Many people don’t really think about their boiler until it breaks. Not only can this leave you stuck with no heating or hot water when something goes wrong, it can also end up costing you a lot of extra money even when your boiler is working. Here are just some of the reasons to make booking a yearly boiler service a priority.
Although your boiler may appear to be working effectively, over time hard to notice issues can build up which reduce the efficiency of your central heating. This means you end up having to pay more to achieve a comfortable temperature with your heating and hot water.
One common issue is too little air reaching the fuel-burning part of the boiler causing incomplete combustion of the fuel. Not only does this mean you are not getting the most out of your fuel, it can also lead to soot build up on the boiler’s heat exchanger. This creates an insulating layer, preventing effective transfer of heat between the burning fuel and the water in your system. A soot layer of as little as 1mm can result in a 10% increase in the energy needed to achieve the same results as a well-maintained system.
If you are in a hard water area limescale can also be an issue. This can build up on the water side of the heat exchanger, again creating an insulating layer which reduces the efficiency of energy transfer between the burning fuel and the rest of your system. A 1mm layer of limescale can increase your boiler’s energy requirements by around 7%.
While insulation in the wrong parts of your system is a bad thing, elsewhere it is vital. Insulation around the hot water carrying parts of your system, including around pipework and valves, prevents unwanted heat loss. This insulation can degrade over time, allowing heat to escape, which can decrease the efficiency of your system by 10% or more.
Regular boiler servicing significantly decreases the risk of your boiler breaking down. If your central heating fails, not only will you be without heat and hot water, you are also likely to end up paying out a lot more than you would have for annual servicing. It is generally much cheaper to prevent problems than it is to fix them. In the worst-case scenario, you could end up having to buy a whole new boiler due to an issue that could have been easily fixed if caught early.
Preserve your warranty
Having an annual boiler service in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions is usually a condition of the warranty on most new boilers. What this means is, if your boiler breaks down during the warranty period and you don’t have proof of regular servicing, the manufacturer could refuse to honour the warranty, leaving you significantly out of pocket.
It is important, therefore, to get an annual service from a Gas Safe registered engineer who can provide the correct documentation, giving you proof that you are meeting the manufacturer’s servicing recommendations. You must then keep these documents in a safe place so you have them to hand in case of any future issues.
A poorly maintained boiler can become a significant safety hazard. The most important issue to be aware of is the risk of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. CO can be produced during incomplete combustion of your boiler fuel caused by insufficient air reaching the fuel-burner. Combined with poor ventilation, this can lead to a build-up of the gas, which can be very dangerous and potentially fatal.
To ensure your safety and that of anyone else in your home, you should have your boiler checked regularly by a qualified engineer. It is also worth investing in carbon monoxide detectors to ensure our safety.
Annual boiler servicing will help keep your boiler safe and efficient and reduce the risk of breakdowns. Make sure your service is carried out by a Gas Safe registered engineer who can provide proper documentation providing you with a record of your service history. The best time to book a boiler service is during the summer months when there is less demand. If you wait until winter and suffer a breakdown it could be more inconvenient and you might have to wait longer for an engineer to visit you.