A faulty or poorly maintained boiler can be incredibly dangerous, with carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning the commonest and most deadly health risk. Figures from The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents show that CO poisoning results in around 40 deaths and 200 hospitalisations each year in England and Wales. So as part of an annual service, your engineer will check for leaks and ensure the burner is operating efficiently, with no harmful emissions escaping into your home.
Signs you may have a CO problem
- Pilot light burning with an orange flame instead of blue
- Sooty stains on or around your boiler
- Excessive condensation in the room where the boiler is installed
- Family suffering prolonged, flu-like symptoms.
An annual service for a combi boiler will usually set you back around £65 - £80. So, if your boiler appears to be functioning perfectly well, and you’re looking to save a few pounds, skipping the service might seem a sensible option. But it’s not – because your engineer can detect and fix minor problems before they become major problems. Some faults can be relatively quick and cheap to put right, but if left unattended, they can cause serious issues, and even leave you needing a new boiler – which typically costs around £2,000.
Just as your car runs better when it’s had a service, your boiler will benefit from an annual overhaul. And while a large part of the service covers safety checks, your engineer will also make sure your boiler is operating at maximum efficiency. That’s important, because the more efficient your boiler is, the less fuel it will burn – which will lower your energy bills and reduce your carbon footprint.
If your boiler is under warranty, you’ll probably find that you’re obliged to have it serviced annually, otherwise you may risk invalidating the guarantee. Many boiler suppliers are quite strict in the terms and conditions of their warranties, which means that delaying or skipping a service may leave you unprotected against breakdown or maintenance issues. So, check the conditions of your warranty, and make sure you always book a service within the agreed timetable – otherwise you could be left out of pocket. And if your boiler is out of its warranty period, you’ve still no excuse for skipping a service, because older boilers generally require a little more TLC than newer models.