Reader question: What are the rules for having gas boilers serviced in France? Do you need an annual check, as you do for chimneys?
Like chimneys, heaters that use gas, heating oil, wood or coal require regular maintenance.
Home-owners are meant, by law, to have gas heating boilers checked annually by a professional, who should supply a certificate stating the boiler has been checked and is safe to use.
Poor maintenance can lead to poor fuel combustion and – in the worst cases – carbon monoxide poisoning, which kills around 100 people a year in France.
Boiler maintenance contracts include an annual check-up and repair for a cost of about €120. If the home is rented, organising the check is the responsibility of the tenant unless otherwise stated in the lease.
There is no legal penalty for failure to maintain and service a boiler but an insurer may refuse to pay out if a related claim is made. Many will demand to see both boiler maintenance certificates and chimney cleaning records.
Landlords, too, may require proof that boilers are being maintained.
To find a heating technician, look in online directories under chauffagiste or search for entretien chaudière (boiler maintenance).
Most communes have bylaws imposing chimney cleaning by a professional sweep once or twice a year.