How often should your boiler be serviced?

Rix Heating Services recommends that boilers should be regularly serviced by OFTEC registered engineers, just like our own, in accordance with the prescribed manufacturer's maintenance schedule. Usually, this is every 12 months.

Do you need to get your boiler serviced?

Over the course of a year, you can put your oil-fired heating system through a lot. So, it's essential to get it checked regularly so that it's working efficiently and safely. If the worst happens and it stops working, you should call your local OFTEC registered engineer. Most reputable heating engineers will offer out of hours services. Rix's house boiler maintenance team are always here to help.

Here are just a few benefits of using our boiler breakdown service:

Having an efficient oil boiler

  • Lower heating bills
  • Low emissions
  • Minimising the risk of Carbon Monoxide
  • Ensuring you are ready for winter

Our heating services department can offer a host of related services, including emergency call-outs. For more information on any of our home heating services, please contact us today.

Signs your oil-fired boiler needs servicing.

Below we have put together a list of things to look out for, but we would always advise getting a yearly boiler maintenance service on or around the 1st September so that you're ready for the winter weather.

  • Black smoke or a build-up of soot – this prevents the boiler from burning oil efficiently
  • Yellow or brown staining around or on the boiler  
  • Oil burner lock-out
  • Increased fuel usage

Frequently asked questions

How do I maintain my heating oil system? 

You should have your heating oil tank and oil boiler inspected at least once per year by an OFTEC-qualified heating engineer. You should also regularly perform visual inspections, and general upkeep:

- Remove debris from the external bund. Close access points when out of use.
- Clean any oil spillages made during delivery.
- Check for oil stains on the supports or ground.
- Check for bulging, cracks, rust or discolouration on the tank.
- Check that all connections are secure.
- Treat and paint steel tanks as required.
- Seek professional advice from an OFTEC-qualified engineer or registered company if you notice anything of concern.

What do I do if I run out of heating oil? 

If you run out of heating oil, contact your local depot as soon as possible. At all times we will endeavour to get your oil delivered to you quickly and efficiently but please be aware that this could take a little longer when fuel demand is at its highest, such as at Christmas time. All of our depots stock Emergency 25 litre drums of heating oil, which you can pick up by visiting your local Rix Depot. Simply contact them in advance and they will get it ready for you to collect.

How do I prevent heating oil from freezing?

The paraffin in heating oil can freeze and clog your line, potentially preventing you from heating your home. To reduce the risk of this happening, you should insulate your tank and pipes, and have your oil filter installed indoors. You can also purchase additives that lower the freezing temperature of heating oil or purchase pre-treated oil. Another option is to install an electric heat sheet that warms your tank when the temperature drops, although this is relatively costly. Having your heating oil tank installed indoors is the most effective way to prevent freezing.

Can heating oil evaporate? 

In high temperatures, heating oil can evaporate through air vents. However, it is unlikely that you will lose a significant amount of heating oil through evaporation.

Will heating oil go bad? 

Without proper maintenance, bacteria can grow in your heating oil. This forms a sludge that corrodes your oil tank and pipes. An unusual smell is an indicator of bacterial growth. Regular water removal and oil filtration will help prevent your heating oil from going bad. You can also use additives to reduce the risk of bacterial growth. Kept in the proper conditions, heating oil should remain usable for around 10 years.

Where should I dispose of heating oil?

You can find your nearest oil disposal service provider via the Oil Bank Line website, or by calling 0800 66 33 66. Alternatively, contact your local authority for guidance.