Servicing Your Boiler

Who should I get to service my boiler?

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. 

More information regarding boiler service providers and service contractors can be found on the following websites:

What should I expect when a service engineer arrives?

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. 

These checklist can be downloaded in PDF format below:

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.

What is Carbon Monoxide?

Carbon Monoxide (also known as CO) is a colourless, odourless poisonous gas and is a common yet preventable cause of death from poisoning worldwide. Approximately half of the deaths from unintentional CO poisonings result from the inhalation of smoke from fires. Other significant causes are vehicle exhausts and deaths in industrial / commercial settings. On average between 1 and 2 people die each year in Ireland from unintentional CO poisoning in the home in incidents related to domestic heating or other fossil fuel installations in the home (i.e. excluding the inhalation of smoke from fires).

The incomplete combustion of organic fossil fuels such as oil, gas or coal is a common environmental source of CO and is responsible for many cases of non-fatal unintentional CO poisoning. In normal conditions the combustion process (the addition of oxygen) will result in carbon in the fossil fuel, combining with oxygen, in the air, to produce Carbon Dioxide (CO2), the same substance we exhale when we breathe. However, if there is a lack of air for the combustion process or the heating appliance is faulty, Carbon Monoxide can be produced.

When CO is inhaled into the body it combines with the blood, preventing it from absorbing oxygen. If a person is exposed to CO over a period, it can cause illness and even death. Carbon Monoxide has no smell, taste or colour. This is why it is sometimes called the "Silent Killer".

Carbon Monoxide alarms can be used as a backup to provide a warning to householders in the event of a dangerous build up of CO. Check that the Carbon Monoxide alarm complies with the EN 50291 standard. Remember that Carbon Monoxide alarms are no substitute for regular inspection and maintenance of appliances, vents, flues and chimneys.

For more details please see www.carbonmonoxide.ie

Is there really a benefit to servicing my boiler?

Because of the difference between individual installations, it is difficult to predict what saving servicing will bring for a particular house.

The following chart is conservative and gives the increase in fuel costs each year that the boiler is not serviced.

Fuel Savings from Boiler servicing Line Graph showing savings made by servicing based on boiler fuel type

For example, servicing a kerosene boiler, which has not been serviced for 3 years, will bring about an immediate fuel reduction of some 5%.

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.

Who should I get to service my boiler?

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. 

More information regarding boiler service providers and service contractors can be found below:

Fuel TypeOilNatural GasLPG
ContactOFTECRegister of Gas Installers of IrelandIrish Liquid Petroleum Gas Association (ILPGA)
Phone01 87754501850 632 63201 450 5000 / 041 9831 041
Websitewww.oftec.orgwww.rgii.iewww.ilpga.ie

Back to top

 
  rss icon
   

Important information regarding cookies and seai.ie

By using this website, you consent to the use of cookies in accordance with the SEAI Cookie Policy.

For more information on cookies see our cookie policy.