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The big smoke: A boiler breakdown

The figures, which have been compiled by Boiler Guide as part of its ‘Boilers on the Blink’ campaign to encourage homeowners to review their boilers following winter and make repairs while engineers are in lower demand, found that 6.1%* of properties in London had experienced a boiler breakdown since 2009. 

The West Midlands (6%) and the North East (5.6%) followed the closest behind, suggesting that residents in these areas need to pay closer attention to their boilers to ensure they can make any repairs or replacements before it’s too late. At the other end of the scale, boilers were least likely to break down in Yorkshire (4.3%), ahead of Scotland (4.4%) and the North West (4.8%). 

Full results:

Commenting on the results, Founder of Boiler Guide David Holmes, said:

“London is synonymous with having an abundance of ‘older’ residential and commercial properties, with many containing older heating systems that are in dire need of repair. Couple these with the higher occupancy rates and the dense population of the region, the strain put on boilers and other home heating systems is hard to ignore. It’s likely that the temperature in each region will also have an impact on the final figures. While London is, on average, one of the warmest areas of the UK, this also means that boilers are switched off and left dormant for longer periods throughout the spring and summer, which is when more repair issues can occur.”

The report also found there was a clear link between the percentage of home ownership and the amount of boiler repair enquiries made, with areas dominated by rental properties such as in London, the North East and the West Midlands more likely to experience a breakdown. This is likely due to tenants not paying a close eye on the condition of their boiler, or not living in a property for a long enough time to notice any changes.

David, adds: The boiler guide % of Boiler enquiries by month

“While the cost for the repairs or replacement of a boiler is the responsibility of the homeowner or landlord, tenants should keep an eye out for the signs and symptoms of a faulty boiler. A boiler that is performing to its full potential will not only create a warmer, cosier home to live in, but it can also reduce energy costs by hundreds of pounds a year for residents.”

Why is Summer the Best Time to Get Your Boiler Repaired or Replaced?

Although demand for boiler services, repairs and replacement is lower between March to October, this is actually the best time to get these jobs carried out. Here are a few reasons to go against the trend and get your boiler repaired in the summer. 

  • Heating engineers and companies are often less busy during the summer and may offer more competitive prices. 

  • You should find it easier to get an appointment time that suits you.

  • Having work carried out on your boiler means it will need to be turned off; if you have to go without heating and hot water, it makes much more sense to do it in the summer.

  • If a boiler breaks in winter you will be without heating and hot water until it can be fixed. Getting things sorted ahead of the winter will give you real peace of mind that your boiler is in good condition before it’s tested by the freezing temperatures ahead.

You should get to know how your boiler works and to recognise when there might be a problem. Listen for odd noises and if the boiler seems to be struggling to reach a high enough temperature, don’t ignore it as it’s unlikely things will get better without some maintenance or a repair. 

For more information and the full results on the Boiler Guide research, click here
*These figures are based on the total amount of boiler repair of enquiries received by Boiler Guide between 2009-2019 and divided by the total number of properties in each region (based on ONS statistics).

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