The costs of both the heating fuel and the fees involved with maintaining a heating system itself have been increasing over recent years, and therefore homeowners may question if the annual service for a boiler is really necessary.
However, without keeping up with the regular boiler maintenance, the large costs of replacing the boiler could come sooner than you had planned for and therefore it is suggested that to keep a heating system in good working order, servicing should be undertaken.
In addition, the boiler service also acts as a safety check, ensuring that the system is safe to use and that no dangerous leaking gases have been detected and that any other issues can be caught early to avoid a breakdown.
In this guide we will explore further why boilers should be serviced, what is usually included in a boiler service, how frequently servicing should be undertaken and the typical costs involved.
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Why Should I Service my Boiler?
As briefly mentioned, a boiler service should be undertaken to ensure the safety of the system, as well as check the internal parts for any signs of wear and tear or damage, with an aim of avoiding breakdowns and prolonging the life of the boiler.
Also, if regular maintenance is completed, money can be saved on fuel and from costly call-outs in the case of emergency breakdowns.
In addition, if your boiler is fairly new and still under warranty, often one of the conditions for the warranty to remain valid is that the boiler servicing is undertaken.
There are no legal requirements to undertake boiler servicing unless the property with the boiler is leased out, however, there are safety risks should the boiler servicing not be undertaken.
What are the Costs of a Boiler Service?
Boiler servicing must be undertaken by a professional and should not be attempted by yourself.
Gas boilers must be serviced by Gas Safe registered engineers, whereas oil fired boilers must be serviced by engineers registered with OFTEC.
The average cost of a boiler service is between £50 and £180, and the process itself should take around 30 minutes to complete.
The costs vary due to a number of reasons including; the type of boiler to be serviced, the company used to undertake the service and the location in the country the boiler is located in.
The typical and average costs for the various types of boilers are as follows:
- Type of Boiler Cost (+ VAT if the company are VAT registered) Average Cost.
- Gas Boiler £60 – £100 £80.
- Oil Boiler £50 – £180 £75.
- Electric Combi Boiler £55 – £90 £72.
- Commercial Boiler £29.
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Typically, large companies often charge more due to the scale of their overheads, however, this can be a generalisation and therefore it is recommended to get a number of quotes before proceeding with booking a boiler service.
Another option is to take out a boiler cover plan, which commonly will include an annual service, however, we will discuss cover options a bit later on.
How Frequently Should a Boiler be Serviced?
It is recommended that boilers are serviced on an annual basis. It is also suggested that servicing is undertaken in the summer months to ensure that the boiler is in a good condition going into winter, providing the best possible protection from unwanted boiler breakdowns.
Also, Gas Safety Engineers should also be more available than in the depths of winter!
What is Included with a Boiler Service?
In brief, a boiler service is a test to ensure that the boiler is running smoothly and safely.
A Gas Safe Engineer will usually undertake both a visual check of the system and complete some machine-based checks to ensure that everything is working safely and at it’s optimum.
For example, they will check that pressure levels are appropriate, parts are in good working order and functioning correctly as well as testing the flue to check for any toxic fumes.
The Engineer will highlight any issues and quote for any works that are required.
Should I Pay for Servicing as I go or Opt for a Boiler Cover Plan?
As mentioned, the cost of a boiler service is typically between £80 and £120 as a one-off charge, however, there is the option to pay monthly for a boiler cover plan that also includes the annual service.
Boiler cover policies are simply insurance contracts available in a range of options from a basic package covering the boiler only, through to boiler and heating system cover, right to the top end of the market which would also cover plumbing, drains and home electrics cover and home emergencies.
Boiler cover is usually paid for in monthly instalments of subscription premiums. The cost of the premiums will vary depending on the level of cover chosen, the type of boiler and the age of the boiler system, however, they can commonly range between £9 a month for basic cover to around £30 a month for a more expensive policy.
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Due to the various cover options available on the market, it is worthwhile establishing if any suit your requirements, and if the cost of the premiums is reasonable for the level of cover and the expected usage.
All terms and conditions on such policies must be fully checked before committing, to ensure that the policyholder is aware of any exclusions, the duration of an initial no-claims period, as well as checking that the type of boiler and age can be covered.
However, the peace of mind of knowing that a policy is in place to either fully cover or limit the costs of a breakdown can be priceless!
Boiler service costs summary
By booking an annual boiler service, not only will the household have the best protection from the boiler breaking down but also, the peace of mind that the boiler and heating system is running safely.
Boiler servicing can be booked directly with a local Gas Safe Engineer, a National chain or requested following the directions of a boiler cover plan, should servicing be included.