Boilers are essential, particularly given the climate in the UK. They are also complex, so many things can and do go wrong. When this happens, the cost of repair can be significant. In addition, faulty boilers can be unsafe, especially if they start producing carbon monoxide.
This white paper presents 20 practical measures you can take to reduce the cost of boiler repairs. Many of them are aimed at preventing the boiler from becoming faulty in the first place.
According to research, 90 percent of landlords incur repair costs every year at an average cost of over £370. Boilers are not the only part of these repair bills, but they are a significant factor.
This is because of the expenses involved. According to Which, it costs four times as much to get a standard repair (like a replacement fan) than a boiler service.
In addition, the cost of replacing a boiler can be anything from 10 times the cost of an annual service for a straight like-for-like swap, to 25 times the cost of an annual service.
The costs are, therefore, significant.
The 20 tips in this white paper will help you lower the cost of boiler repairs in properties you own or manage. The focus for most of them is keeping your boiler in good working condition to prevent faults occurring.
Get the boiler serviced
Boilers must be serviced regularly, with most requiring annual maintenance in the form of a service. The easiest way to do that is to put a boiler maintenance contract in place, particularly if you own or manage multiple properties. This will ensure the maintenance is completed at the right time to keep your boilers in top working condition.
Only let Gas Safe registered engineers work on your boiler
It is essential that a suitably qualified and experienced plumber is used for all your boiler installation, repair, and maintenance work. This means they must be Gas Safe registered.
Sub-standard work by non-qualified tradesmen will lead to costly problems in the future and can leave your boiler in an unsafe condition.
Educate tenants and householders so they know what to look out for
You should give information to tenants so they know the common signs of impending boiler problems. This includes simple things like radiators not heating evenly, or water not heating like it used to.
Other signs include the boiler having an orange or yellow flame instead of a blue flame, repeated fluctuations in boiler pressure, noises from the boiler while running or starting up, black marks around the boiler, leaks, or drips from the overflow pipe (which is outside).
Send additional information to tenants and clients in advance of expected cold spells
When boilers freeze they can get damaged, and that damage is often expensive to fix. This can be prevented by keeping the heating on constantly. The energy efficient way to do this is to turn the thermostat down to a low temperature to prevent pipes from freezing up.
It is up to your tenants whether they do this or not, but many might not be aware of the benefits of keeping their heating running constantly.
Give advice to tenants and clients on how to thaw frozen pipes
This can also be sent to tenants if you expect a cold spell. Pipes can be thawed by putting a hot water bottle on top of the frozen section or pouring warm water on them. Don’t use boiling water.
Replace pipes that regularly freeze
Instead of fending off potential problems, and relying on tenants and householders, you can take other action. This might involve moving the pipe to a location where it is less exposed and therefore less likely to freeze. Replacing the pipe with one that is wider also helps to prevent freezing.
Fitting insulation on pipes is another effective way of preventing them from freezing. The cost of insulation is minor compared to the cost of a repair.
Take out boiler insurance cover
If you are a landlord, boiler insurance cover will lower your costs by protecting you when the unexpected happens.
Replace the boiler
Boilers are often installed for the wrong reasons, or they become old and ineffective. It can, therefore, be financially beneficial in both the medium and long term to replace the boiler, even if it is currently working.
Getting the right boiler installed in a property can save you money on maintenance, repair, and running costs that will more than cover the cost of purchasing and fitting the replacement unit.
Bleed the radiators
Air in radiators prevents them from heating up properly, but it can also cause the boiler to operate at higher than normal levels of pressure. This puts the boiler under more strain than necessary. Bleeding the radiators is a simple but effective corrective solution.