There’s never a good time for your boiler to breakdown: apart from being inconvenient, the repairs can also be a significant expense. Here, our guest blogger, Beckie Hatton, Product Manager at household appliance repairs company Home Appliance Care discusses the importance of maintaining and insuring your boiler and how you can save money on boiler breakdowns.
Boilers are a key component for any home, responsible for heating and circulating a constant supply of water to ensure you can take a shower, wash the dishes and keep warm during the winter months. But, with recent research showing that over 7 million homeowners haven’t taken out insurance for their boilers, with those paying for boiler repairs and replacements themselves spending a staggering £894 on average for these, it’s clear more people need to be made aware of the financial consequences of not insuring your boiler.
Here, I’ll be giving my top three tips for saving money on boiler breakdowns, including what cover you will need, as well as ways to cut boiler costs and how to avoid issues in the first place.
Make sure you’re insured
Depending on the home insurance policy you already have, you may already unknowingly be insured for boiler breakdowns under contents insurance. So, before you head in search of a separate boiler cover, you’ll want to check your existing policy to see what’s covered.
If there’s an option for add-on boiler cover, you should find out how much extra this would cost you. Typically, this will be referred to as ‘home emergency cover’ in your insurance documents and should include contact details for an emergency tradesperson, the amount you are covered up to for each claim you make and if there is a limit on repairs.
If you have a packaged bank account, you may be entitled to extra benefits including home emergency cover, so it’s worth checking the fine print of your bank account or speaking to an advisor to find out whether you are already covered.
If you already know you’re not covered, it’s time to take action! Boiler cover policies can help you save money on essential repairs for your central heating, as well as for plumbing and drainage. Plus, many of these will also include boiler servicing, which is recommended annually to spot any issues and lengthen the life of your boiler as much as possible. When choosing your boiler cover, be sure to take your policy out as soon as possible and read the terms and conditions to find out if you’ll be required to pay excess costs for callouts and fees.
Get regular boiler services
Identifying and fixing boiler issues as soon as possible is the key to prolonging your boiler’s lifespan and keeping repair and replacement costs to a minimum, which is why all boiler manufacturers would advise getting yours serviced at least once a year. During a service, the engineer will perform safety and efficiency checks to ensure that your boiler is working as it should be. More specifically, they may do the following:
- Carry out a visual inspection: The engineer will firstly look at the condition of your boiler, making sure that it still meets standards and doesn’t look to have any damage or leaks which could be hazardous. They will also check the flame in your boiler is a healthy blue colour.
- Cleaning the inside of the boiler: Your engineer will remove the boiler casing and check that the components inside are working correctly, as well as cleaning inside to remove any dirt or debris build-up.
- Check the flue: The engineer will check that there are no obstructions to the flue terminals and that it is safely fitted. Anything blocking your flue can cause carbon monoxide to be realised into the home, so will need to be dealt with quickly.
- Conduct gas pressure checks: This will ensure that your boiler is working at the correct pressure so that hot water can properly be circulated around your home.
Consider the Green Deal for boiler replacements
In some unfortunate cases, you might need to skip the boiler repair stage and fully replace your appliance. This can be extremely costly, especially if you’ve not budgeted for this occurrence, with investigation findings from Which? showing that new boilers can cost you anything from £1,500 to over £4,500.
But, with many people moving towards more sustainable and energy-efficient ways of living, the government have suggested many improvements and benefits you could make for your home, known as their Green Deal. This government scheme provides a grant which will pay towards the cost of a new boiler if yours needs completely replacing. However, to qualify for this, you may also need to have additional energy-efficiency measures in place.
To make use of the scheme, you will need to have your home assessed for energy efficiency but be aware that any extra measures you add should not outweigh the savings you’ll make by using the grant towards boiler replacement.
Boiler breakdowns are incredibly inconvenient, so making sure you get regular services to avoid any serious problems and having the right insurance will be key. Follow the top tips in this article to ensure you can save money on any repairs or replacements you do have to do in future.