Apr 10, 2023

What does a boiler service include?

Your boiler is crucial to your household, providing heat and hot water to keep you comfortable year-round. To ensure it continues to function correctly, you must have it regularly serviced by a gas-safe registered engineer.

But what exactly does a boiler service include? In this blog post, we will explore the components of a boiler service, the importance of regular maintenance, and what to expect from a professional service.

Whether you are a homeowner or a landlord, understanding what a boiler service entails can help you make informed decisions about keeping your heating system in top condition.

What is done during a gas boiler service?

Understanding what's included in your boiler service is crucial so you can cross-reference the details with the report provided by your engineer. Although there might be some variation in the steps followed by different engineers, a typical boiler service generally consists of the following checks:

Visual Inspection

The initial step in a boiler service involves a thorough visual examination. A qualified engineer will inspect the boiler's exterior, ensuring all parts function safely and identifying any that may seem problematic. The engineer will also look for leaks or signs of corrosive damage and check the boiler flame to ensure it appears normal.

Casing Removal

Once the visual inspection is complete, the Gas Safe Registered engineer will examine the boiler's internal components. This requires removing the boiler casing, which safeguards the main components from damage. The engineer will then inspect and clean these components, including the burner and heat exchanger, which are crucial to the boiler's performance.

Various Checks

A boiler service consists of numerous tests, including but not limited to:

Flue Check

The engineer will inspect the flue terminals for obstructions and use a flue analyzer to confirm that the flue emissions are within the manufacturer's specified tolerances. This is critical to ensuring that potentially hazardous emissions are safely discharged. Only a Gas Safe Registered engineer is qualified to perform this check correctly.

Gas Pressure Check

Maintaining proper gas pressure is vital for your boiler's performance and longevity. The engineer will ensure that the gas pressure is at the correct level so that your taps and radiators function efficiently.

Boiler Firing Test

The engineer will also verify that the boiler starts up correctly and that there are no faults.

Upon completing all necessary boiler and system checks, the Gas Safe engineer will provide a report detailing the boiler's condition. This will include any potential problems or issues requiring attention, along with the steps needed to address and resolve these concerns.

Different types of boilers

What isn't included in a gas boiler service?

In most cases, you will need to pay additional fees for any repairs required during the service, including the cost of new parts and labour for installation. Additional expenses may also apply for new appliances, such as a carbon monoxide detector. If your boiler is deemed hazardous or beyond repair, you will be responsible for the cost of a replacement.

Remember that some providers may charge a cancellation fee if you cancel the service on short notice. To avoid surprises, it's a good idea to ask the company performing the service for a detailed explanation of what is and isn't included in the boiler service.

What happens if I don't service my boiler?

Failing to schedule an annual boiler service can lead to various problems, some of which can be hazardous for your home and family. Here's an overview of the issues that might arise if you neglect to service your boiler:

Decreased Efficiency: Over time, dirt and debris can accumulate within your boiler, hindering its performance. Without proper maintenance, the efficiency of your boiler can decrease, leading to increased energy consumption and higher utility bills.

Greater Breakdown Risks: Boilers that don't undergo regular servicing are more prone to developing issues and experiencing malfunctions. These situations can be inconvenient and costly, as emergency repairs typically come with a higher price tag than standard maintenance.

Shorter Lifespan: Regular maintenance can prolong the life of your boiler. By neglecting this crucial upkeep, your boiler might wear out prematurely, forcing you to invest in an expensive replacement sooner than anticipated.

Warranty Complications: Most boiler manufacturers mandate routine servicing to validate their warranties. Failure to maintain your boiler as recommended may void your warranty, leaving you financially liable for any necessary repairs or replacements.

Safety Hazards: Boilers lacking proper maintenance are more susceptible to safety concerns like gas leaks or carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. Carbon monoxide is a deadly, odourless, and colourless gas. Regular boiler servicing helps minimize these risks and keeps you and your family protected.

Legal Obligations: For landlords, it's legally required to have all gas appliances, including boilers, serviced annually by a Gas Safe registered engineer. Non-compliance could lead to fines and penalties.

Kitchen boiler

How do I prepare my gas boiler for service?

When the gas engineer arrives at your property, it's essential to provide easy access to your boiler along with sufficient space for their tools and equipment. Be sure to clear the surrounding area in advance, enabling the engineer to start working immediately.

Although reliable gas engineers strive to minimize any mess, a clutter-free workspace is still necessary. Additionally, it's advisable to turn off your boiler before the engineer arrives, allowing it to cool down and further ensuring a prompt start to their work.

What is the difference between a boiler service and a gas safety check?

In the UK, landlords are legally required to conduct an annual gas safety check. While homeowners are not obligated by law to do the same, it's highly recommended to perform yearly safety inspections on all gas appliances.

Regardless of the safety features present, gas appliances carry the risk of emitting carbon monoxide. This toxic gas can lead to severe health issues if inhaled. Although boiler servicing is not a legal requirement in the UK, scheduling an annual boiler service is necessary to maintain your warranty.

It's crucial to conduct a boiler service or safety check before the onset of winter to avoid dealing with boiler issues during the cold season. To ensure your gas appliances are in prime condition ahead of the colder months, consider carrying out a gas safety check or booking a boiler service during the summer.

Does servicing a boiler make it more efficient?

Over time, boiler efficiency tends to decline due to the accumulation of debris within the system, which can impede optimal performance.

If left unaddressed, this debris can damage both your boiler and the overall system. To minimize the risk of harm to your boiler, it's advisable to schedule regular servicing. By doing so, debris and potential blockages can be removed, ensuring your boiler operates at its highest efficiency.

Do I need a boiler service certificate to sell my house?

There is no legal requirement to service your boiler before selling your property. However, if a potential buyer requests it, you may choose to do so as a goodwill gesture. This consideration could influence their decision to purchase the property. 

If the boiler is older or hasn't been serviced recently, providing assurance that it is in good working condition can give the buyer peace of mind, helping them avoid unforeseen expenses if the boiler malfunctions.

Boiler installation

What time of year is best for boiler service?

It is recommended to have your boiler serviced annually, and it would be wise to schedule the service during a less busy period for engineers. By scheduling a boiler service in the summer, you may be able to secure an earlier appointment. Additionally, servicing your boiler during the summer months means you won't be without heat if any issues arise. To ensure your boiler is prepared for the upcoming winter, consider booking a service for July or August.

What is the maximum life of a boiler?

The lifespan of a boiler varies depending on its type. Generally, a well-maintained and regularly serviced boiler can last between 10 and 15 years. If you invest in a high-quality boiler and keep it in good condition, it can potentially last for over 20 years.

The quality and durability of boilers can differ, so opting for a more affordable boiler model may result in a shorter lifespan, possibly less than ten years. On the other hand, modern boilers are designed to last longer, providing reassurance that they can function well for up to 15 years or more.

Does home insurance cover a boiler?

Typically, standard home insurance does not cover the expenses associated with repairing or replacing a malfunctioning boiler. Boilers can break down due to insufficient maintenance or inadequate servicing, making insurance providers hesitant to offer coverage for these issues.

Insurance companies are more likely to cover damages resulting from a defective appliance, such as those caused by oil or water leaks from a residential boiler. However, they usually do not cover the repair or replacement of the appliance itself.

You might be able to purchase additional coverage for your boiler through your home insurance provider. This type of coverage is often called "boiler cover" or "emergency home cover" and usually costs an extra £5 to £10 per month. Having this added protection can provide peace of mind in case your boiler breaks down.

This supplementary coverage may include emergency assistance if your primary heating source fails and contribute to the cost of a new boiler. However, it is essential to review the policy terms and conditions carefully, as the provider might not pay out if your boiler hasn't been serviced regularly or if it has stopped working due to age.

To determine whether your boiler is covered, carefully examine your policy documents or contact your insurance provider for more information.

Do they check your radiators on a boiler service?

Radiators are not inspected during a standard boiler service. However, if you're experiencing issues with your radiators, you can request the engineer to examine them during their visit, though this is not part of a regular boiler service.

Does a boiler service include inhibitor?

A boiler service typically does not include adding an inhibitor. This would incur an additional cost. If you wish to add an inhibitor to your central heating system, make sure to request this when scheduling your boiler service appointment.

How long does a boiler service take?

A boiler service typically lasts between 30 minutes and 1 hour, and it must be conducted by a Gas Safe registered engineer.

During the service, several components need to be inspected and assessed, and various parts must be cleaned thoroughly. The duration of the boiler service can differ based on factors such as the boiler's make and model, age, and whether it's a combi or conventional boiler.

Older boilers might require a more comprehensive service, which may include replacing parts or seals, resulting in a longer service time.

Smart thermostat demo

Will an annual service prolong my boiler's life?

Yes, annual boiler servicing can help prolong your boiler's life. Regular maintenance is essential to keep your boiler in good working condition and prevent potential breakdowns. During an annual service, a qualified engineer will inspect and clean your boiler, check for any faults or potential issues, and carry out any necessary repairs.

This can help keep your boiler running efficiently and effectively, reducing the likelihood of breakdowns and extending its lifespan. Additionally, regular servicing can also help improve your boiler's energy efficiency, which can save you money on your energy bills in the long run.

Do I legally have to have my boiler serviced?

No, legally, you don't need to have your boiler serviced annually, either if you're a homeowner or landlord. Nevertheless, skipping this annual maintenance can result in undesirable outcomes, such as costly repairs, a non-functioning heating system, or even the need to replace the entire boiler.

The yearly service might be necessary to maintain your boiler's warranty, but this is not legally required. Failure to adhere to warranty servicing may void the warranty, leaving you responsible for repair costs in case of a breakdown.

For rental properties, landlords must ensure an annual gas safety check by law, which includes the boiler. However, this does not extend to mandatory boiler servicing.

Book a boiler service today!


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