Tue 12th April 2022
Many of us have made the transition from an old-style boiler to a condenser type. Not only do they save money, but they also help to reduce carbon emissions. But do condenser boilers need servicing?
As boiler repair and maintenance specialists, we’re qualified to answer this exact question. So read on to find out more about whether you need to service it, if so how often, and also what happens if you don’t service it.
Let’s first start with a brief answer before we head into some condenser boiler service details.
Condenser boilers combust materials such as gas or oil. For this reason, they usually require more frequent servicing than other boiler types that do not utilize the condenser method. This is mainly due to condenser pipes being prone to freezing. Statistically, it’s likely you have a condenser type.
As with all types of boilers, it’s important to have an annual service. If you do not have a service, it could invalidate your warranty and can cause potential carbon monoxide leaks, your boiler breaking down and/or a large repair bill.
So with the short answer in mind, so we can understand more easily if condenser boilers need servicing, let’s take in a brief overview of what a condenser boiler is.
What is a condenser boiler?
Essentially a condenser boiler is a highly efficient water heater. They are fueled generally by gas or oil by ‘condensing’ the vapours given off by the gas, which otherwise would not be used.
Before the introduction of condenser boilers, around a third of the heat derived from the boiler was lost.
“Essentially, a condenser boiler is a highly efficient water heater.”
Is a condenser boiler different to a combi boiler?
Many of us have combi boilers which are efficient heating systems that provide both hot water and heating. They are driven by your mains water which is then heated up inside.
In a nutshell, a condenser boiler is one that utilizes the heat from the burning of gas or oil, so a combi boiler could also be a condenser boiler.
Over half of boilers owned in the U.K. from 2003 to 2019 was a combination and condenser boiler, according to data, so it’s quite likely yours will be this type.
Read on to find out if a condenser boiler needs servicing.
“A condenser boiler is one which utilizes the heat from the burning of gas or oil”
Does a condenser boiler need servicing?
Although condenser boilers are generally reliable, it’s crucial to make sure you have it serviced annually by a registered gas safety engineer.
As we found out in the short answer, one of the chief reasons along with safety aspects is that it may invalidate your warranty if you don’t maintain annual checks.
All boilers require annual servicing to maintain the warranty benefits. Many manufacturers will withdraw the warranty if you don’t organize a boiler service at least once a year, or crucially if it’s been serviced by anyone other than a professional gas safety engineer.
An annual service will help to clean and flush the boiler and an expert registered Gas Safe Installer, will clear any limescale or sludge deposits in the system and make sure your boiler is in good condition.
“It’s crucial to make sure you have it serviced annually by a registered gas safety engineer.”
If you maintain your combi boiler, then here’s how long your combi boiler is likely to last.
How often do condenser boilers need servicing?
Although we’ve discovered that all types of boilers require regular servicing, you may find that a condenser boiler might need servicing more frequently.
Most condenser boiler repair experts recommend that this type of boiler is run constantly, especially during the colder months. This will help to decrease any chance of the pipe freezing and causing problems.
Many of us tend to turn off heating between uses, but it’s best not to do this with a condenser boiler type as then the pipe will remain warm enough during continued operation, and therefore less likely to freeze.
Here’s how to prepare your boiler for winter.
Who services condenser boilers?
Many people ask if you can service condenser boilers yourself, but it’s worth knowing that this will invalidate the warranty in the same way as not having your boiler serviced on an annual basis.
Although it’s not illegal to undertake in your own home if you have the skills to do so, it’s important to understand that anyone who has not had the extensive training required could find themselves in a potentially extremely complex and dangerous situation.
Any maintenance work on your gas boiler should always be carried out by a Gas Safe installer, which you may have heard of previously known as a CORGI certified engineer.
If you own an oil boiler, it needs to be serviced by an OFTEC accredited installer.
Read on to find out the kind of things a Gas Safe Installer might do when servicing a condenser boiler.
“Any maintenance work on your gas boiler should always be carried out by a Gas Safe installer”
How is a condenser boiler serviced?
When a condenser boiler is being serviced there are usually three main treatments performed by a boiler expert.
- Inhibitors: Chemical inhibitors will generally be added to the boiler system, helping prevent the build-up of sludge and prevent corrosion.
- Water softeners: If you live in hard water areas, such as the south of the U.K, water sufferers will be added to counteract any limescale build-up. This can help to stop what’s known as a ‘kettling’ noise coming from your boiler.
- Flushing: An expert in condenser boiler servicing will clean the whole boiler system by ‘power’ flushing the system. This will remove any dirt, rust, sludge and other debris.
What happens if you don’t service a condenser boiler?
Along with the fact that your condenser boiler warranty might be invalidated as we’ve mentioned above, there are other outcomes to bear in mind if you don’t get it serviced.
If you don’t have a condenser boiler serviced regularly there could be:
- A carbon monoxide leak
- Large repair bill you haven’t budgeted for
- An increase in energy bills
- Overlooking a fault that may result in condenser boiler breakdown
What can go wrong with a condenser boiler?
One of the faults that are more particular to a condenser boiler is the risk of flooding.
Blocked rainwater pipe
Usually, the pipes of a condenser boiler will end at the rainwater downpipe.
So if this becomes blocked with any kind of debris or begins to overflow, there is a good chance that water might backfill into the condensate pipe and eventually reach the boiler.
Heavy rain can cause blockages to homes in all ways, but anyone with a condenser boiler may find that it might place an extra strain on their heating and water system.
If pipes and other filters get blocked by leaves, and other kinds of outdoor debris, it can mean that water might back up into internal pipework.
If this happens to a condenser boiler the damage could mean a replacement boiler.
How long should a condensing boiler last?
If a condenser boiler is serviced regularly they are a reliable option. Blocked drainage pipes can often be a reason for a replacement, but if a condenser boiler is serviced regularly it should last for around 10 to 15 years.
Older boilers even if maintained annually might not have the same longevity.
“If a condenser boiler is serviced regularly it should last for around 10 to 15 years”.
Can a condenser boiler save me money?
A condenser boiler, although will generally cost between £700 and £800 is likely to pay for itself within a year or so.
It’s also worth understanding that this type of boiler may need more than annual servicing on order to properly clean and flush out the heating system.
As a general guide, you will be looking at saving anywhere between £50 and £200 per year. This will, of course, depend on the size of your house.
It’s also worth realizing that if the price of gas increases, then any savings from choosing a condenser boiler will also increase.
By choosing a Homeforce boiler plan, you can make sure that in any breakdown of your condenser boiler, you are fully covered, without any hidden costs or the stress of
We offer a nationwide network of specialist engineers who make sure your hot water and heating are our priority.
Taking out a boiler plan with Homeforce means peace of mind, and no expensive boiler surprises.
Contact our friendly team today for more information.