Having a boiler breakdown is a nuisance that crops up more frequently than it should. One in five households has suffered at least one boiler breakdown in the past 12 months, with an average repair cost of £270.
Naturally, you’ll be keen to avoid a pricey breakdown on your boiler, and luckily there are some things you can do to avoid splashing the cash on costly repairs, which could leave you without hot water and heating.
Pay as you boil
For those who are planning on having a new boiler fitted, consider the alternative to paying it all off in one (very) large lump sum. Most companies will offer a finance plan to help you spread the cost of your new boiler over a few months, or years. Installation company LS1 Boiler Installation even offer a “10-year parts and labour warranty” giving you peace of mind about your boiler over the next decade.
Companies that offer a finance plan may also offer a full replacement if your boiler breaks down as part of the warranty, which is great news if you ever encounter an unexpected breakdown.
Avoid replacing multiple key parts
Individual parts for a boiler are rarely sold by manufacturers, and boiler spare outlets are generally sold for trade use only, making it difficult to come across any spare key parts you may need. This means it could become costly to repair your boiler — especially if there are multiple parts that need changing.
Replacement parts could see you paying anything from £150 for minor repairs (like a replacement fan) or around £300 for more costly work, like replacing a heat exchanger. However, the price to repair your boiler is all dependent on a number of various factors, such as the type of boiler you have, how old it is, and even where you live – as charges for plumbers vary dependent on location.
It’s worth noting that the older the boiler, the more expensive it will be to fix. Spare parts, if you can get your hands on them, for older boilers can also work out pricier.
Consider taking out an insurance policy
Paying a monthly premium could mean that you save big if your boiler ever breaks down, leaving you stranded with no hot water or central heating. Some providers offer a premium starting from as little as £5 a month, depending on the age of your boiler. This can include unlimited call-outs and claims during the term of the policy, which could be cost effective if your boiler ever needs parts changing.
Some boiler installation companies offer their own insurance policies, however this may only be for a limited time. Baxi, for example, offer warranties with their boilers, some of which last up to ten years, provided you register within 30 days after installation.
Get your boiler serviced annually
You may think that paying the extra fee to get your boiler serviced isn’t worth it, but having a professional take an annual look can prevent any nasty surprises from cropping up, leaving you with a broken boiler. Servicing a boiler allows an engineer to find any problems that could occur, and fix them before any major damage is caused. It also gives you a chance to flag up any problems that may have occurred since the last time your boiler was serviced, such as any strange noises, or issues with the heating.
A frequent check also ensures that the boiler is running efficiently, which can save lives. A recent study found that 4,000 people go to A&E each year due to carbon monoxide poisoning. Chief Medical Officer for England, Professor Dame Sally Davies, explained: “We can prevent these avoidable tragedies by making sure gas and fuel appliances are properly installed and maintained and fitting an audible carbon monoxide alarm that meets European Standard EN 50291.”
An efficiently running boiler can also reduce the cost of your bills, as less energy is being wasted by the appliance, so you could find yourself saving money after the initial cost of having your boiler serviced. Some insurance policies may only cover you if you agree to have your boiler serviced once a year, and may ask for proof of this before they pay out a claim.