There are many things that can break down in our homes, all of which have their own peculiar irritations and annoyances when it happens. But can there be any breakdown worse than our boiler breaking down? Personally, here at CompareCompanies, the answer is no!
Having to boil the kettle to do the washing up, no chance of having a shower or a bath, and seeing the breath in front of your face. Even Bear Grylls would struggle to cope with that although he’d probably struggle a little less than us mere mortals!
If you feel that it’s time for you to get a new boiler and you’d like help finding the right tradespeople to work with, fill in the form above. We work with experienced, vetted, and qualified GasSafe engineers and installers across the UK. We’ll put you in touch with 3 or 4 of the best who work in your part of the country who’ll provide you with quotes and answer any and all questions you have.
Common boiler problems
There are seven commonly-occurring problems with most boilers installed in people’s homes. They are:
- Your hot water never seems to be on
- The pilot light keeps going out and it’s difficult to put it back on again
- The thermostat doesn’t respond to anything you tell it to do
- Your boiler seems to switch off regularly and there seems to be no reason for it
- Your radiators are either freezing cold or slightly warm to the touch when they’re meant to be hot
- Your boiler makes a lot of noises that it shouldn’t be making
- Is the boiler working efficiently because my utility bills are higher than normal?
How often should you service your boiler?
Most installers and boiler manufacturers recommend that you have your boiler serviced at least once every year, even if you think that there’s nothing wrong with it right now.
Boilers last long and perform better than ever before however those improvements are driven by a series of complicated components within your boiler which rely on each other to work. If one of these components starts malfunctioning or not operating at optimum level, over time there is a risk that the impaired performance of that part might start negatively affecting other parts of the boiler.
Boiler servicing – one-off charge
For your annual service, you can choose from two different options – paying a one-off charge every time the engineer comes out or paying a monthly fee.
The leading national companies offering a one-off charge service are:
|Company||One-off boiler service cost|
Many local gas engineers and installers offer one-off boiler service charge services too and, quite often, they will offer a more competitive price than their national rivals.
When your engineer comes to visit you to perform your boiler service, they’ll normally be around for about 30 to 45 minutes. They may spend a bit longer with you if they think that there is a problem with your boiler – if there is, they’ll make notes on the problem and share it with you at the end together with potential solutions.
While they’re there, they’ll look for leaks or corrosion around your boiler as part of their visual inspection.
Then, by removing the casing, they’ll check that your boiler’s controls and parts are working well. They’ll also probably give your boiler a good clean to because this will help its components operate at the highest level.
The next part of the service will be an inspection of your flue. The flue is a duct which transports the waste gases and smoke that your boiler creates when it’s switched on. They’ll make sure that there’s nothing blocking the passage of the waste gasses and the smoke and that it’s properly affixed to your boiler.
At the end, they’ll switch your boiler on again to check that the pressure is correct.
They’ll then give you a written run-down of everything they’ve done including any areas of concern they’ve found. Gas engineers are friendly people and they’ll always welcome any questions you have about the service they’ve performed on your boiler at the end.
Boiler servicing – annual cover
Instead of choosing a one-off payment every year, you can choose to pay for your boiler servicing monthly over the course of a year. The top six national providers of annual cover boiler servicing are:
|Company||Annual boiler cover cost|
|British Gas||Avg £12.00/month|
|CERTI UK||Avg £12.50/month|
|EDF Energy||Avg £13.29/month|
|Scottish Power||Avg £13.13/month|
|Your Repair||Avg £9/month|
|24/7 Home Rescue||Avg £9.60/month|
There are significant additional benefits to the monthly option over the once-a-year choice.
With the monthly option, you’ll also receive:
- Unlimited call-outs
- Telephone helpline
- Range of repairs included in the price in case the boiler breaks down
You do get significant additional benefits from annual cover but is it always worth it? If you have a new boiler (less than 7 years old), it will probably be cheaper to take the one-off cover. If your boiler is over 10 years old, you’d probably be wiser to take out annual cover so that, in the event that your boiler breaks down, you benefit from having all or most of your repairs bills paid for.
What if your boiler breaks down and you’re not covered by an annual service and maintenance contract? Below you can see a list of the types of fault most likely to require a repair and the cost of that repair including VAT and labour charges.
|Boiler Replacement Part||Cost|
|Air pressure switch||£190|
|New heating pump||£220|
|Magnetic filter installation||£300|
Boiler servicing FAQ
Why should I bother getting a boiler service?
The cost of the repairs you’ll have to meet as you can see in the table above gives you a really good idea of how much fixing a boiler really costs. It’s not cheap and the bills can quickly mount up.
If your boiler is not working properly, the amount of money you save on your utility bills will also reduce sharply. You may be losing up to £200 a year in savings if you’re constantly having your current boiler fixed.
The last major point to think about is family safety. Around 25 people a year die every year in the UK as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning caused by a faulty gas boiler.
If you’re a landlord, it is now a legal requirement to provide your tenants with a Gas Safety Certificate.
Can the cost of a boiler repair be covered by my home insurance?
Some home insurers now provide coverage including provision for boiler repairs minus the excess you’ve agreed with them.
If you’re not sure, please check your insurance documents as soon as you can. If you have other cover on your boiler in addition to the cover provided by your home insurance, you may be paying for the same service twice.
Can I get any financial assistance with the cost of boiler servicing?
Some energy providers will provide you with financial support to get your boiler repaired. You will, in most cases, have to apply direct to the energy provider themselves who may wish to perform a check on your current financial circumstances to make sure that you’re eligible.
You can also get advice from:
- Energy Saving Trust (England and Wales) – please call 0300 123 1234
- Energy Saving Trust (Scotland) – please call 0800 808 2282
- Energy Saving Trust (Northern Ireland) – click here
- Warm Home Discount Scheme – click here
Should my engineer be qualified?
Yes. Gas boiler engineers should be register with GasSafe.
If you have an oil boiler, your engineers should be OFTEC registered. For coal or wood-fired boilers, look out for HETAS registration.
What should I ask my engineer for?
If your engineer doesn’t follow the order we described earlier in this list, you may want to ask them why not. Every engineer has their own way of working however you’re paying for this and it’s completely reasonable to ask if you have any questions or concerns.
When the engineer has finished, you should be given a Gas Safety Certificate by them. The certificate will show the name of the engineer, the name of the company they work for, and their GasSafe registration number. It will detail any of your engineer’s findings and concerns that came up during the inspection. If you have asked them to check any other appliances that run off gas during their visit, they must list these on the certificate as well.
What should my next steps be?
First, it’s always better to have something in place instead of nothing. You’ve seen how expensive repairs can be if you have no cover and you know how much in savings on your utility bills you might be missing out on by keeping an aging boiler that’s prone to break down going.
Second, if you’ve done the sums and you believe that it makes more financial sense to replace your current boiler with a brand new one, it’s important that you speak with 3 or 4 installers about what you need your boiler to do.
Why three or four? You’ll get a far better price on your new boiler (sometimes saving up to 30%) because each installer is in competition with the others to try to win your business. By shopping around, it’s possible to get a great new boiler for your home at a significant discount.
When your potential installers come around to visit, make sure you take every opportunity to ask every question you need so that you’re certain of getting the boiler you want and need for your home.
Our service is completely free of charge and you don’t have to accept any of the quotes provided by the installers we put you in touch with.
To start the process, please click here.