A few hundred years ago, people would have given an arm and a leg to have central heating in their homes. Just imagine the inconvenience of having to light a wood and coal fire in every separate room to keep your house warm. The basic idea of central heating is really simple: you have a boiler (an easily controllable furnace, fueled by gas) in a handy place like your kitchen or bathroom and it uses water, moved by an electrically powered pump, to carry heat into radiators in all the other rooms. It’s simple, convenient, efficient, and it makes even winter days a pleasure to endure!
As with all heating appliances, your boiler should be serviced on a regular basis to ensure that it is operating efficiently and safely. The service should be carried out by a qualified and experienced service technician / service engineer.
When carried out by a competent technician, a boiler service should entail little disruption to your routine. A typical service should take around an hour and leave you with a safe and efficiently operating appliance.
A service engineer will perform a number of tests on the boiler during a service. This will depend in part on the fuel and boiler. While there is no set standard or regulation specifying what constitutes a boiler service at this time, we have prepared checklists of the type of work that the Service Technician should carry out during the course of a typical service.
An annual boiler safety check and boiler service, carried out by a professional service engineer ensures that your boiler is functioning properly. Regular servicing of your boiler is important as it ensures that the boiler is working to the specifications designed by the boiler manufacturer. This will help prolong the life of the boiler as well as reduce the risk of faults and expensive repairs down the line.
The efficiency of boilers, both oil and gas fired, deteriorates with use. There are several reasons for this, the key ones being:
- Soot production from the combustion process coats the heat exchanger surfaces.
- The critical air-to-fuel combustion ratio changes due to gradual component wear.
A boiler service will remove any sooting and, by adjustment, will re-establish the optimum combustion conditions. But while optimising operating efficiency is paramount in these days of rising fuel costs, there are other important benefits in having your boiler serviced:
- By checking the safety controls, early failures can be detected and rectified in good time.
- A variety of operational systems and components will be checked including:
- Gas/Oil leaks
- Boiler start-up performance
- Noises that give an early warning signal of pending component failures.
Just like cars, boilers can operate for many years without servicing but generally with fuel consumption penalties, undermined reliability and even safety implications.