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Legal Requirements of Boiler Servicing: How often should a boiler be serviced?


Landlords who rent out their property are legally required to have their gas appliances and flues serviced on an annual basis by a certified Gas Safe heating engineer. Gas appliances include boilers, but also gas fires and gas stoves, provided by the landlord, for the tenants use. All appliances and flues need a visual inspection and prescribed tests carried out to ensure they are working efficiently, and from a legal point of view safely.

Illness and death resulting from Carbon Monoxide poisoning (CO) have fallen over the last two years, to 30 deaths and approximately 250 people falling ill, resulting in a hospital stay. This may be under-reported because of the delay in data filtering through from official sources. The Gas Safety record for landlords and householders are thought to have led to a fall in CO related morbidity and mortality. The legal requirements for an annual gas safety check and record for landlords, and only allowing certified Gas Safe heating engineers to carry out a boiler service and repairs, is thought to have led to safer appliances in the rental market, but there is no definitive proof.

It is not a legal requirement for homeowners who do not rent out their property to have an annual boiler service. However, they have a duty of care to ensure their gas appliances are safe, and not liable to cause harm to themselves or others. An annual service will also keep the boiler's warranty valid.

In order to make an informed decision, you will need to know:

  • Why a boiler service is advisable (aside from the legal implications)
  • How much is a boiler service?
  • What is included in the boiler service cost?
  • What a boiler service includes?

Find the answers to all of your questions below...

Reasons why you should have your boiler service done annually?

  • Safety - The primary reason for having your boiler service is to ensure that it is running safely. That there are no potentially harmful leaks of combustible products that may damage the health of your household.
  • Identification of potential faults – The annual boiler service should identify any potential areas that may need repair, in your boiler system. If you have your boiler service appointment in the warmer months, any necessary remedial action can be taken before your boiler is in constant use during the winter, causing less disruption to the household.
  • Efficiency – The boiler service will check that your boiler is working efficiently and according to manufacturers’ standards. Working optimally, the boiler will be more energy-efficient and is likely to have a longer lifespan.
  • Potentially lower fuel bills - Running an energy-efficient boiler should mean that fuel is used economically, giving the possibility of lower fuel bills.
  • Manufacturer Warranty – Most boiler manufacturers stipulate that an annual boiler service is necessary to validate your boiler’s warranty. A Worcester boiler service should be carried out to Worcester’s manufacturer standards. A Vaillant boiler service should be carried out to Vaillant’s manufacturer’s standards. To ensure this happens, your heating engineer may need access to the boiler’s operating manual. These are often available online, if you do not have the original hard copy.
  • Takes under an hour – The boiler service appointment will normally take less than an hour.If you schedule in the off-peak period, you can usually get the appointment you want without any trouble.
  • The legal requirement for landlords – Aside from the above reasons, landlords are legally required to have their gas appliances and flues serviced annually as part of the annual gas safety check. A record of the annual gas safety check must be retained by the landlord and a copy given to the tenant. For a new tenancy, a new gas safety check must be carried out and a copy of the record given to the new tenant.

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How much is a boiler service?

Typically, a one-off boiler service will cost approximately £85. However, if faults are detected that cannot be rectified as part of the boiler service cost, additional costs may be incurred. Cost savings are possible if the householder takes out a boiler service plan. This normally includes an annual boiler service, in addition to covering boiler repairs and for a small extra cost, total central heating cover. These plans are available from Hometree.

What is included in the boiler service cost?

Most heating engineers and companies complete a standard set of visual inspections and tests to ascertain the boiler’s efficiency and safety. Anything that requires repair, rather than resetting or cleaning, may be subject to an additional charge. That is why it makes sense to take out a boiler service plan. This will usually include a comprehensive annual boiler service. The boiler service cost will be less than if purchased on a one-time basis.

What is included in a boiler service?

  • Visual inspection of the boiler
  • Electrics to and within the boiler will be inspected.
  • Controls will be inspected.
  • Removal of boiler casing, to check boiler components.
  • Cleaning inside of casing and components if required.
  • Identification and inspection of the flue and ventilation vents. To ensure they are appropriately sited, adequate to remove the boiler’s combustible products, and sealed to avoid leaks.
  • The boiler will be run to check for faults and controls reset, if necessary.
  • A series of tests on the system’s tightness (no potential for leaks) and flue gas analysis (efficiency and safety) will be carried out. This will check the boiler is working optimally and safely.
  • The boiler systems pressure will be checked.
  • Faults requiring repair will be identified.

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