With the sun making more of an appearance, most of us won’t be thinking about our boilers very much.
But experts say getting a boiler serviced over the summer, rather than leaving it until the winter months, could help households save money.
By getting ahead you could avoid having to shell out for an emergency service during winter, when your boiler is once again running full whack.
These call-outs can cost upwards of £400, according to figures from the tradesperson directory, Checkatrade.
In comparison, the average cost of a service for a gas boiler is around £80. An annual service is usually a condition of a boiler’s warranty.
Get ahead: There are signs your boiler is on the blink that you can look out for to avoid having to get an emergency repair
Ben Gallizi, energy expert as Uswitch.com comments: ‘While your boiler isn’t often top of mind during the summer, it could be a good time to consider getting it serviced.
‘Having your boiler serviced at least once a year will help to ensure it’s safe and working to its maximum efficiency. Leaving any issues undiscovered could become dangerous.
‘Thinking ahead and getting your boiler serviced over the summer means you’ll eliminate any issues before the winter, when you’ll be relying on it most.’
Gallizi also said that engineers may be able to attend an appointment more quickly in summer, as winter tends to be busier.
Some even offer cheaper rates to customers getting a service while the sun is shining.
Nat White, head of brand communications at gas and heating experts Rated People, said: ‘In the warmer months of the year, heating engineers are naturally less busy, so may offer discounts or off-season rates where they’re able to.
‘Even if they can’t, you can still save money by swerving an emergency call-out charge that comes when you need to deal with a boiler breakdown fast.’
One million UK households can’t afford to get their boiler serviced or repaired though, according to a survey from Rated People.
But homeowners are being urged to stay on top of their boiler services if they can.
A faulty boiler can be a serious health risk if it’s leaking carbon monoxide.
Nathan Martin-Nicholls, a heating engineer, said: ‘Carbon monoxide is an invisible and very dangerous gas that can cause serious illness, brain damage and can result in fatalities.
‘It is very hard to detect because it cannot be seen and it doesn’t have a smell or taste either.
‘Your home should have a carbon monoxide alarm fitted to help detect this poisonous gas’ he adds.
Costly fixes: Rated People has estimated the cost of common household repairs
|Fixing broken appliances||£70 – £200|
|Fixing poorly insulated areas||£920 – £2,320|
|Fixing mould and/or damp||£400 – £4,000|
|Boiler servicing||£60 – £120|
|Boiler repairs||£2,500 – £3,500|
|Roof repairs||£95 – £2,280 (range of different jobs)|
|Plumbing maintenance and repairs, e.g. leaking pipes||£300 – £400 (day rate)|
|Fixing broken window||£100 – £250|
|Gas safety check||£35 – £99|
|Electrical maintenance, upgrade or repairs||£3995 (rewiring of 3 bed home)|
|Source: Rated People|
Signs your boiler needs a service
These are the early signs your boiler needs servicing according to experts.
1) The pilot light flame colour has changed
The pilot light on your boiler should be blue. If the flame has changed to an orange-yellow colour, then it could be an indication of poor combustion which is an extremely concerning sign.
Turn your boiler off as soon as you see this and call a gas and heating engineer straight away.
Other signs of poor combustion include the smell of gas, brown or black scorch marks, musty smells, and increased condensation on windows in your home.
2) Water is leaking from the boiler
This could be a sign that an internal part has failed. Although this is not necessarily dangerous in and of itself, it could be a safety issue.
If you spot a leak be sure to switch off the boiler to ensure the electrics don’t short circuit and to stop water from damaging your home.
3) The pilot light keeps going out
This is another sign that requires professional help sooner rather than later.
If this is also paired with leaks, new noises or scorch marks, then this is considered to be a red flag.
4) Your boiler has suddenly become noisy or is making new sounds
Although this isn’t a definite signal of danger, it should not be ignored.
Banging sounds or whistling coming from your boiler could signify a build-up of air within your central heating or a drop in the water pressure.
If this is left for a long period of time, it could lead to your boiler breaking down and leave you with a bigger bill.