Find reputable boiler engineers
Boilers should be serviced every year, so friends, family and neighbours should be able to recommend a boiler engineer they have used. Which? have created a free boiler-servicing checklist to help you understand which areas your engineer is looking at and maintaining.
Use Which? Trusted Traders to find boiler, gas and central heating engineers in your area or to see if those already recommended to you have been endorsed and reviewed.
Gas Safe Register accreditation
Central heating engineers must be listed on the Gas Safe Register. This is the official gas registration body for the United Kingdom, Isle of Man and Guernsey (replacing CORGI).
All Which? Trusted Traders are on the Gas Safe Register but, whenever you hire any gas engineer, you should check what type of gas-related work they are qualified to undertake before hiring them.
Get three quotes
If you’re calling about a broken-down boiler, tell the engineer about the nature of the problem and any error messages showing on your boiler’s display. They’ll be able to tell you about the price for a call-out but additional costs depend on the nature of the problem and any parts required. You might also be charged for travel and parking costs.
Call at least three boiler engineers. You could ask:
- whether they have experience of servicing your particular boiler brand and model
- what the guarantee period for a new installation is (parts and labour)
- whether they have insurance that will protect your property
- whether they would honour a quote, in spite of any unforeseen work required
- whether they can clean (powerflush) your central heating system, if appropriate
- whether they can offer advice about energy efficiency
- how payment will be made – is any advance payment needed.
Good central heating engineers will usually want to see your system before they give you a quote for anything other than a simple job.
Inviting prospective boiler engineers to visit should give you a feel for whether they can be trusted. For example, do they explain your options clearly and without jargon or are you being bamboozled with technical terms and pressurised into costly work.
If you’re getting a new boiler or central heating system installed, the engineer should be looking around your home and asking about your lifestyle in order to determine what the best and most efficient system would be. Check the Which? guide to buying a new boiler for more information about the questions you should be asking.
Whatever work is required, you should get detailed written quotes so that you can compare the proposed solutions and prices. Call the engineers about any questions that arise after they’ve visited – good engineers are always happy to help.
If your job includes supply and installation of a new boiler or other significant work, you might reasonably be expected to pay an instalment before the work begins. New boilers and radiators can cost thousands of pounds, so don’t baulk if the initial instalment seems high but make sure you have agreed how and when additional payments will be made. Check the Which? guide to boiler Best Buys to help with your purchase.
Check and understand your installation
The best boiler engineers explain what they’ll check, repair or install before they start working and show you what they’ve done afterwards.
When the work is complete, you should check that the boiler is operating as expected – check both the hot water and heating. Make sure the engineer shows you how to use the settings on a new boiler or thermostat, as well as any other central heating system controls.
Keep the paperwork your boiler engineer gives you – you might need this in the event of any future problems, plus most boilers will have a warranty of at least 12 months.