If you own your own home, then you probably have a lot to think about in terms of repairs and looking after the property – have you thought about your boiler? If it all seems to be working right now then it’s easy to overlook it, but the fact is that a boiler could be heating water for you at the same time as it is, to be dramatic (but truthful) silently killing you.
It is vital that gas boilers are serviced every year, because gas-powered appliances must be clean and properly ventilated so that they burn the gas properly. If the gas appliance is not getting enough oxygen, then when it burns it releases carbon monoxide, and this gas is incredibly toxic. Carbon monoxide cannot be seen, and it has no taste or smell. When you inhale it, the gas will bind to the same parts of your red blood cells that would normally pick up oxygen. You won’t know what is happening at first, but you will feel tired and unwell, as if you have the flu. If you fall asleep while a gas powered appliance is pumping out carbon monoxide, then there is a very high chance that you will not wake up.
This is why it’s so important to have a carbon monoxide detector, and to check the batteries regularly. It’s also why it’s so important that you have your boilers serviced regularly.
Annual Boiler Service
A service won’t just check that the boiler is safe, it will also check that the rest of it is working properly – this means checking that the water pipes are clear and unobstructed, and that there are no leaks. Annual service will decrease the possibility of breakdowns during the heating season and the costly repair bills associated with emergency boiler repair service company call outs.
When you live in rented accommodation the landlord will usually arrange for your boiler and other gas appliances to be checked regularly, and will provide you with certificates to show the date the inspection was carried out, and what was checked. If the appliance is found to be unsafe then it will be condemned and decommissioned until it can be fixed or replaced.
Servicing your boiler to keep the pipes limescale free, the vents clear and the gas burning well will help to prolong the life of the appliance. A good boiler could last for a decade or longer if it is properly cared for, but it is not uncommon for boilers to break down if the plumbing is not cared for. Burst pipes are common in the winter, and the thermostat and pilot light are other points of failure that will need checked.
Don’t try to cut corners or save money by skipping annual inspections. Unless you are a qualified gas fitter yourself, you won’t know what the potential problems are, and you may mistakenly continue using an appliance that is clearly unsafe. Book a boiler service once a year, for your own peace of mind and to take care of your family.
If you live in rented accommodation and your landlord has not arranged for a service in the last year or so, then you should ask them about it, because it is something that is an important safety measure, and it is something that any responsible landlord would offer. The requirements and responsibilities for landlords vary from state to state, and indeed sometimes vary depending on the type of lease you have – but you should still be vocal about your concerns as a tenant. Many landlords will be happy to work with tenants if they have a good record for paying the rent and a long term tenancy, for the goodwill and to improve their image as a landlord. In Canada, the TSSA regulates the industry as well as Fuel Safety in Ontario.