A boiler provides you with great utility, from hot water provision for your central heating system to water supply for washing clothes, dishes, and taking baths. If you have recently installed a new gas boiler, you know that the manufacturer has also provided you with a warranty. Although quality boilers seldom break down in their first few years of service, you never know when to claim your warranty. Some manufacturers offer a ten-year warranty and provide you with several other benefits. However, you should remember that many manufacturers will consider your warranty valid only if you get your boiler serviced by their authorised representatives. Getting your boiler serviced by someone else can make your warranty invalid. So what exactly is boiler servicing?
Boiler servicing is an annual inspection of your boiler. It is carried out to check if your boiler is working correctly and efficiently. If your boiler is still under warranty, your manufacturer may require you to carry out boiler servicing as per the warranty details. It may also require from you that an authorised representative of the manufacturer carry out the service. For a gas boiler, the annual servicing by a Gas Safe registered engineer is mandatory. The Gas Safe Register is a database of authorised engineers; the list of Gas Safe registered companies and individuals is available online. You can ask for the gas ID of the engineer and verify it from the list. You will receive a Gas Safe certificate once the inspection is complete. You must share this certificate with your tenants and keep it in your record. If your boiler warranty is over, you still have to carry out an annual inspection in case you are a landlord and have tenants living on your property.
A gas boiler burns natural gas, which is a hydrocarbon gas and is highly flammable. Its high flammability makes it the perfect fuel but also makes it highly dangerous. Any natural gas leakage can be disastrous if it comes in contact with fire. Natural gas is also highly poisonous. If a person is exposed to natural gas, especially in an enclosed place, he can lose consciousness within minutes. The high toxicity of natural gas can also cause death. Chemicals are added to natural gas to give off an odour so it can be detected easily as the gas is itself odourless. It is also colourless, making detection even more difficult. Another critical factor is that when natural gas is burnt, it produces carbon monoxide, which is not flammable but shares the same toxic traits as natural gas. No additive can be used to impart an odour to carbon monoxide. Inhalation of CO can be fatal, so CO alarms and detectors are often installed with gas boilers. Both these gases make safety the top reason for annual inspections.
Annual boiler inspections can help a great deal in tracing boiler faults which can otherwise end up costing you a lot more than service. Loose fittings, corroded parts, water leakages, etc., can become big problems for your boiler. A timely inspection will identify and resolve these issues without wasting money on future repairs, which might be more expensive. Fixing these issues will also improve the efficiency of your boiler and ensure that your boiler runs at an optimum level.
A good-quality boiler can last anywhere from 10 to 15 years. Many manufacturers offer warranties that range from 3 to 10 years. However, certain conditions make these warranties valid, and one of them is annual servicing; you can only claim a warranty for a broken down or damaged gas boiler if you have followed these conditions and have only hired authorised representatives of the manufacturer to carry out annual servicing. Make sure you read the warranty terms thoroughly before buying a boiler.
Apart from the requirement per your warranty terms, other signs that also indicate that your gas boiler needs servicing include:
A boiler service usually takes 30 to 45 minutes, provided no issues need to be resolved immediately. Many manufacturers offer free servicing for the first year, and the cost of boiler servicing is not that high and can cost you somewhere between £65 to £100. Companies also offer various packages such as boiler covers which cost higher than one-time servicing but include other offers such as boiler breakdown and repair coverage.