Neil Gaffney, Managing Director at Vokèra Ireland, explains how important it is to have high-efficiency condensing boilers regularly serviced.
Installers know that regular servicing is vital to ensure a boiler is running safely and efficiently but for customers, it’s not always at the top of their priority list. Barely any attention is paid to heating systems during the warmer months of the year, but by encouraging their customers to have regular services, installers can spread their work out and have a constant supply of work across the year.
These regular services also give installers the opportunity to carry out any maintenance required or upgrade to a newer, more-efficient model. Manufacturers build a variety of features into their boilers to make it even easier for installers and their customers to know when a service is due. For instance, Vokèra’s Vision range actually counts the hours it condenses, up-to 2,500 hours, and then displays a ‘service required’ code.
Vokèra also builds an AutoStop feature into most of its boilers, which is perfect for local authorities and housing associations and is activated using a key fob device. Designed to help landlords carry out their legal obligations of annual gas safety checks, the Autostop function will notify the tenant that action is required, one month prior to the annual gas safety check being due. If the tenant fails to arrange a gas safety check, the boiler will go into standby mode until it can be reset during the annual inspection.
It is not only within the boilers themselves where manufacturers help; they also run training courses to ensure installers are aware of key features and all the latest technological changes so they can service boilers effectively. Vokèra runs regular workshops for groups of around eight individual installers and also sessions for a number of installers from one company, or one-to-one training. The one-to-one training is particularly popular for customers installing and maintaining a specific Vokèra product range as the time is spent in the workshop focusing specifically on the exact needs of the installer, covering wiring, set up and fault finding.
As an industry, we need to work together to completely change the typical attitude of home-owners who so often ignore the need for boiler servicing. We should be promoting servicing as an essential requirement in much the same way as we view the need to get our cars serviced regularly in order to keep maintenance bills down, help avoid any surprises and increase the value of the car when it comes to selling it. Boiler servicing should be thought of in the same way. We need to communicate the benefits of this professional approach and make it a service that home-owners value.