A recent survey of around 2,000 people has shown just how much emergency heating repair costs are worrying homeowners in Britain. Worryingly, it revealed that if they were hit with an unexpected bill of £250, 49% would have to borrow money from family or friends to cover the costs. If the bill was, £1,000 or over, figures would rise to 55% having to ask for a loan.
37% said they would have to dip into their seasonal savings to cover the costs, while 30% would need to use a credit card. The survey showed that only 12% actually had some kind of insurance policy to cover such an expense.
The figures also highlighted a big difference in generational preparations for such a costly scenario. Only 8% of those over 65 said they would have difficulty to pay an unexpected bill, whereas 49% of 18-24 year olds would struggle to find the finance for an emergency cost.
64% of those that took part in the survey had at least 1 unexpected cost in 2014 and 29% said they had difficulty paying for it.
Regarding the year ahead, 36% were concerned with their boilers breaking down, 27% worried about a breakdown of an appliance and a further 21% felt that plumbing problems would present them with a serious financial issue.
The results of this survey show that a serious amount of UK homeowners are unprepared for an emergency cost regarding their heating. This is particularly worrying because a majority of central heating emergencies occur when the heating is required most, namely during the coldest months of winter, rather than the summer.
Financial planning advice is clearly beyond the scope and responsibility of the heating industry, but installers, engineers and plumbers, as well as the industry as a whole, should be advising homeowners of best practise regarding their heating systems.
Advice on annual boiler maintenance, the use of inhibitor fluid, power flushing and generally keeping the heating system clean, would all contribute greatly to more efficient and reliable heating systems, contributing to less emergency costs and greater longevity of components.
Article by Benjamin Clarke