Concerns have been raised by a heating industry trade association after research revealed one in five homeowners are not servicing their boiler due to the ongoing cost-of-living crisis.
The survey of 2,000 UK homeowners, commissioned by the Heating and Hot Water Industry Council (HHIC), also found that 24% of respondents have not had their boiler serviced in over two years, significantly increasing the likelihood of an operational issue this winter.
With the average cost of a boiler replacement coming in at £2,597 according to Which? – well over the £86 average cost of a service – many Brits could be leaving themselves at risk of far larger bills than they bargained for.
This comes as the research also revealed the majority of British people are worried about the price of heating this winter. Amid geopolitical tensions and climate concerns affecting the global price of energy, 93.1% of UK households have stated they are worried about the price of their heating this winter. As a result almost nine in 10 (89%) people will be changing their home heating behaviour in some way to reflect the increasing costs.
Avoiding a service may not only see boilers running less efficiently and costing in bills, it will also run a higher risk repairs and replacement work. This could mean UK homeowners could be facing a greater upfront fee instead of a service charge which averages around £100. Given over half (54%) of respondents reported having no breakdown cover plan, it is likely that there will be a sharp rise in boiler replacements as people cut spending.
The research also highlighted that awareness was not the problem, with 90% of respondents aware that you should have an annual service.
This has provoked a warning from HHIC to ensure homeowners understand the financial implications of avoiding boiler servicing. Stewart Clements, Director of the HHIC, explains:
“The cost-of-living crisis has been felt widely across the UK, and heating is one of the first expenses people are looking to cut down on. Not only does an annual service of your boiler mitigate larger sums of replacement, but it can also save you money by cutting your energy usage. It is up to the heating industry to demonstrate to UK households that a service is a cost saving measure in the long run, no different to a service we get done annually for a cart. When a boiler is serviced, it will run more efficiently, resulting in less energy usage and lower bills come the end of the month.”
For the benefit of homeowners across the UK the HHIC have released a guide, Improving the Efficiency of Home Heating, with the aim of providing energy efficiency improvements nationally. Included in the report are tips on who to go to for boiler services, use of thermostats to increase efficiency, system water treatment, and the use of inhibitors to ensure all aspects of the heating system are performing at peak efficiency.
Mr Clements continued: “In order to ride this period of energy bill increases, the industry must share with the wider public key information on how to use energy more efficiently to their long-term benefit. This avoids an ad-hoc approach where efficiency is down, and risks of system malfunctions are up.”
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