Whenever you are looking for a heating engineer, your boiler is either broken or you want to install a new one. If you hire the wrong engineer, they could mess up the whole job. A simple repair could cost you hundreds of pounds.
Choosing a local boiler engineer is a painstaking task because you are trusting them to take care of your boiler. Therefore, the engineer should be qualified for the job, be punctual and trustworthy.
Why Choose a Local Boiler Engineer?
It is fair to question why choose local engineers for boiler installation or repairs? The main benefit of choosing local engineers is that they offer personalized services and their charges are affordable. It is also easier to reach out to them.
When it is time to use the boilers, in winters, households encounter problems the most. Winter is the busiest time of the year for booking engineers. If you look for engineers from a national company, they will place you at the bottom of the list. These reasons explain why local engineers are more approachable:
Job Priority: Every household wants a company that prioritizes job urgency rather than profit. National companies certainly have a large number of engineers on their team as compared to a local company. However, they have greater demand and workload.
It’s easier for a local engineer to spend more time on your location to perform satisfactory repairs. They can also provide urgent care. They are willing to go the extra mile to offer personalized services.
Workload Management: When it comes to managing their workload, local companies win. If your boiler has broken down, the same engineer will handle the repairs from the beginning till the end. In case another engineer is sent to finish the job, the company informs the customer. The new engineer is briefed about the situation before their visit. The customer does not have to deal with any hassle.
Quality of Customer Service: Local engineers are best at offering quality customer services. They inform the customer about the problem with the boiler, the repairs they will carry out and any other information you must know.
The engineers working for national companies are simply doing their job. They have quotas they must achieve. Therefore, they are just concerned about completing the job. They don’t emphasize on customer services.
Local engineers are more motivated. This is one reason why local companies build their business via client referrals.
Access to Spare Parts: Not all national companies have access to spare parts. They get the parts from resellers or manufacturers. Large companies supply them those parts.
It’s easy for local companies to order parts from large manufacturers as well. Therefore, even if you hire a local engineer, you will still get access to genuine parts.
Cost of Services: National companies have a higher running cost. Local companies don’t have huge overheads. Therefore, they can offer their customers more affordable deals.
Therefore, if a national company is charging a higher price for a service, it’s including the overhead costs in the price of repairs. It does not always mean the quality of their services is better because they are expensive.
How to Choose the Best Local Boiler Engineer?
It is easy to find a number of local engineers. However, picking the right person is overwhelming. To narrow down your choice, follow these tips and choose the most qualified person for the job:
Look for Specific Experience: The heating engineer must have ample experience in their field. If you are hiring them for fixing the boiler, make sure they have experience in repairing boilers. Don’t hire a person who just has experience in installing boilers. Even though they are a gas engineer, they might not have a clue about fixing a boiler.
Once you have found an engineer with the right experience, ask them to show you photos of their work. These days, engineers do that to build credibility. If they are unable to provide them, try to speak to one of their previous customers. This will give you an idea about the standard of their workmanship.
Choose a Reputable Company: Hire local engineers from a reputable company. Do a little background test on the reputation of the company on your own. Gather information about them from the web. Get references or testimonials if you can to validate the quality of their service.
Ask Them If They Insure Their Work
It’s always beneficial to hire a local engineer who can offer warranty and insurance for their workmanship and products. This will give you peace of mind. Usually, all manufacturers provide 10 years of warranty for their products. You just have to ask the insurer if they provide product liability insurance. In case of damage or substandard services, the insurance will cover that up.
Check If They Are Gas Safe Registered
In case the heating job involves gas appliances, the local boiler engineer needs to be a Gas Safe certified individual. To verify that, ass the engineer to show you their Gas Safe ID card since they are required to carry it.
When the engineer shows you their card as they arrive, don’t hesitate to note down their license number for verifying it online via Gas Safe Register.
You might come across heating engineers who are not Gas Safe registered. Such individuals take jobs that don’t involve dealing with gas appliances. It does not mean they are not reliable, to begin with.
Ask Them to Explain What They Plan to Do
A trustworthy heating engineer will always explain what’s going on. They explain their approach, why are they performing certain repairs and how will the machine work. Engineers who have fixed some issue but they don’t show what they have done may not be sincere with their job.
Cost of Repairs
Cost is important when choosing a local boiler engineer. Get three quotes. Keep in mind the cost of boiler repairs can fluctuate. It is not recommended to pay too much for repairs. This could be a waste of money. Similarly, it is not recommended to opt for cheap services either. The level of services might disappoint you.
Be mindful of getting quotes for the repairs on the phone. It is highly unlikely for an engineer to identify your problem over the phone. Always ask them to inspect your boiler by coming to your place. You should get the right quotes this way.
Customer Care and Support
Another important aspect of selecting a local boiler engineer is to understand their customer care policy.
Once you have received the quote for the job, ask them for a reference from a recent customer. Getting the viewpoint of the people who have experienced their services first-hand will let you what you are dealing with.
Check Their Qualifications and Accreditations
Most local engineers have studied their job as well. Don’t be afraid to ask them about their qualifications. Find out if they are members of professional bodies like the Association of Plumbing and Heating Contractors (APHC).
Ask About the Materials before the Start of the Job
When the job involves purchasing fittings and fixtures, every consumer is tempted to buy those themselves. They look for cheaper items online.
Experienced engineers never recommend this. They understand that this approach can cause problems in the future. Even if the customer is planning to buy them, professional engineers approve those fittings first.
Learn About Their Line of Communication
How you contact the heating engineer is important. Reliable companies give you a variety of ways to reach out to them. They are available on phone 24/7. You can also reach out to them via email.
If you have to wait for a long time to connect to a representative, then you shouldn’t rely on such a company. They must be available promptly. You should not have to wait to have someone hear your concerns.
Before Hiring a Local Engineer
To learn about the quality of services, there is a list of questions you must prepare and ask the company before finally deciding to hire an engineer.
Questions about Services
These are some of the questions to ask a local boiler regarding services before hiring them:
- Are you Gas Safe certified?
- Can you provide your Gas Safe register number?
- How long have you been Gas Safe certified?
- Can I see proof of insurance?
- Can you provide the contact details of your previous customers?
- How long will the job take?
- What if the job takes longer than expected?
Questions about the Boiler and the Heating System
These are some questions related to the boiler and heating system you can ask the engineer:
- What type of boiler do you suggest? Is there a specific brand you recommend? If so, then why?
- It is economical to replace the oil boiler? How much would a new boiler and its installation cost?
- What capacity boiler do I need for my property? What if my needs change in the future?
- Do I need a new pipework? Should I replace the radiators? How much would this work cost? Is it is better to buy new parts or have them repaired?
- Who is responsible for cleaning the location after the job is complete?
Other Important Questions
Here are some complementary questions that will further help you choose the right local boiler engineer:
Do they have a presence on directories?
Reliable engineers are always present on Yellow pages and directories such as Thompson Local Check.
Will they need upfront cash?
Some engineers demand payment in cash upfront. Ask them this question at the time of getting a quote.
Only make an upfront payment to a company that has Gas Safe registered engineers. Before that, do ask for their license.
When will the work start and complete?
Ask the engineer when they will carry out the job and when they will complete it? There is nothing worse than waiting for an engineer to arrive at your address.
If the job takes longer than expected, they should have a contingency plan. Ask about the increase in price in that case.
What Happens Once You Hire the Engineer?
You can call local boiler engineers to perform the following tasks:
- Boiler maintenance and repair
- Replacing old or faulting parts
- Testing boiler controls to make they are working efficiently
- Installing new boilers
- Annual boiler service
Once you have selected the engineer, they will arrange a time to come around and inspect your setup. They will have a detailed look at your heating system to give you a quote. Experienced engineers know all types of boilers and boiler brands. They know what they are doing.
Take the quote in writing. If you are happy with the quote and you want to go with their services, they will give you a date to install the boiler or perform repairs. Let’s suppose you have called the boiler engineer for installing a new boiler.
On the day of the appointment, they will remove your current boiler and pipework, if necessary. They will make all the necessary adjustments to mount the boiler and install it. If you are moving the boiler to a new location, the engineer will drill holes for mounting the unit. They will clean the previous location as well.
Once they have installed the boiler, they will get the gas and water connection running. Before leaving, they will test the boiler to make sure the central heating is working and the supply of hot water is available.
They will also walk you through the operations such as how to set the thermostat or increase/decrease the boiler pressure. They might also show you how to fire up the boiler.
Never fancy installing the boiler or repairing it yourself. Always call a Gas Safe certified heating engineer to do the work. Instead of hiring an engineer from a national company, choose a local company. Local engineers are more dedicated and sincere towards their job.
When hiring a local engineer, check their background, ask about Gas Safe certification, service charges, level of customer support, etc. Make sure you are choosing the right person for the job.