New research from the Benchmark Steering Group has revealed the extent to which UK homeowners have a 'fit and forget' culture when it comes to their boilers.

The survey of 2,000 people was conducted to support the launch of the upcoming Benchmark Scheme apps. It invited UK households to answer questions about the maintenance of their heating system. While 76% of respondents claimed that boiler servicing was either important or very important to them, almost half of them admitted that they don’t maintain their boiler within accordance to the manufacturer’s guidance. 

With 80% of breakdowns resulting in homeowners being left without heat or hot water for at least a day, and one in 10 enduring this for three days, Benchmark says it’s clear that a greater awareness is needed around boiler servicing.

Furthermore, 15% of homeowners are not sure if their boiler is in or out of warranty, supporting the need to further educate consumers to ensure they are well informed.

Billy Wilgar, Deputy Chair of Benchmark Steering Group, said: “The results show that while UK homeowners know the importance of servicing, this is not translating into proactive action. It’s essential that boilers are serviced annually to improve efficiency, prevent the loss of heating or hot water and protect residents.

“Given that almost half of the respondents had suffered a boiler breakdown in the last five years, it’s clear that it’s more important than ever to encourage prevention rather than cure. In support of this, Benchmark has launched a new app allowing heating engineers to keep track of servicing and maintenance of the heating system, simplifying the process and allowing for full transparency.

“With a homeowner app to follow early next year, it’s our hope that the apps will ensure more accountability, and prevent us from remaining trapped in ‘fit and forget’ culture.”

The new Benchmark apps will act as a digital passport for heating systems, storing key information for engineers to access, including installation and servicing history. They will encourage regular servicing via annual push notifications to homeowners, as well as allowing heating engineers to fill out the Benchmark checklist on their phone to tablet at the time of installation.