For most people, household heating is central to their quality of life. Problems with heating and hot water are always emergencies as both are core to daily comfort.
At the centre of household heating is the gas boiler, and ensuring that this essential piece of equipment – and the system it is connected to – is in top working order is the responsibility of gas boiler engineers.
Gas boiler servicing should be carried out annually to ensure that the appliance is safe, working efficiently and providing the heating and hot water that it is supposed to. But with the prevalence of rogue traders, especially here in the UK, it is more important than ever that consumers know how to ensure that their gas boiler engineer is competent, accredited and performing their work to the highest possible standard.
So what should you be looking for in a perfect gas boiler engineer?
The Heating and Hot Water Industry Council, or HHIC, recently produced a short guide for consumers that lets them know what they should expect of a gas boiler engineer.
This was produced with the help of the wider industry as part of a push for higher standards across the board.
The full gas boiler servicing guide is available here.
With the help of this consumer guide, you can spot a competent engineer from an inept one, and being aware of the difference can save you time, money and effort by ensuring that your boiler does not break down due to a low quality servicing.
A good engineer should:
Show ID. They must show you a valid Gas Safe ID card, which allows you to check their accreditation through www.gassaferegister.co.uk. Ask you questions about your boiler and about any problems you have experienced with your heating and hot water. Keep the work area clean. It shouldn’t be up to you to clean up their mess. Follow manufacturers guidelines. You should have the boiler manual, but if you don’t then your engineer should access a digital copy or have brought a copy with them. Operate the boiler to check for any problems in operation. Perform a visual inspection of the boiler, both before and after removing the casing, checking for damage or corrosion and cleaning components (per manufacturer’s instructions). Perform all the necessary checks detailed in the consumer guide and in accordance with the manufacturer’s guidelines. This includes gas rate checks, flue-gas analysis, proper sealing and ventilation. Be communicative. They should inform you of any work that needs to be completed, including any safety problems. Rectify any problems, or where this is not possible endeavour to make an appointment to return at a later date. Complete the benchmark service record, and provide you with any other work documentation you request. Those are the things you should be looking out for when hiring an engineer to perform a gas boiler check.
With this new standard and its widespread adoption, you as a consumer should be far more informed about what you should expect from your gas boiler engineer. Over time, the industry will develop a higher and higher standard, which can only be good for the industry and the millions of consumers that rely on it so heavily.