We often use hot water and heating without a second thought. That is, until the boiler starts to malfunction or completely breaks down. As with so many domestic appliances, it is better to avert a breakdown rather than fix a major problem and the best way to do so is to have annual boiler servicing and checks by a gas safe certified engineer.
Carbon Monoxide Kills
A boiler is of course vital for hot water and heating, but it is also important to be aware that it can become dangerous if it is not properly looked after and regularly serviced. If a boiler is not correctly burning the gas it uses or the exhaust flue is damaged or ill fitting, it can release carbon monoxide into the home, which is not possible to smell or see. Carbon monoxide can be lethal and kills around 12 people in the UK every year. The warning signs that carbon monoxide is present include headaches, nausea and drowsiness. In addition to prevention through annual servicing, many people install a carbon monoxide alarm near the boiler to act as an early warning system.
Increased fuel usage
The safety aspects aside, a poorly maintained boiler will become uneconomical, with significantly elevated running costs. These include increased fuel usage and costly breakdown and repairs. Proper servicing through a qualified gas safe engineer will pre-empt the majority of potential problems since all the components can be cleaned and checked.
Visual checks ensure that no noticeable damage or fatigue is apparent. Annually cleaning out all the flues and injectors will prevent the build-up of or dirt which can compromise the correct operation of the boiler. Routine maintenance can even lengthen the life span of expensive boiler components.
Regular servicing will thus save you money in the longer term; a qualified boiler engineer will notice any trivial faults that could escalate into a full blown boiler breakdown with all the associated inconvenience and cost.
Annual servicing is crucial to boiler care, but it is worth making your own checks every few months as there can be signs that the boiler may need urgent attention. Items to look for include the flame burning yellow as opposed to blue; new stains or water leaks apparent in the surrounding area; unexpected changes to the flow rate or temperature of the hot water supply; loss or increase of pressure; the need to frequently relight the pilot light; and any abnormal noises.
If you have a new boiler, it is likely that the terms of the warranty will require an annual service on the appliance by a registered and certified engineer. Failure to complete these service checks could invalidate the warranty, leaving you responsible for the cost of any parts and labour.
Whilst there is not currently a legal requirement for owner occupiers to service their boilers every year, it should still be a priority in financial, energy efficiency and, of course, safety terms. Landlords, in contrast, are legally obliged to annually service boilers in any of their properties and must provide the tenant with a certificate confirming that the requisite checks have been carried out.
Contact our Gas Safe registered team today on 0113 866 2229