How Often Should Your Boiler Be Serviced?
If you are a homeowner, you probably know that you need to have your boiler serviced regularly.
But if you are asking yourself, "How often should my boiler be serviced?" then we have the answer for you.
You should have your boiler serviced at least once a year to ensure it functions correctly and does not have any water or gas leaks.
Not sticking to an annual boiler service could affect your boiler’s performance, you could experience a boiler breakdown, or you could even invalidate your warranty.
When Should You Service Your Boiler?
So, now that you know how often should a boiler be serviced, the question is: exactly when should you service your boiler?
Here are some instances when you should consider getting a boiler service:
It's been 12 months since your last boiler service
Keep track of when you last had your annual boiler service, and make sure you book your next boiler service within 12 months.
You have recently moved
Unless you have a written record of services from the previous homeowner, you cannot tell for sure when the boiler was last serviced.
It is best to play it safe and have a service carried out as soon as possible.
Keep track of this date to schedule your next services every 12 months from then.
If the efficiency of your boiler is degrading
Even if you have been responsible and stuck to your annual boiler service schedule, you might notice that your heating system is having some issues. This could be that the water does not get hot enough, you suspect a gas leak, or you see an increase in your energy bills.
If the efficiency of your boiler is dropping, it is time to schedule a service to find and repair any problems.
Service your boiler in the summer
Your boiler works overtime in the cold winter months, and, as such, we recommend that you schedule a boiler service in the summer months.
You will find and fix any boiler problems before the winter by scheduling service in the summer, meaning it’s in good working condition before you really need it during the colder weather.
Who Should Service The Boiler?
Whether you have a gas boiler, oil boiler, or combi boiler, it needs to be serviced annually by a qualified heating engineer. The engineer's type of qualification will depend on the type of boiler you have in your home.
When heating engineers come to your house to conduct your annual boiler service, always check their ID before they start to work to verify their identity and qualification.
A Gas Safe Registered engineer must be appointed to work on a gas boiler.
OFTEC (Oil Firing Technical Association) registered engineers must be appointed to service an oil boiler.
Why Do You Need To Service Your Boiler?
During winter, your boiler and heating system work hard to heat the home and provide hot water to the household. There are many different components to a boiler, and they all need to be checked through regular boiler services to ensure all parts are working correctly.
Here are some reasons you should consider having your boiler service done regularly.
- Your home will be safer. Gas leaks and carbon monoxide poisoning are not common, but knowing you’ve had your boiler serviced and done what you can to protect against these risks will bring you and your family peace of mind.
- Your boiler is more efficient. If your boiler is working more efficiently, you will be saving money on costly boiler repairs and have lower energy expenses.
- Issues can be detected before they become big problems. During a boiler service, the engineer will find and repair any problems that can become costly to fix if left untreated.
- Breakdowns will be less likely. The types of checks that the engineer will run means it can diagnose problems early and prevent a complete boiler failure in the future.
- Your warranty requires it. If your boiler is still under warranty, you risk having your warranty invalidated if you do not get an annual boiler service. This means that should something happen to the boiler; you will have to pay out of pocket for a replacement.
What Does A Boiler Service Involve?
If you have your boiler serviced annually, the service will be relatively quick - anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours dependant on how in depth a clean and service the boiler needs.
Here is what will happen during a boiler service:
- The engineer will inspect the boiler unit and the area around the boiler. They will be looking for any leaks, corrosion, or loose fittings, making sure there are no obvious signs of parts failing.
- The engineer will follow the manufacturers instructions using their guidelines on servicing the specific appliance making sure not only visually that the appliance is ok but checking everything from the combustion analysis readings to the condensate trap is clean, they make sure they are guaranteeing safe operation by connecting specialist equipment to the boiler in various different ways.
- They will have to physically clean out components to make sure the correct and safe operation of the boiler, including things like the combustion chamber and the filter etc.
- Once the boiler service is almost completed, the engineer is legally required to perform a certain number of checks ensuring the safe operation of the boiler before leaving the property including filling in gas safety paperwork.
Note: these are just the general steps taken during a boiler service. Your engineer may follow a different process. The service process will also take significantly longer if any serious faults are noticed, and dependant on certain readings they may need a more in depth clean dependant on age etc
How Much Will A Boiler Service Cost?
The boiler service cost will depend on several factors, including:
- The type of boiler
- The fuel your boiler uses
- The rates charged by the servicing company
- How difficult it is to reach the boiler
- The brand and model of the boiler
- The area you live in
So how much does a boiler service cost? Annual boiler service costs, on average, anywhere from £60 to £150, with £75 being the UK average.
But rather than paying for a one-off service, why not consider taking out a boiler cover plan and make affordable monthly payments?
Here at BOXT, our Service Plan costs just £7.99 per month and includes one service every 12 months by one of our friendly Gas Safe Engineers, and our Protect+ Plan is available at just £17.99 per month and includes the same annual service, alongside cover for your whole central heating system with repair or replacement of your boiler’s flue, boiler controls, gas supply pipe, radiators and valves, pipework and more.
How To Find A Professional Gas Safe Engineer To Service Your Boiler
Here are some steps you can take to find a reputable boiler engineer:
- Ask people you trust. Your friends and family are well-suited to recommend a trustworthy engineer to service your boiler, as they have first-hand experience with them.
- Ask people in the industry. If you know any tradespeople in a similar industry, ask them for their recommendations. If you are calling up companies in the industry, ask them precisely what they will do. This will give you an idea of how good they might be at their job.
- Search the gas safe register. The gas safe register has a comprehensive list of qulified engineers and you can even search your postcode to fiund local engineers to you.
- Search local directories. If you can find an online directory, look for a reputable service provider in your area. Some of these directories offer ratings for the services provided, which you can use to find a good engineer.
- Compare prices. Once you have a few potential companies on your shortlist, contact them and request quotes. This will help you make a financially sound decision. Always check with the company that they do not have any hidden costs on the day of the boiler service.
- Check what other customers said. See if you can find any testimonials on third-party websites that could tell you more about their service experience.
- Speak to BOXT. We are great, we've vetted and checked all our engineers so you don't have to.
What happens if you don't have your boiler serviced every year?
Below are some things that can happen if you do not get an annual boiler service.
- Hazardous carbon monoxide emissions. A broken boiler could be emitting carbon monoxide gas, which can detrimentally affect someone's health. It is also worth purchasing a carbon monoxide alarm if you don't have one already.
- Costly energy bills. An inefficient boiler will have to work harder to power your central heating system, which will increase your energy expenses.
- More costly boiler repairs. Without a regular boiler service, the risk of your boiler breaking down increases, which means you will have to pay a lot more throughout the year to maintain and repair your boiler.
- Not covered by insurance. Suppose you have boiler cover or home emergency insurance. Your insurance policy might not cover a faulty boiler if you cannot prove that you have regularly serviced the boiler.
- Legal requirement. It is a legal requirement for landlords to provide a safe home for their tenants, and this includes a gas safety check on all gas appliances, including boilers.
- Lose your warranty. If you do not have your boiler serviced annually, you risk invalidating your warranty.
How will I know if my boiler needs a service?
Here are some telltale signs that your boiler needs a service:
- You can't remember when last you serviced the boiler. If your boiler has not been serviced recently, it lacks maintenance and probably requires a visit from a heating engineer.
- The filter are clogged. A blocked filter means it is time for your boiler service. The engineer will clean the filter or replace them if needed. If you do not check your filter for debris, you might be on the way to an expensive boiler breakdown.
- The boiler is leaking. Whether it is leaking water or gas - you should not hesitate to contact a heating engineer. Water leaks that go unrepaired will result in property damage. Leaks are also an indication that more significant problems might be underfoot.
- The boiler is not energy efficient. You might only discover that your boiler needs servicing when you get your monthly energy bill. If your energy bills are higher than usual, an inefficient boiler might be why. You might think it is better to simply install a new boiler. However, a boiler service can address the inefficiency of a boiler and save you a lot of money.
- It heats up slowly. If you notice your central heating system takes much longer than usual to heat up, it could be because of a faulty boiler requiring a service. A boiler that heats up slowly could be a warning that there is a bigger problem. It is best to call out a heating engineer to address the problem.
- There is proof of operating issues. Operating issues are easy to notice - one part of your home might be nice and toasty while another is freezing cold. This could be due to thermostat issues or blockages in your heating system, or your boiler could be having problems and requires a service.
- The boiler is making noises. Are you hearing clanking or hissing noises coming from your boiler or pipes? This is probably an indication of rust, corrosion, or debris build-up. Luckily a noisy boiler does not mean you have to replace the entire unit. Heating engineers can clean the system and remove any debris, saving you money on costly repairs later on.
- Your boiler is old. An older boiler may require more frequent servicing to prevent it from breaking completely.
- The boiler isn't reaching the right temperature. If your boiler never reaches the right temperature, it is best to have a qualified engineer come to your house to check out the issue and replace any broken parts.
- You smell gas. If you smell gas (which will most likely have a rotten egg smell), it means you have a gas leak. To prevent catastrophe, you can switch off all electrical components and wait for the professionals to arrive. Getting a boiler service every year can help catch any issues early on and prevent gas leaks.
Is it worth getting a boiler serviced?
The short answer is yes. Organising a boiler service might not be a top priority, especially if your boiler is working correctly. Still, if you ever ask whether it is worth spending the money on boiler service, the answer will always be "yes, very much so."
A boiler service will save you expensive repair costs in the future and ensure your and your family's safety.
Is a boiler service a legal requirement for landlords?
Yes, landlords have a legal responsibility to provide their tenants with safe living conditions, so they must hold an in date landlord gas safety certificate. This includes all appliances owned and provided by the landlord must be checked once every year by a qualified gas safe engineer. In terms of gas safety, a landlord is legally responsible for the following:
- They check that all pipes, flues, and gas appliances are working correctly when a new tenant moves into the property.
- Maintain all gas appliances for the duration of the tenant's stay.
- Arrange an annual gas safety check for each gas appliance (including the gas boiler).
- Keep a record of all checks and schedule annual services.
It may be worth considering landlord boiler cover to protect your tenants and property.
Does servicing a boiler make it more efficient?
An inefficient boiler can result in higher energy bills. By scheduling an annual boiler service, the engineer can check all the components of your boiler and make sure it is working according to the set standards.
An engineer will also make any repairs or updates required to your boiler, which will help it run more energy efficiently. A more efficient boiler will also have a longer lifespan.
Organising a regular annual boiler service means you will get real value for money from your boiler unit as it will break less often, run as efficiently as possible, and survive for many years.
Regular services mean that any minor problems can be spotted before they become bigger and result in costly repairs. Servicing will also pinpoint any recurring issues with your boiler, which means you might have to get a more efficient boiler installed (rather than waiting for an old boiler to have a catastrophic breakdown).
Here are some final takeaways:
- Your boiler service must occur annually (at least).
- The frequency of your boiler service will depend on the type of boiler, its age, and the type of fuel.
- It is better to have your boiler serviced during the summer months, and ready for the winter.
- By servicing your boiler regularly, you are saving yourself money and keeping your household safe.
To book an annual boiler service with BOXT, you will need to sign up for one of our home cover plans. We’ll contact you around one month before your annual service is due to arrange a suitable date for your appointment.< Back to guides