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Why Does My Boiler Need An Annual Service?

How often should I have my boiler serviced?

We recommend having your boiler serviced by a professional gas safe engineer at least once a year. The best time to have your boiler serviced is in summer, when your heating demand is lower and you’ve time to have fixed any faults that are found before winter hits. You don’t want to leave your boiler to its own devices all summer and let it break down when you turn the heating on in November.

Top reasons to service your boiler:

  1. Keep your warranty intact
    During your warranty period, which could be up to 10 years, manufacturers require you to have an annual service to keep the warranty valid. Whilst your boiler is under guarantee, if you do not have a service once in every 12 months then your warranty could be void and if a problem occurs, you’re likely to be liable to pay the full repair costs involved.
  2. Catch faults in your system early
    Chances are if you aren’t a trained gas engineer, you won’t know about a problem with your boiler until you’re left with no heating or hot water. During a professional service, your expert engineer will be able to identify and fix any underlying problems before it’s too late. No matter how small the issue with your boiler, ignoring it could lead to a more intense problem which could be much more costly to repair.
  3. Stay safe
    Gas leaks are very rare yet can be extremely dangerous or even fatal. Carbon monoxide poisoning can cause symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, nausea, breathlessness, collapsing and a loss of consciousness, which can be easily mistaken for other common sicknesses. Therefore, it’s critical that you have your boiler tested regularly. Servicing your boiler can give you peace of mind that you’re safe, or highlight any need for repairs before a broken boiler causes any serious damage to your health.
  4. Save money on your energy bills
    Primarily, the age and model of your boiler will determine how energy efficient it is. As your boiler gets older, it inevitably becomes less energy efficient but with regular servicing, you could slow this process right down. As part of your servicing, your engineer will carry out all necessary checks to ensure that your boiler is running as efficiently as possible and therefore is costing you no more than necessary on your energy bills. The more energy efficient your boiler is, the more money you could save over time. A boiler that is not working to its full potential and isn’t performing efficiently, could cause a spike in your energy bills. The cost of a service could be a fraction of this cost, therefore, could be worth it for the potential long-term savings. 
  5. Prolong the lifespan of your boiler
    Replacing a boiler is costly and so you want to ensure you get the most out of the investment. Maintaining a healthy, efficient boiler by regularly servicing it could help make it last much longer.

What’s involved in a boiler service?

During a boiler service, various tests and checks are carried out to make sure that your current system is functioning to its best possible standard, identify any boiler faults, gas or water leaks, and is running safely and efficiently.1x 

Boiler Service Checklist

This is what a typical boiler service checklist includes:

  1. Check the location of boiler
  2. Check for visual damage
  3. Check for correct operation (including consumer controls and safety devices)
  4. Check the soundness, routing and terminal location of flue
  5. Check the size of open vented flue
  6. Cold check the flue effectiveness
  7. Condensate drainage system for condensing boilers
  8. Check the appliance location and proximity of combustible materials
  9. Check, remove and clean main burner, as necessary
  10. Check and pilot burner and probes/ cables
  11. Clean heat exchanger
  12. Check operation of flame sensing device
  13. Check operation of boiler and high limit thermostat
  14. Check operation of low water pressure control
  15. Correct ventilation provision
  16. Make sure flue guard is fitted (if required)
  17. Check for flue spillage (when appropriate)
  18. Check the 3 amp fuse fitted
  19. Check the Double Pole Isolation Switch fitted
  20. Inspect the electrical wiring for damage and ensure correct connection to the appliance
  21. Run the boiler to check flue effectiveness and functionality, flue gas analysis with recording of the co ppm, ratio and co2% (where appropriate)
  22. Run the boiler, check for gas leaks
  23. Test and record appliance burner pressure, working pressure and gas rate the appliance
  24. Check timer/heating controls
  25. Timer and controls are left in position suitable for homeowner 

Not sure if its time to get an engineer to do everything on the boiler service checklist above? Here are some symptoms that your boiler needs it’s annual service:

  • There is an irregular or yellow boiler flame
  • Appearance of stains or smoke marks on or near the appliance
  • Limited or less hot water flow
  • The boiler frequently refills and/or overheats
  • Boiler fan makes loud noises
  • The boiler pilot light goes out by itself repeatedly
  • There is a drop in the pressure