Your Check Engine light is on: 6 reasons to take out a service contract for your biomass boiler

Your Check Engine light is on: 6 reasons to take out a service contract for your biomass boiler
Even when there isn’t a warning light flashing at you from the dashboard of your car, as a responsible owner of a vehicle that is vital for your daily life you are still likely to think about the little things you need to check to keep it running smoothly. How else will you get to work, drop the kids off at school or take the mother-in-law to the WI? Testing the tyre pressure before a long journey, checking the oil level regularly and filling up the screen wash reservoir just in case.
On top of that you ought to have your car regularly serviced and given an MOT by that someone who is trained, qualified and experienced to thoroughly inspect your vehicle.  You do this to ensure that your vehicle runs smoothly and any problems that may arise can be foreseen by an engineer who knows what they are talking about.
Maintaining a biomass boiler is no different.
Having an annual service, or multiple service visits if your boiler runs over the standard 3,000 run hours a year, is vital for keeping all the mechanical elements in the best working order. A trained engineer inspects and replaces any worn parts, examines the quality of the fuel and its delivery to the boiler and may make suggestions for any improvements that could be made to the system.
So why wouldn’t you take out a service contract for your biomass system? If you are still unsure, here are 6 reasons that should change your mind.
Although you are conscientiously dealing with the weekly, monthly and regular checks and maintenance advised by your boiler installer or manufacturer, there are certain parts of any mechanical technology that require an expert eye. This is especially true in equipment where combustion takes place.
Assuming that all is well with your biomass system until such a time that it brings up faults or (Heaven forbid!) breaks down, could result in significant issues. There could be down-time on the boiler while it waits for an engineer to come out to site, which will obviously affect your heating and hot water, especially if there is no back-up system.
Having a service contract means that when the engineer comes to check out your boiler, anything that may result in a fault later down the line can be flagged up and as a rule be dealt with there and then.
Read more about why you should and how you can look after your biomass heating system in our earlier blog about maintenance.
As most biomass companies, Rural Energy certainly, have service engineers up and down the country, should your boiler suffer a fault that cannot be rectified over the phone or by remote control, or breaks down, whoever is available at the time will be sent to assist you. This may not be the engineer based closest to you as emergency call-outs will be dealt with by whoever is available at the time.
By taking out a service contract, it provides us time to book in your annual service visit(s) and combustion check on a date that suits you and normally with your locally-based engineer.
It also minimises the need for return visits if the engineer simply does not have all the time he needs to rectify the fault, fix the issue or replace parts. If this is the case, the boiler could be down for another day or two whilst other arrangements are made for another appointment. So let’s cut that out of the equation and give your boiler some TLC early on to prevent this from ever happening!
Should the worst happen and you need a visit to investigate a fault or break down, or as a one-off service, we will naturally do our best to get an engineer out to you as soon as possible.
However, if the engineer comes directly from another job without the opportunity to re-stock their van at a company depot, they may not have the part that your boiler requires.
By having a service contract, your dedicated engineer will have already stocked their van to deal with most fault investigations, spare parts and even combustion chamber replacements that could possibly be required during their visit to your site and others they have scheduled in. This minimises the risk of requiring further visits.
Rural Energy engineers by branded van
Except in extreme circumstances, if you have an annual service contract, each time you are due to have a visit it will be the same engineer that comes to your site. By having the flexibility of being able to arrange visits in advance, we can plan the engineers’ schedules in accordance to distance, time expected to be on site and other factors. In so doing, you should benefit from seeing the same engineer coming to deal with your biomass boiler service each time it is due.
Not only does this provide you with the comfort of having someone you recognise dealing with your system, but they will know all about previous issues that may have arisen and any idiosyncrasies of the installation, such as unique fuel feed setups that other engineers may not have come across themselves.
This gives you the peace of mind knowing that your boiler is in familiar, capable hands.
One very important aspect of servicing your biomass heating system is that it is a requirement, not only for the warranty of your boiler and continued safe and efficient operation, but also to receive financial benefits from avenues such as the government’s Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI).
This RHI scheme pays the owner / operator of the sustainable technology an amount for every kilowatt hour of renewable heating used.
In order to comply with the regulations set out in the RHI, one of the requirements is to have your biomass system serviced as per the manufacturer or installer’s guidelines, usually by an engineer who has been trained on that specific brand or model of boiler.
By having a service contract, the hassle of remembering to book your service(s) in time to meet the terms of your RHI or other benefit agreement is taken out of the mix and you do not run the risk of inadvertent noncompliance, the result of which would likely be non-payment of incentives. At the very least it could hold up payments going forward until you have observed the service requirements and you may miss out on the compensation due you for the time of noncompliance.
When taking out a service contract, most providers will include travel, possible accommodation and additional expenses so that the price you pay for your annual agreement is the only money you will be spending on your biomass system’s care throughout the year.
From all the other points above, you may have noticed a theme. Without the security of a service contract, numerous factors could arise that may result in standardised fees above the rate of an annual, pre-arranged contract.
Not only that, but as mentioned, you may lose out on incentives and payments from sources such as the RHI.
A service contract ensures that you meet the requirements of your boiler manufacturer, your installer, your benefits scheme and the system itself, to keep it running as efficiently and safely as possible. By keeping your biomass system running at optimum levels you can also save on things like fuel costs, as the boiler will use the wood fuel more efficiently and will also extend its lifespan.
If you take out a service contract with Rural Energy for your biomass installation, there are several other benefits on top of those mentioned above.
Discounts on spare parts, for example, and priority telephone assistance from our technical team are just a few of the advantages of taking out a service contract with Rural Energy. We ensure you can get up and running as quickly as possible.
You can read more about our offerings in the Service & Maintenance page on our website.
If you have any questions or would like to speak to a member of the team about your biomass heating system, please call 0203 189 0666 or email service@ruralenergy.co.uk.