Following the warmest February on record, March saw some snowfall in parts of the UK. Storms Gareth and Hannah also wreaked havoc across Britain. Direct Line for Business is advising landlords that prevention is better than cure, warning they shouldn’t be complacent when it comes to maintaining their properties’ heating systems. 81% of the entire year’s boiler claims were made in winter last year and the cost of repairing a faulty boiler currently stands at about 60% more than the average UK monthly rent.
Business Manager at Direct Line for Business, Sarah Larkin said: “Last winter the Beast from the East and Storm Emma caused substantial damage to UK properties, contributing to a two-year high of £1.25 billion paid by insurers. While Brits have enjoyed an unseasonably warm February, March has already seen a sharp fall in temperature and unsettled conditions, so to prevent being caught out landlords should ensure that their properties all have fully serviced and insured boilers.”
It is a legal requirement for landlords to be responsible for securing an annual safety certificate for gas appliances and are also required to ensure the heating and hot water systems are maintained and functioning in the correct manner. Direct Line for Business provides boiler breakdown cover as standard with any building’s insurance issued. As long as any damage isn’t a maintenance issue or due to wear and tear, they will pay the cost of fixing the issue, or if repair is not possible, then they will replace the broken boiler. They will also pay for any supplementary heaters to help tenants try and stay warm while the issue is being resolved.
Here are some top tips to keep your boiler running as efficiently as possible throughout the year:
Any sudden change to cold temperatures can freeze your boilers external condensate pipe, which could cause your boiler to stop working. By insulating pipes, this can also help prevent burst pipes as keeping the heating on constantly but low when it’s very cold.
If your radiators are not giving off as much heat as you feel they should be, or if the top of the radiator isn’t getting warm, there might be air trapped inside the heating system. By releasing air from the system, it’ll help keep radiators hot and water within the system well circulated. Bleeding radiators is a simple task, but you’ll need a key which can slot into the radiators bleed valve. If you still have a problem after doing this, you may need to call in the professionals.
Ensure you service your boiler and keep it regularly maintained in line with the manufacturer’s recommendations. Inspect your boiler regularly for any error lights on the interface. Check for leaks, cracks or strange noises because the earlier you notice a problem, the easier it will be to fix.
If the property is going to be left unoccupied for an extended period, you may want to consider draining the water system and switching the appliances off. However, if it’s in the winter months, when frost might occur, then keeping your central heating system on low as this can help prevent frozen pipes. Most insurers will have terms and conditions that apply if the property is unoccupied for an extended period so check your policy to make sure that follow recommendations and are covered should there be an issue.
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