You don't really appreciate the vital job your boiler does until it develops a fault or breaks down. And when that happens, all you want to do is get it fixed as quickly as possible.
A boiler service is a good way to reduce the chances of unexpected boiler breakdowns rocking your world and damaging your finances.
Most boiler cover packages or central heating cover policies will offer an annual boiler service. And it's something you should definitely make time for. The terms of your manufacturer's warranty will probably depend on an annual boiler service being carried out. Miss out on a check-up and your warranty could become invalid.
What to expect during a boiler service? What's included in a boiler service?
First of all, whoever you took your boiler cover out with should remind you when your annual boiler service is due. But it's always worth making a note of the date yourself. When the time comes, you'll be asked to arrange a convenient time for the service to happen. It should be carried out by a Gas Safe Engineer, and you're well within your rights to ask to see some ID from the engineer that carries out the checks and tests.
During the inspection, the engineer should carry out all of the following:
• A check of the boiler's controls - usually a thermostat in your lounge
• A thorough look at the internal components of the boiler
• Testing gas and pressure levels
• Examination of the flue and combustion
• Inspection of the gas and water pipes, looking for signs of corrosion or leaks
• A safety check of all the electrical components and connections
• Checking seals
Boiler manufacturers leave checklists for heating engineers to follow to ensure they don't miss out any essential checks.
When the annual boiler service is completed, your Gas Safe Engineer will be in a position to advise you about the state of your boiler and whether there are steps you can take to ensure the boiler stays working properly until the next inspection in a year's time.
How much will a one-off boiler service cost?
The price you pay depends on the supplier you pick and the state and age of your boiler. Older or fault-prone boilers are likely to require longer servicing than newer models. As a guide, you should look to pay between £50 and £100 for a one-off boiler service. If the Gas Safe Engineer who carries out the inspection finds a fault, you'll be liable to pay for repairing those, unless you have a comprehensive heating cover or boiler care plan in place.
Who should service your boiler?
Only ever let certified professional engineers look at your boilers. Unless you're qualified, do not attempt to do so yourself.
Who can service your gas boiler?
Strictly speaking, only Gas Safe Engineers are permitted to service these boilers.
Who can service an oil boiler?
This should be left to an OFTEC-registered engineer.
Who can service a wood-fired, coal or solid fuel burning boiler?
Services to these kinds of boiler should be carried out by HEFTAS-registered engineers.
Reasons why an annual service for your boiler is important
• The validity of your boiler manufacturer's warranty may depend on annual services being carried out.
• They can save you money on your energy bills by helping to ensure your boiler is working properly
• Inspections help ensure your boiler is safe to use. Faulty boilers can leak poisonous yet odourless gases such as carbon monoxide, so be sure to have a carbon monoxide alarm in your house
Why get boiler cover?
Annual boiler services are often included in boiler cover policies. You normally pay a monthly or annual subscription for year-round protection against faults. That price will cover the expense of calling out an engineer and any parts they might use to fix your boiler.
When searching for boiler cover, compare the services that different providers offer. The number of call-outs you're allowed is important, as older boilers may require more regular attention than newer ones. If you exceed your annual call-out limit, you'll have to start paying and that could get expensive.
Get comprehensive boiler care, with an annual boiler service worth £80 for just £9 per month.