Gas engineer holding flue gas analyer in front of boiler

Millions have never had their boiler serviced

More than 3 million UK households have never had their boiler serviced, according to research from the Benchmark Steering Group.

Its survey asked people about the maintenance of their heating system. While 76 per cent of respondents said boiler servicing was either important to them or very important, almost half said they don’t maintain their boiler in accordance with the manufacturer’s guidance.

With 80 per cent of breakdowns resulting in people being left without heat or hot water for at least a day, and 1 in 10 enduring this for three days, it’s clear that a greater awareness is needed around boiler servicing. Not only are these resources a lifeline for those who are vulnerable but, if left unchecked, heating systems can cause unexpected costs.

Furthermore, 15 per cent of homeowners are not sure if their boiler is in or out of warranty, supporting the need to further educate consumers to ensure they are well informed.

Benchmark raises standards in installation, commissioning and servicing. The steering group is responsible for policy and management issues in the Benchmark scheme, and the survey of 2,000 people was carried out to support the launch of Benchmark’s new engineer and homeowner apps.

Billy Wilgar, deputy chair of Benchmark Steering Group, says: “The results show that while UK homeowners know the importance of servicing, this is not translating into proactive action. It’s essential that boilers are serviced annually to improve efficiency, prevent the loss of heating or hot water and protect residents.

“Given that almost half of the respondents had suffered a boiler breakdown in the past five years, it’s clear that it’s more important than ever to encourage prevention rather than cure. In support of this, Benchmark has launched a new app allowing heating engineers to keep track of servicing and maintenance of the heating system, simplifying the process and allowing for full transparency.

“With a homeowner app to follow early in 2021, it’s our hope that the apps will ensure more accountability, and prevent us from remaining trapped in ‘fit and forget’ culture.”

The new Benchmark apps act as a digital passport for heating systems, storing key information for engineers to access, including installation and servicing history. They will encourage regular servicing via annual push notifications to homeowners, as well as enabling heating engineers to fill out the Benchmark checklist on their phone or tablet at the time of installation.

Find out more here.

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