Regular heater checks can save lives and cash

Making sure your heating boiler is working properly is an important task before winter – being both a legal obligation and vital for your family’s safety.

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Heaters using gas, heating oil, wood or coal, all need regular maintenance – as do chimneys.

Poor heater maintenance can lead to poor fuel combustion, which is a leading cause of winter deaths due to carbon monoxide poisoning, with 100 people a year killed and more than 3,000 affected by nausea, headaches and dizziness.

Boiler maintenance contracts will include an annual check-up and repair for a cost of about €90 on average.

Getting the work done is the responsibility of the property owner or, if rented, the tenant unless specified in the lease.

There is no legal penalty for failure to do so but an insurer may refuse to pay out in the case of an accident and will demand to see both boiler maintenance and chimney cleaning records.

Once work is done, the boiler will work properly, use fuel more efficiently and cost less.