Frequently asked questions
We answer some of your questions about boilers and heating systems.
How often should my Main boiler be serviced?
Your Main boiler should be serviced each year. We recommend the best time to do this is during the summer, when there is less demand on installers to attend emergency breakdowns. Any Gas Safe registered installer should be able to service your boiler or you can contact Baxi Customer Support and arrange for one of our engineers to visit.
I need a spare part for my Main boiler, can you recommend someone?
How much does a replacement Main boiler cost?
The cost of a boiler installation will vary according to the boiler you need and the amount of work the installer needs to do. For an estimate we recommend you contact several local Gas Safe registered installers and ask them to survey your home to make sure you get the boiler and heating system that’s right for your needs.
What is the Energy-related Products (ErP) Directive?
The EcoDesign of Energy related Products Directive (ErP) is a European wide framework put in place to help the EU achieve its 20-20-20 target to lower carbon emissions by 20%, increase energy efficiency by 20% and increase the share of renewable energies by 20% by 2020.
ErP will eventually include all products that have an impact on energy use, meaning all boilers and heating systems will be labelled in the same way that white goods, like refrigerators and washing machines, already are with the aim of improving efficiency.
There are two directives within ErP:
- EcoDesign: The EcoDesign Directive ensures that energy-related products meet performance and emissions standards at the point of manufacture. Any product that does not meet these requirements will not get a CE mark, which all products must have to be sold legally in the EU.
- Energy Labelling: From 26th September 2015, boilers and heating products will be given an efficiency rating from G to A+++ which will need to be clearly displayed on the product. Installers will also be required to complete a new document called a 'fiche'.
What is Boiler Plus?
From 6 April 2018, changes to the minimum requirements when installing boilers in existing buildings will become effective, in England only. The Domestic Building Services Compliance Guide is a vital reference document for installers, specifiers, enforcement authorities and market oversight bodies and will be updated to reflect the changes. The key changes are:
- Gas boiler performance: space heating efficiency of the new boiler no less than ErP 92%
- Controls minimum: time and temperature control required for all gas and oil boiler installations
- Combi boiler installations must also include one of the following:
- Weather compensation
- Load compensation
- Flue Gas Heat Recovery
- Smart control
Installers who don’t comply are breaking the law and could face prosecution. And if they invoice their customers for non-compliant work, it may be considered fraudulent and therefore open to action from Trading Standards. Your customers also have to comply with the Building Regulations, and could be fined up to £5,000.
What are 'Boiler flues in voids'?
If you live in a property that has a boiler flue which cannot be inspected because it is hidden behind a wall or ceiling, you need to install an inspection hatch. Gas engineers need to be able to see the flue - which take fumes away from the boiler - as part of essential safety checks. A flue in poor condition, combined with a boiler that is not working properly, could put you and your family in danger from carbon monoxide poisoning, which can cause death or serious injury.
If your boiler is situated on an outside wall, it is unlikely you have this type of flue. If your engineer can see all of the flue, you will not need to take any further action.
If you do have a boiler where all, or part of, the flue cannot be seen, you, or your landlord, will need to arrange for inspection hatches to be fitted. This does not mean, however, that your flue system is suddenly unsafe. As long as the boiler passes a series of safety checks - including having audible carbon monoxide alarms fitted - it can be used normally for the time being.
Carbon monoxide alarms are not an alternative to being able to see the flue and you will still need to have hatches fitted. It is recommended, that hatches are fitted as soon as you are able to do so. From 1 January 2013, any registered gas engineer will turn off the gas supply to the boiler until hatches have been fitted in appropriate places.
What is Carbon Monoxide (CO)?
Carbon Monoxide (CO) is a toxic gas produced by the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels including gas, oil, wood and coal used in boilers, engines, oil burners, gas fires, water heaters, gas ovens, solid fuel appliances and open fires.
Your gas appliances, including your boiler, oven, hob and gas fire, should be serviced annually, in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions, to ensure they are working safely and efficiently, and are not producing Carbon Monoxide. It's rather like giving your car an MOT to make sure it is safe to drive.
The most common symptoms of mild Carbon Monoxide poisoning are headache, nausea and feeling tired or confused - in fact, very similar symptoms to those of flu.
However, if you find your symptoms improve or go away when you are away from home, and get worse when you return, and if everyone else in the home, including pets, is also experiencing the same symptoms, you may be experiencing Carbon Monoxide poisoning and should see your GP immediately.
You can’t see or smell Carbon Monoxide but it can be deadly, so the easiest way to detect it is by fitting a good quality audible carbon monoxide alarm in each room that has a gas appliance. Simple steps to help you with prevent the possible dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning :
- Ensure your gas appliances are installed by a Gas Safe registered heating engineer
- Get your gas appliances serviced annually
- Do not block any ventilation or flues
- If you are worried about a gas appliance, don’t take risks - contact a Gas Safe registered installer
- Purchase and install an audible carbon monoxide alarm. This should not be used as a substitute for a regular service
- Remember that if you live in rented accommodation, your landlord must - by law - provide you with written evidence that a Gas Safe registered installer has safety-checked gas appliances within the last 12 months
- Check out the Gas Safe Register website for more information