Boiler servicing contracts: Best boiler cover brands Getting the best boiler service
A faulty boiler can be extremely dangerous, not least because of the increased risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. It's therefore best to get your boiler serviced every year to make sure it's working properly.
To ensure you're getting a good boiler service it helps to know what to expect, we've created this video to explain. It's presented by a repairer from Which? Local recommended boiler servicing company Fuller Heating.
The boiler in the video is a combination boiler. If you have a conventional or older boiler the service may look different and, as all boilers are different, services will vary. Whoever you choose to do the work, check they're on the Gas Safe Register.
Video: what should be included in a boiler service
Annual boiler service checklist
Try to arrange your service for the summer months, before the traditionally busy autumn season, when people start putting the heating on and there are more breakdowns.
The checklist below shows the key things you should expect to have done during a full boiler service.
A visual check to ensure your boiler still meets current standards
Boiler fired to identify any working faults
Boiler casing removed to check all main boiler components (burner, heat exchanger, main injector, spark/sensor probe).
Checks to ensure flue terminals are unobstructed and internal flue components are sealed properly
Gas valve adjusted to check that burner is combusting efficiently and properly (normally using a flue gas analyser).
Inside casing surfaces cleaned
Boiler parts cleaned if necessary
Gas tightness test conducted to ensure no leaks
Boiler casing put back on - check that properly sealed
You should receive a service report that shows everything the engineer has done to maintain your boiler
Not all boilers are the same
Though the above checklist should stand you in good stead for most boilers, bear in mind that not all boilers are like the one serviced in our video.
For most older conventional systems, for example, the following would apply:
- The pump and expansion vessel would not be contained within a conventional boiler. In most cases they would be near the hot water cylinder.
- Parts such as the heat exchanger, burner and fan would need to be dismantled and checked. This would not normally be necessary for the modern boiler in the video, unless the flue gas analysis suggests that there is a problem.
Paying for boiler servicing
You'll probably save money if you pay for services and repairs as you go along. Our research shows that Which? members paid an average of £63 for their boiler service, though you may find it costs more in certain parts of the country.
The alternative is to have a boiler servicing contract with a service included. You pay a monthly fee that also covers repairs. However, our research shows that for nine out of 10 Which? members this was more expensive than paying for one offs.
The majority of Which? members who have a contract say they pay for peace of mind. If this sounds like you, then see our review of boiler servicing contracts to find the best boiler cover policy for you. Our reviews cover major players such as British Gas's Homecare and boiler manufacturers such as Worcester.
Check your boiler warranty
Before paying for repairs, it's worth checking if your boiler is still under its initial warranty. Most new boilers typically come with cover for parts and labour in the first one or two years.
In addition to this, you have rights under the Sale of Goods Act. If your boiler develops a fault because it is not of satisfactory quality, you can ask for it to be repaired or replaced by the company that sold it to you. This applies if your boiler breaks down or stops working because it wasn’t up to a good enough standard when you bought it. It would not apply to normal wear and tear.
See our advice on dealing with faulty goods for further details.
Home insurance cover for boilers
Some home insurance also gives you cover for boiler breakdowns, either as standard or as an optional extra, so it's worth checking if you already have this.
The cost of adding breakdown cover to insurance cover is usually much less than getting a breakdown contract, but you don't get the same benefits.