DECEMBER is here and the UK is set to expect freezing weather conditions with chances of snow.
The Met office has issued a yellow weather warning for ice starting from today and freezing temperatures throughout the week.
That means many of us will be ramping up our heating in an attempt to stay warm.
But some unlucky homeowners may find that their boiler has packed up and the heating won’t come on.
If you do have boiler troubles, it’s important to make sure you’re not overpaying for repairs.
Getting your boiler fixed can be an expensive business, and the average cost is £182 each time. If you need to replace it entirely, you could spend even more!
Consumer group Which? asked 166 traders how much they would charge for parts and labour for the most common boiler faults.
Compare any quotes you get so you can see if they are reasonable.
How much do the most common faults cost to repair?
If you need to replace the “brains” of your boiler – a printed circuit board – you will pay £277 on average.
A new fan will set you back £240 on average and a new gas valve usually costs £219.
A engineer will charge £211 on average for a new water pump, £191 for diverter valves, and £102 for a pressure relief valve. A new ignition system will set you back £109.
Your boiler’s thermostat (£101), air vent (£96) are among the cheaper repair jobs.
Older boilers might also have a part called a thermocouple which prevents gas leaks if your pilot light goes out.
That will cost £86 on average to replace.
Alex Neill, of Which?, said: “Getting your boiler serviced, repaired and ready for winter is an important task at this time of year.
“Our research provides a good guide so that you can judge whether the quote you have been given is reasonable.”
How can I get my boiler repaired?
Which? says whatever you do don’t attempt to fix your boiler yourself.
Boiler repairs should not be attempted by anyone who is not a professional heating engineer and Gas Safe registered.
Doing it yourself is dangerous and could invalidate your warranty.
Common brands such as Ideal, Valliant and Worcester Bosch don’t even sell spares to the general public – only accredited boiler engineers can order parts.
To find a good engineer, ask friends and family for recommendations for one you can rely on – and make sure you shop around for some quotes to see where you can get the best price.
You can also use Which?’s Trusted Trader Service to find a reputable trader in your area that has been endorsed by Which?
It’s worth checking your manual to see what your warranty covers and for how long.
Getting your boiler serviced annually will help keep it in good condition – a typical service costs between £72.
How to get a boiler for free
GETTING a new boiler typically costs £2,300 according to the Energy Saving Trust. But there are government schemes that can help with some or all of the cost.
The Government’s Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme means that energy companies will replace old, inefficent boilers for low-income families either completely free of charge or with a big discount.
The rules to qualify for the scheme are quite complicated. You must own your own home or have the permission of your landlord.
You’ll also need to meet certain income or benefit requirements.
For instance, you may qualify if you claim:
- Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit
- Working or Child Tax Credit
- Income Support
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Income Based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Universal Credit
- Disability Living Allowance
- Personal Independence Payment
- Attendance Allowance
- Carer’s Allowance
- Severe Disablement Allowance
- Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefits
- War Pensions Mobility Supplement
- Constant Attendance Allowance
- Armed Forces Independence Payment
- Child Benefit
If you think you could qualify, you should call energy providers for a free assessment.
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