Every week we bring you a simple idea for reducing your carbon footprint and protecting the planet. This week: the financial and environmental benefits of a regular boiler service.
As we sneak into autumn, chances are you’ve already found yourself reaching for an extra layer, or noticing a slight nip in the air each morning – before you know it, it’ll be time to bring the central heating out of hibernation! Hopefully you have already insulated your home to the max but is your boiler ready for the oncoming winter? You might assume that it is – if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right? But getting an annual boiler service is important for lots of reasons you might not have considered. Here’s why you should think about giving your plumber a call.
1. Servicing your boiler keeps you safe
First and foremost, an annual boiler service is vital in ensuring it’s running safely. According to the Department of Health, 4,000 people go to A&E every year with carbon monoxide poisoning because the symptoms (dizziness and nausea, for example) are easily mistaken for other common illnesses. A regular service gives you peace of mind that you and your family aren’t at risk.
2. A boiler service helps you identify small issues before they become major problems
Minor boiler problems can quickly become major headaches if left unattended. Even if you’re not using your boiler for heating during the summer, you’re still using it for hot water, so it could be running into issues before you even tap the thermostat. You definitely don’t want to discover a problem as soon as a cold snap hits!
3. A service is much cheaper than replacing your boiler
As well as avoiding the hassle (and expense) of a broken boiler, efficient maintenance reduces the need for repairs in the long run. A well-looked after boiler will last longer than one that’s been neglected, and an annual service probably costs less than you think – certainly a lot less than the cost of a new boiler!
4. A serviced boiler is an efficient boiler
Well, as efficient as that particular brand and model of boiler can be, at least. As part of the service your engineer will check to make sure it’s running to the best of its ability. If it’s not, then it’s using extra fuel in order to do its job, and extra fuel means bigger energy bills – not to mention a bigger carbon footprint.
5. It keeps you under warranty
If your boiler is under guarantee – particularly if you’ve invested in a new one in recent years – then it’s likely it only applies as long as you have your boiler serviced every 12 months. If you don’t, you might void your warranty, which will leave you stuck if there’s a breakdown – you won’t be able to claim any money for repairs. Check the details of your warranty and book a service anyway – you don’t want to get caught out.
Out with the old, in with low-carbon heat options
A regular boiler service is clearly important. However, as goes the expression ‘flogging a dead horse’, there will come a time when it makes sense to replace your current boiler with a new model. Yes, a new boiler can be expensive, but they’re considerably more efficient – and safer – than older versions, so you will be saving money on energy bills and saving carbon.
Alternatively, renewable heat options, such as ground-source and air source heat pumps are becoming more affordable so worth considering, especially if you are using oil or LPG for heating. If your existing boiler is more than 15 years old, is breaking down regularly (more than once or twice a year) or your energy bills are rising for no apparent reason, it’s time to show it the door.
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