During a hot Summer, heating your home is unlikely to be on your mind, it though is the right time to consider having a boiler service.
It happens every Autumn, the first really cold evening boilers fail and emergency plumbers get inundated with calls. It’s good business for Google and for the plumbers, not so good for you if you are freezing in your home.
Some service providers offer discounts during the quieter Summer months, so you may save money. Although the boiler is the most likely part to fail, if your system is old, consider servicing the whole system. A full system service should as well as the boiler, also check all radiators, control valves, the timer and the often neglected expansion tank (if fitted) in the loft. Anti-corrosion additive needs checking and topping up if required.
Modern boilers are more efficient but have more to go wrong. They tend to fail when they are working hard on a freezing night when you need them most. Although boiler manufacturers have a good record of supplying parts for many years, eventually you get to the point when replacement rather than a boiler service, is what’s needed.
Replacement domestic boilers must now be of the condensing type. Condensing boilers extract heat from the flue gases increasing efficiency by around 20%. In other words, you spend about 20% less on gas. The flue gases are cool unlike the warm gases from older boilers. Providing there is sufficient mains water pressure and moderate demand for hot water, combi boilers will probably be recommended. These don’t require cylinders in the airing cupboard, freeing up space. The downside of condensing boilers is reliability compared to older simpler but less efficient designs. Make sure you get a long guarantee but note that you will need to buy an annual boiler service plan.