It’s one of the most important items in your house and yet few of us understand it. As the temperature plummets, it’s time to think about what tlc your boiler might need.
I’ve seen pictures of warehouses stock piling packages for the winter in the papers this week. Sadly, it’s not the elves filling up the shelves ready for Santa’s rounds but rather companies getting in supplies for boiler servicing and repairs over the winter months.
The dreaded scenario is the boiler packs up on a chilly December morning. There is the inconvenience of not having a hot shower, the difficulty of finding a decent boiler engineer and then, in the worst case scenario, the shock of having to shell out thousands of pounds to get a boiler installed. It’s certainly a headache that most of us could do without.
A costly boiler repair
Now one of the most consistent complaints that we get from members at this time of year is about boiler servicing contracts. Not many seem to be content with the cost or breadth of their cover and yet a third of Which? members still have boiler servicing contracts. So are they worth it?
Well it’s easy to see the upsides of having a boiler servicing contract in place. Earlier this year, our researcher Victoria Pearson wrote about how grateful she was to have a boiler servicing contract in place after her boiler gave up the ghost.
But it seems Victoria may be one of the lucky ones. Last year we did an investigation in to boiler servicing contracts with alarming results. Four out of 10 boiler engineers failed to do their job properly in our undercover test, with two recommending hundreds of pounds of unnecessary work.
Boiler contract unlikely to save you money
Our conclusion was that you’re unlikely to save money if you take out a boiler servicing contract because the average spent on a service is £75 and you’re unlikely to need repairs.
So how do you look after your boiler? If you’ve home emergency cover you might find your particular policy covers your boiler too (although beware as our money investigation discovered a number of home emergency exceptions).
Perhaps you prefer putting aside a little money each month so you’ve got some money for home emergencies throughout the year. But how many of us could could confess to being that organised?
How do you care for your boiler?
I cross my fingers and hope for the best (35%, 95 Votes)
I have a boiler servicing contract and think it’s worth it for the peace of mind (34%, 91 Votes)
I put a little bit of money aside each month to cover home emergencies (16%, 42 Votes)
I have a boiler servicing contract but doubt it is providing value for money (15%, 41 Votes)
Total Voters: 271