How Often Does a Gas Boiler Need to Be Serviced?

One of the most important components of the modern home is your gas boiler, and keeping it in good working order is essential. Because, frankly, there’s never a good time for it to break down and leave you without hot water or central heating. It’s hugely important, therefore, to make sure that it’s well maintained all year round.

Begging the question as to how frequently you should arrange for a gas boiler service.

The short answer is that, whether old or new, conventional or combi, you should really consider having your boiled serviced on an annual basis.

The reasons why, the cost, and benefits of a well-maintained and regularly serviced boiler will depend on the type that you have.

What Type Of Boiler Do You Have in Your Home?

The majority of households in the UK will be using one form of gas boiler or other for their central heating and water.

This might be the traditional (or conventional) boiler system that consists of a storage tank and water cylinder; typically found in older properties and large houses with multiple bathrooms that require a high volume of water storage.

Alternatively, and the ever more common option for most homeowners these days, it might be a combi boiler.

So, why has there been a move towards the combi option in recent times?

The answer, essentially is that they tend to offer a range of benefits versus the older, conventional systems; such as:

  • More Efficient – controlling both your central heating and hot water supply, combis provide a more energy efficient solution for most houses, with systems generally given a favourable energy rating (typically A to A+ for modern units)
  • Hot water is available as and when you need it, rather than having to wait for it to heat up
  • Installation is generally cheaper than conventional boilers and heating systems as they are less complex in make-up with fewer pipes to install
  • Water is piped in directly from the mains, rather than stored within a tank. This means the water in the system is cleaner, with less likelihood of sludge build up
  • Combi boilers also take up less space in your home due it not requiring a tank and cylinder – which can be a real bonus when storage space is a premium.

However, while these make compelling reasons for many, and why they are the popular choice for the modern home, they may not always be the appropriate option.

For instance, they are dependent on having adequate water pressure from the mains. If the mains pressure in your area is low, a combi may not work as effectively as you need for your hot water supply.

You might also find that they struggle to cope with the demands of a particularly large property, with multiple bathrooms and / or a frequently in use kitchen.

Why Should You Get Your Combi Boiler Serviced?

An annual boiler service is essential for ensuring that it is working as well as it should and to the maximum levels of efficiency.

And, of great importance and peace of mind for you and your family, is that it can ensure that your boiler is free from faults and SAFE.

Faulty combi boilers, or other types for that matter, can be extremely dangerous and put the lives of you and your loved ones in jeopardy; chiefly through the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning with British Gas reporting that there’s an average of 250 cases, leading to hospitalisation or worse, each year across England and Wales.

How Much Do Boiler Repairs Cost?

A gas boiler repair cost is going to vary depending on the severity of the problem; but there will be a cost.

The average repair cost in the UK, according to research from uSwitch, is £314.

For a relatively small fault, such as replacing a malfunctioning air vent or timer, you might expect to pay in the ball-park of £100 to £200. However, if your problem is bigger or more serious, perhaps replacing a heat exchanger, the cost could easily escalate to £400 to £500.

This again should offer a pretty compelling reason to keep up those yearly service calls, so that the repairs are less frequent, less serious, and less expensive to fix.

The reality is that your gas boiler is an integral, and essential part of your home, and a system that is subjected to heavy usage on a daily basis. Which means that normal wear and tear will eventually take its toll and lead to parts failing and in need of repair or replacement.

Now, while you might be tempted to save some money and attempt to make the repair yourself, we would seriously recommend against it. Unless you are a qualified gas engineer, boiler repairs are difficult and can be dangerous if you get it wrong. Furthermore, you risk invalidating things such as your home insurance or boiler warranty.

Therefore, a qualified and certified gas service engineer should always be sought to carry out any repair work.

Things That Might Have An Impact on Boiler Repair Cost

  1. Where You Live – Engineer costs can often vary depending on the area of the UK that you live. London will invariably be expensive than cities in the North of England, for example.
  2. Who You Use – Shop around for reputable, fully qualified local engineers as they can very often charge much less than national organisations who put a premium on their costs. Of course, you might feel more comfortable using an official British Gas Boiler Service engineer for example, for peace of mind. However, you will likely pay more than with a smaller local company.
  3. What boiler you have – the bigger and more complex the boiler system you have, the more expensive it is going to be to repair. For this reason, conventional systems tend to be more expensive to repair than combi boilers, as they have more parts.
  4. The parts needed – The cost of the repair will depend on the parts that are required. If you have an older or less popular system then parts might be in scarce supply and therefore more expensive. Furthermore, if the part required is particularly important to the system, this too will increase the cost.

Who Should Service the Boiler?

Your annual service should be carried out by an approved and certified gas safe engineer.

Engineers can be part of large national organisations, such as British Gas, Gorgi or Scottish Power, or they can be local independent providers. If you book directly from one of these routes then you can expect to pay between £70 to £100.

However, you can also sign up to boiler insurance cover, which would typically include an annual service.

In order to ensure that you’re getting the best value from your engineer, then you need to know what’s included in the service. Ask the provider what will be covered and checked, and how long it will take. It should be a minimum of thirty minutes. If the service is less than this, you should question why.

Also, ascertain that the engineer will provide a written report upon completion so that you have documentation showing the condition of the boiler.

Finally, What Are the Benefits of Having a Boiler Service?

A regular gas boiler service is an essential part of maintaining the ongoing efficiency, workability and safety of your heating system; providing you with a range of benefits that can help you save money, and provide you with peace of mind while at home.

Heading off Issues Before They Become Problems

A yearly service of your boiler from a qualified technician can save you money on larger repairs in the future. This is because they will be able to identify and address any minor faults before they have a chance to escalate into larger, more serious and costly problems in the future.

Better Boiler Reliability

There’s really no good time for a boiler to break, and you really don’t want it to malfunction in the height of winter. If you’re regularly servicing your boiler then you are significantly reducing the chances of it breaking down. Which provides you with a lot more confidence and assurance.

Keeping Your Energy Bills Down

A well-maintained system can also save you money in the long-term due to the fact that it will be working at its most efficient; ensuring that your energy bills are as low as possible.

This is something that your service engineer will help with as they will make the required checks to ensure that the boiler is as efficient as it can be.

Yes, booking a service will cost you money; but it’s likely to save you pounds in the long-run with an annual service typically helping households to save up to 15% on their bills.

It Might be A Legal Requirement

If you are operating as a landlord of rented accommodation, then you have a legal obligation to ensure that the boilers in your properties are serviced yearly. Failure to comply to these checks and repairs, where necessary, can lead to prosecution and could be a very costly mistake to make.

Keeping Your House Safe

A gas boiler service helps you stay safe. Your engineer will check for any leaks or faults that could heighten the risk of potentially fatal carbon monoxide poisoning in the home.

A regular service keeps you safe, keeps you warm, and keeps your costs down, all year round.

 

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