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When Does Central Heating Need Servicing

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  • 26-08-2021
When Does Central Heating Need Servicing

Homeowners often ask: When does my central heating need servicing? Find out if you are due for a maintenance check on your boiler and central heating. We look at why it is important to have your heating serviced and how often you should check.

When Does a New Boiler Need it's First Service?

Suppose you have just had a brand new boiler fitted into your property; there's a chance you have not considered when it requires servicing or any particular maintenance. Like a car or any other mechanism, boilers require frequent maintenance to ensure all aspects are running smoothly and as safely as possible. 

Servicing and maintenance aren't only a way to fix existing issues or arising problems with your boiler. It is crucial for the prevention of any serious problems from continuing to occur shortly. Looking after your boiler and gas appliances will improve the boilers overall performance and levels of efficiency. 

Over time, the performance and functionality could decrease; however, by getting regular checks, servicing and replacing any parts that have worn out during the years, your boiler will stay good as new for a more extended period of your tenancy.    

Most boilers on the market, no matter the model, often come with a five-year standard warranty. Plenty of boiler providers can sometimes offer their customers an insurance warranty of up to 10 years. However, for such a deposit to stay valid for the period stated, you should consider having your boiler serviced frequently.   

Boiler Safety Issues to be Aware of

There are numerous safety issues to make yourself aware of, whether you are a landlord or a renting tenant.  

One of the tenants' most significant safety risks is carbon monoxide poisoning, often resulting from a leaking or faulty boiler.    

Over a quarter, 26%, of UK deaths between 1995 and 2019 were due to unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning at the hands of defective central heating system boilers. 

Such is a relatively significant number of deaths, the UK Gas Safety Record for homeowners and landlords have been stated to have experienced a drastic fall in various carbon monoxide-related deaths and incidents.     

It can be challenging for tenants and inexperienced landlords to notice a boiler leaking carbon monoxide. Such is why property or homeowners must install carbon monoxide alarms for each of your renting tenants. 

These alarms can identify any fuel gas leaks in your home so that you can contact a gas safe registered engineer to assist with your problem.    

Also, frequent boiler services ensure that engineer professionals complete thorough checks, allowing tenants to keep safe in their rented property. 

Annual boiler services are not a legal requirement for those tenants who do not rent a property. 

However, homeowners do have to perform some level of duty and care in the home that ensures all boilers and other gas appliances are safe for use and does not have the potential to cause severe harm to themselves or guests. Annual services are an excellent idea for keeping your boiler's warranty completely valid.     

How Often Should you Service a Boiler?

You should ensure you always check with your boiler manufacturer to decipher how often your boiler requires servicing; to do so, you may want to scour through the models manual to see any further information. 

Usually, your best bet is to contact the local boiler service to ask for their advice or a free quote. Servicing is often conducted at least 12 months after a new boiler installation to meet regulations and terms of your warranty. Once you have completed your first annual boiler service, it should continue to be serviced every 12 months on a more frequent basis.    

Your boiler requires regular services as these maintenance jobs ensure no new issues have arisen over time and prevents these problems from occurring in the future.  

 If your home does not have a carbon monoxide alarm, regular maintenance becomes even more significant so that a suitably qualified engineer may detect any potential gas leaks.    

 Should you miss your annual boiler service and begin to panic about the validity of your warranty, you may call the manufacturer of your model and check the extension period. 

Manufacturers can often be flexible, and depending on how many days or weeks you have missed out, they may find a way to keep your warranty valid.    

Those more likely to forget to book a service appointment, you may set up a standing order with any service company of your choice. 

During this window, the company you could choose will ensure they get in touch every year to book in service for you. You can spread the cost of boiler service across 12 months, and this way, it is prepaid by you; therefore, you may be less likely to forget it.     

What Does a Boiler Service Include?

Boiler Inspection

Initially, a Gas Safe registered engineer will take the time to search and inspect your boiler and all surrounding pipework. 

The professional engineer will check for all visual issues, for example, leaks, cracks or corrosion. 

Next, they will test your boiler and all the mechanisms and controls to ensure all is in good working condition. 

Your local engineer will remove the boiler system casing; in doing so, they can check there aren't any damaged or cracked parts inside the boiler. 

A qualified engineer should only complete such jobs. Never take the casing or boiler cover off on your own.     

Flue and pressure check

When your registered engineer has successfully deciphered that all aspects of the boiler look in good condition, they move on and check other essential features that allow your boiler to run smoothly and efficiently.

They will strive to inspect the gas pressure, ensuring it flows properly. Engineers will also check that your flue is accurately fitted and that there is no potential for obstructions.    

Blocked flues could result in harmful gases entering the home and poisoning you and your family, such as carbon monoxide. 

Professionals may also choose to use a flue gas analyser, and these are used to ensure your boiler burns a correct, adequate combination of air and gas. If your boiler is burning far too much gas, it is not cost-efficient, as you will be overpaying your energy bill.     

Cleaning of essential parts

Included in all boiler services is the cleaning of specific boiler mechanism parts, for example, the combustion chamber, the condensate siphon, electrodes, the burner assembly and the heat exchanger, all if necessary.   

Expansion vessel air pressure check

All sealed boiler systems need an expansion vessel used for all excess water.    

When the water inside the system is heated, it thoroughly expands, and such can cause a mass build-up of water pressure. 

Any additional water needs a place to reduce all the stress within the system, which is the purpose of any expansion vessel. 

However, any air left in the expansion vessel can, over time, be lost and therefore assist in filling the container with more water. In plenty of boiler models, you can drain the excess water manually from its valves that you can find below the vessel. 

Using a foot pump, your local gas safe engineer can check all pressure areas and repressurise they should be too low.     

Smaller component checks

Your professional service should check any electrical components such as pipework, connections, seals, and fans. Whether you have an oil-powered boiler or gas boiler, your appliance will require electricity to push hot water around radiators powered by a pump. 

Engineers must check the seals during their routine checks to ensure they are adequate and do not harness any cracks or hardened areas over the years. If they have set or have cracks, you may change them, and your engineer can offer an additional cost. 

Replacements and repairs are cost-efficient and can save you money in the long term. Due to incorrect instalments, they will closely examine your gas and water pipes to assess any leaking pipe fittings. 

The qualified engineer must be capable of determining any issues with your boiler and make arrangements for parts to be fixed if they detect defects or faults. Engineers can easily replace general wear and tear mechanisms with additional charges, such as the burner door seals, flow switches or ignition. 

Final safety checks

Finally, your qualified engineer may restart your boiler to fully decipher any active faults or breakdowns, for example, faulty display screens or strange noises that indicate defects. 

They'll make another check on your carbon monoxide alarm to ensure it is working efficiently.  

Before they leave you, your engineer will complete any necessary reports, certificates and paperwork. 

You should keep all boiler service history to ensure the validity of your manufacturer's insurance warranty. 

Ask any questions you have on your mind, bring up issues you may have noticed over the weeks or days leading up to the boiler inspection or gas safety checks. 

They may be able to give you peace of mind by advising you on additional technologies to invest in or have installed, like thermostats or alarms and may offer advice on making your heating system far more functional and efficient for extended periods. 

Do you have a plumbing emergency in Uppingham, Oakham, Stamford or Rutland? Robert Cliff Ltd has been working in the plumbing and heating service since 1847. There have been five generations of the Cliffs running the business since then.

 We offer services to both domestic and commercial customers. Our charges are highly competitive and realistic. Do you want to find out more about central heating and boiler servicing in Uppingham, Rutland or Oakham? Please follow the link below.