, either as a recurring service or a one-off payment.
Annual boiler service costs
According to Household Quotes, a gas boiler annual servicing contract normally ranges in price between £150 and £250. The most beneficial part of having this type of contract is that you are also entitled to boiler breakdown cover – essentially, you have insurance on your boiler, providing reassurance for you and your home.
One-off boiler servicing
A one-off boiler service will typically cost between £60 and £120 generally. The difference in price when compared to an annual servicing contract is very clear, so it may seem tempting to only pay for one-off boiler services each year. Though it is worth considering that if your boiler is very old (more than 10 years), it might be better to take out the annual servicing contract because your boiler will be more prone to developing problems that require a call-out visit during the 12 months of the plan – which could save you hundreds or even thousands.
What happens during a boiler service?
A boiler service is a check-up that is carried out by a Gas Safe Engineer (for gas and oil boilers). The check ensures that your boiler is in good working order and any problems with the individual components are identified before they break and cause serious issues with your central heating system. Generally speaking, this should take about 30 minutes.
The boiler service could include the following:
- A check on the gas pressure to ensure that it’s working correctly
- A visual inspection for any leaks or corrosions
- Removal of boiler casing to check individual parts and controls
- Flue tests for safety – checking whether the flue is drawing correctly
To summarise, annual boiler inspections are a necessity, whether that be as part of a contract, or a one-off cost you pay each year. Prices will vary depending on these factors, plus where you are based and which provider you use. Finally, a properly functioning boiler is completely essential to the health, safety and comfort of everyone within your home.
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