The importance of servicing and maintaining your appliances 

Look after your gas appliances and they will look after you or, more specifically, they will keep you safe and warm in the colder months of the year.  It’s important that we don’t just think about our gas appliances and heating in the winter; there are considerations that should be made all year round to be more prepared, as we explain:

4 good reasons to service your boiler before winter

  1. Planning ahead - You will be prepared for the colder months.  This might sound obvious but when the heating goes back on you can be assured that the boiler is working correctly and the household - your family and loved ones - can stay warm and safe at home.

  2. Availability - Gas engineers are more readily available since less people are having boiler breakdowns and other cold related issues in the summer months.

  3. Affordability - Winter means Christmas which can often mean lots of expense, so summer time could be an ideal time for this outlay. Or if you were to buy a contract plan or insurance policy to cover your boiler servicing, the costs can often be spread in payments over the year too.

  4. More time - Summer holiday time means more time off work, to pay attention to the home and domestic jobs that need doing, making it an ideal time to book in that Gas Safe engineer.

The costs and risks of ignoring boiler servicing

A regular, annual service enables an engineer to check the boiler and related parts, such as the flue, to make sure it’s operating safely. They can also inspect for wear and wear and make sure everything’s functioning correctly.   Therefore, failing to service your boiler and gas appliances annually can come with consequences, which can be costly as well as posing a huge safety risk.

Our recent survey* showed that 30% of respondents would service their boiler every 2 years, neglecting the annual service requirement – increasing their risk of something going wrong.

So what’s the risks of not servicing your boiler?

  1. An emergency call out would cost more – with the average repair bill cost being around £300* - take into account the average boiler service costs £75-£100** is it worth the risk?  Our recent survey** showed that 38% of respondents said cost is the biggest barrier to their boiler servicing, but this decision is risky as it could cause more costs in the long term.  A plan or insurance can be purchased from gas suppliers which will often be more cost effective, including a boiler service as well as call outs and repairs, with parts and labour usually covered too.

  2. A boiler warranty can be invalidated if not serviced within the warranty period.

  3. Boilers can develop faults which, if not serviced and therefore undetected, can be a great threat to the household, since it has the potential to leak gas and carbon monoxide.  This would be obvious by a smell of gas or a carbon monoxide alarm sounding in your home and would need immediate action to call the National Gas Emergency Service on 0800 111 999.

  4. You could be prosecuted - if you service your own boiler without being properly registered, certified and trained as Gas Safe, you could be involved in legal action in the event of any major safety consequences. This extends to all DIY gas work, including boiler repairs and replacements.

Top tips for maintaining your gas appliances

  1. Ensure all gas appliances and boiler servicing is carried out by the professionals – always call a Gas Safe registered engineer and get it done properly. Never risk doing this yourself if you are not Gas Safe registered, it’s a very specialist job.  Jonathan Samuel, Managing Director of Gas Safe Register, comments: "Our advice is always to use a Gas Safe registered engineer for any gas work on your appliances. Landlords have a legal duty to ensure gas appliances are safety checked annually, and this is the advice we extend to anyone with a gas appliance."

  2. Book an annual boiler service with a Gas Safe registered engineer (and always ask to see their ID when they arrive at your home) to ensure it stays in good working order.  Importantly, an engineer will also check all gas appliances in your property including a visual inspection of your gas pipework and a tightness test to confirm there aren’t any gas leaks.  You will need proof of your boiler serviced if you sell your home and, of course, for landlords this is a responsibility, as they must provide an annual Landlord Gas Safety Record.

  3. There are some minor boiler issues you can troubleshoot yourself. For example in winter frozen boiler condensate pipes are very common and can be thawed with water - follow our boiler troubleshooting guide.  Other common faults include low gas pressure, the boiler switching itself off, and cold water and should always be looked at by a Gas Safe registered engineer.  For leaks or a pilot light replacement you should always contact a Gas Safe registered engineer to fix the issue. 

  4. Make sure you leave vents unblocked as these are there to help your gas appliance work safely and efficiently.

  5. Recognise the warning signs of an unsafe appliance so you can take action, for example a lazy yellow flame instead of crisp blue flame; error messages; unexpected noises from your boiler; or dark and sooty stains around your gas appliance could mean it is unsafe and releasing carbon monoxide (CO).  Know the symptoms of CO poisoning.

*Source: Cadent Gas Safety survey with Opinion Matters, July '23
**Source:, March 2023