Mass boiler breakdowns predicted for UK homes this week

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As the latest ‘polar plunge’ hits the country, this week (last week of November) is anticipated to be the worst for boilers breaking down, according to British Gas

As the temperature plummets across the country, British Gas predicts they’ll see a 39% increase in engineer visits to fix broken boilers.

People living in the so-called ‘Boil-uda Triangle’ - South Thames, South Bucks & Berkshire and Central London – are more than 20% more likely to suffer a boiler breakdown.

The energy company predicts its team of engineers will visit over 79,000 homes this week to fix problems with heating or hot water - a 34% increase on the previous week. And they’ve already seen a 40% increase in engineer visits throughout November compared to October.

Top 10 regions to face heating or hot water issues

 Region Engineer visits
(Oct 2016 – Jan 2017)
South Thames 26,797
South Bucks & Berkshire  26,432
Central London 26,392
North Thames    26,252
West London 25,608
Cambridgeshire & Hertfordshire 25,410
Wiltshire & Dorset 25,238
Essex    25,199
Surrey & Sussex 24,801
Sussex & Weald 24,561

Despite the high likelihood of boiler breakdowns this week, recent research from British Gas shows more than a third of households haven’t even checked their central heating, while four in 10 haven’t had their boiler serviced in preparation for winter. 

British Gas’ in-house meteorologist monitors up to 30 weather stations across the country and looks for sudden changes in temperature. By watching the weather and reviewing the number of jobs engineers have attended in the past, they can predict how many visits they’ll make to UK homes the winter.

What are the main boiler problems?

  • Leaking/dripping
  • Frozen pipes - with temperatures often dipping below freezing in the winter the risk of frozen pipes is very real. This can cause a blockage in your boiler. Do not attempt to thaw it yourself; you should contact a qualified professional
  • No heating
  • Loss of pressure.

In a survey of 2,000 adults living in the UK, having no heating was listed as the number one disaster for the majority of households this winter.

Despite this, more than a third admitted they couldn’t locate the boiler in their home.

If you’re concerned about your boiler this winter, take a look at our guide to boiler emergency cover which covers boiler maintenance. You can also find out how to bleed your radiators – a quick and simple job to help energy efficiency.

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