A gas boiler is an essential part of most modern homes so it is important that it is maintained and serviced regularly. A boiler service should involve an annual inspection of the key boiler components by a Gas Safe registered engineer and is best done in late summer before the central heating is switched on. That way you can be confident that the heating is ready to go when you need it most. Heating engineers get pretty busy with repairs and new installations when the weather turns cold in the autumn so don’t leave it until the last minute before booking a boiler service.
Why should I get my boiler serviced?
Most manufacturers recommend an annual boiler service to allow the safe and efficient operation of your system.
What does a gas boiler service involve?
The annual boiler service normally involves four key elements:
- a gas safety check to ensure the boiler is safe to operate
- a visual inspection of some components to ensure they are in good condition (including burners, heat exchanger, seals, electrodes, the condensate trap)
- cleaning of components like the burner, heat exchanger and condensate trap to ensure efficient boiler operation
- testing for leaks and flue outlet Carbon Monoxide and Carbon Dioxide levels (Co and CO2)
The specific details of the boiler service are found in the boiler’s installation and servicing instructions which should be kept close to your boiler.
Tip: Turn the boiler off 30 minutes before the service engineer arrives so that the boiler is cool when he services it. Otherwise he will have to wait for it to cool down before servicing it.
As well as the boiler itself, the engineer should inspect other elements of the central heating system to ensure that they are operating fully. This includes checking expansion tanks on high pressure systems. It is also a good idea to have any TRV’s (Thermostatic Radiator Valves) checked to ensure they are not sticking. If you do not have TRV’s fitted then the annual boiler service is a good opportunity to have them installed.
Nowadays it is also considered wise to have a carbon monoxide alarm fitted near the boiler. A boiler service is a good time to fit one.
What does a gas boiler service cost?
It does depend on the make and age of boiler but a basic service with no replacement of parts will cost around £50-£80 pounds. If repairs need to be made to the boiler then this will increase the price.
Should I have breakdown cover rather than an annual service?
It does depend on your attitude to cost as an individual but generally an annual service with incidental repairs from a reliable Gas Safe registered heating engineer will work out much cheaper than a breakdown contract. A breakdown contract makes even less sense when a new boiler has a 5, 7 or even 10 year warranty.