By getting your boiler serviced, you are making sure your home, heating and hot water operate reliably. How often and how much you should pay for boiler service comes down to the current state of your boiler. Let’s look at what a good boiler service should include to keep yours in tip top shape and at what point you should replace it, instead of just repairing it.
Boiler service costs
The cost of boiler service mostly depends on who is carrying it out. If you have a boiler breakdown cover plan, a yearly service or check up should be included. Generally, reputable boiler cover costs between £100 and £200, although there are cheaper offers out there.
If you don’t have any cover, a qualified engineer (CORGI or Gas Safe certified) will charge around £70 for standard residential service. Trained heating engineers are also a good option if you would prefer to book the service yourself, rather than rely on a third-party contractor.
It’s worth putting the service charge and average boiler cover cost in perspective. While boiler service doesn’t necessarily shield you from having to repair your boiler, it can catch issues earlier to prevent compounded failures that can add up significantly.
|Boiler parts||Average replacement cost|
|Electronic logic board||£280|
|Pressure relief gasket or valves||£100|
|Combi Boiler thermocouple||£92|
Source: British Gas HomeCare
What does boiler service include?
No matter who is coming to look at your boiler you should always ask what the engineer will be looking at as part of their service. A registered boiler or heating engineer will include this in their visit:
- External and internal checks on the flue
- Safety check on parts and enclosures.
- They should remove the outer boiler casing to verify the heat exchanger, spark, burner, main injector and sensor probe.
- A flame check.
- Seals check on the body of the boiler.
- Cleaning dirty boiler parts to prevent issues down the road.
- A heat input or operating pressure check.
- Test firing to ensure boiler is working safely and to diagnose any working faults.
- Checking boiler controls to make sure they function correctly.
- Corrosion and leak inspection.
The engineer will provide you with a copy of the service report detailing all the checks that have been performed. You are within your right to request that he or she show you their gas safety certificate and walk you through the domestic service process so that you fully understand their workmanship.
Additionally, technicians can look at other issues around your home such as any central heating system piping which are just as important as your boiler.
How often do I need to service my boiler?
It’s important to service your boiler regularly so that it operates both safely and efficiently. At Selectra, we recommend that you get a boiler or heating engineer to have a look at your boiler no less than once a year.
With all that’s going on in our lives, it’s easy to forget about your boiler. For some, the £70 service charge can be a bit of a stretch, especially if you are living month to month. However ignoring your boiler maintenance or heating system servicing can really impact your wallet down the line.
Depending on the type of boiler you have in your home, it could kill you and your family if it releases Carbon Monoxide into the living space. There are up to 50 deaths a year linked to Carbon Monoxide poisoning in the UK alone. Regular boiler checks are the surest way to avoid this silent killer for good.
While there is a whole host of less dire issues that your boiler could run into, they are extremely inconvenient and potentially expensive nonetheless.
- Frozen boiler pipes are always condensate pipes that are part of condensing boilers and can easily freeze during the winter months. This leads to the boiler shutting down. Additionally the freezing can exacerbate sludge build up issues. Thankfully this is an issue that you can easily solve yourself.
- Loss of Pressure can happen when you haven’t used your heating in a while or if you’ve bled out a heater somewhat recently.
- Water leaking often happens with older boilers or water heaters when corroded parts, such as washers, finally give out. Invariably this will require a qualified engineer to replace the part for you. As with any leaks, you also need to watch out for damage to your home and belongings.
How long does a boiler service visit take?
A Gas-safe accredited engineer should be able to carry out a full boiler service inspection in about 30 minutes. However, if the gas boiler technician uncovers an issue that requires an urgent fix then their visit may take longer depending on the extent of the repair.
One thing to be aware of is that engineers are often more in demand during the winter when a lot of boiler or plumbing issues occur, don’t expect 24 hour availability. This means that when you need them the most they are more likely to be unavailable or have long callout wait times.
If boiler parts need to be replaced, the older your boiler is the longer you may have to wait for a part to be sourced and installed. This is especially the case when it comes to logic boards and electronic parts which can become obsolete rather quickly.
When should my boiler be replaced?
At Selectra, we strongly recommend that boilers be replaced every 10 years at most. Any boiler that is older is not only more likely to develop serious faults or have carbon monoxide leaks, but even if everything seems fine, boilers become more inefficient with age. Energy efficiency directly impacts your gas bills.
You can expect a new boiler replacement take 1 or 2 days to complete and cost anywhere between £800 and £2500. Boiler installation cost and time is highly dependent on the type of boiler, how heating systems are interconnected with radiators, and whether water tanks need to be installed, revised or removed.
The bottom line is that when you need to have more than a couple of parts replaced, you can seriously start looking for a new boiler because the peace of mind and energy savings can be worth it when comparing boiler repair with upfront cost and preventative maintenance. This is especially true once you factor in the labour costs of the service call to get the old clunker up and running.