Frequently Asked Questions
Why should I service my boiler?
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.
How often should I service my boiler?
Most boiler manufacturers recommend an annual service, primarily on the grounds of safety but also to ensure reliability. On efficiency grounds it is well worth servicing oil boilers annually because the soot build-up is such as to significantly increase oil consumption. With gas, while soot build-up is not so much a problem because of its clean burning characteristics, an annual service would still be recommended.
What should I do if I smell gas?
In the case of a gas leak or emergency please do the following:
- Turn off the gas supply at the tank, cylinder or meter.
- Turn off all gas appliances
- Do not smoke, use naked flames or operate electrical switches or equipment.
- If the smell is inside the building, ventilate by opening windows and doors.
Are there any grants available?
There are currently two grant programs available to homeowners:
The Better Energy Homes scheme provides grants to homeowners who invest in energy efficiency improvements in one or more of the following areas: Roof Insulation, Wall Insulation, Installation of a High Efficiency (90%) Gas or Oil fired Boiler, Heating Control Upgrades and Solar panels.