When choosing a company to install your new boiler, it’s understandable that most people like to shop around and do a bit of research. After all, a new boiler is a major investment in your central heating, so we thought we’d give you a few things to think about:
1) Make a shortlist of national and local companies. If you’re searching online, then try typing in “boiler installers” or “boiler installation” and do a couple of searches, some with your local area added, some without. Remember that a national installer will probably have coverage in your area and may have access to a wider range of products than a smaller local company.
2) Draw up a shortlist of no more than 5 companies - you can always widen the list if you need to.
3) Check out their websites. Obviously, a small local company may not have a very sophisticated website, but if they don’t have a site at all, unless they have been personally recommended, then you may be better not using them. Look at the sites and see what you think. Do they have clear contact details? Is there a phone number?
4) Draw up a list of important criteria - we would recommend that you include:
- Are they Gas Safe Registered? If not, don’t use them.
- When can they come out to you? If they can’t come out for three or four weeks are you really prepared to wait that long?
- Which boilers do they fit? –It’s very easy to be confused as you’re not a boiler expert, but if they don’t fit at least one of the top manufacturers (Baxi, Worcester Bosch, Ideal or Potterton), then ask yourself why.
- How much do they charge? Is there a call out charge and if so how much is it?
- Do they offer payment terms? Obviously, a smaller local company may not, so this isn’t necessarily a deciding factor, but its worth finding out as it may be important to you.
- How long have they been operating for? A company with a long track record may be more reliable and will certainly care about its reputation.
- How much do they charge for servicing? Most people, once they’ve found someone reliable, like to go back to them so it’s best to pick a company that provides you with a long term service.
- What guarantee do they offer? The last thing you want if things go wrong is someone then becomes difficult to contact.
5) Ring them all up during office hours. We know it can be very subjective, but you’ll know how you feel after speaking to them. If you have any doubts use someone else. Kicking yourself afterwards because ‘something wasn’t quite right’ won’t be very helpful.
6) Don’t be afraid to ask ‘stupid’ questions. When confronted with someone who has greater technical knowledge than them, it’s perfectly normal for people to feel self-conscious. But remember – they’re the experts, not you, so no question you can ask them is really stupid.
7) Do they ask you any questions? – Really they should spend a bit of time trying to find out what your needs are, otherwise how can they be sure that they’re meeting them?
Buying a new boiler is a significant investment so it’s worth taking time to make sure you do it properly. Even if you think your boiler is working fine at the moment it’s still worth doing a bit of research.
For example, when you need your boiler servicing, follow the steps above. Once you’ve found someone reliable, should your boiler breakdown and you need an emergency replacement then you’ll already have done the groundwork and know what to do in the middle of winter when you’re freezing cold!
Carillion Energy Services install around 30,000 central heating and boiler systems a year, many of which are on behalf of government initiatives, making it the 2nd largest heating installer in the UK. We are a national company with locally based sales consultants, installation engineers and after sales support. Further information can be found on the Carillion Energy Services website http:// http://heating.carillionenergy.com/new-boiler-installation>