A landlord’s guide to heating systems and how to protect them
One of the most important aspects of ensuring that your tenants have a comfortable living environment is providing adequate heating during the colder months. However, with so many different types of heating systems available, it can be overwhelming to know which one to choose and how to maintain it.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll take a closer look at heating systems, including the most common types of systems, how they work, and how to protect them to ensure they run efficiently and safely.
Types of Heating Systems
There are several types of heating systems commonly used in the UK. Understanding the differences between them can help you make an informed decision when choosing a system for your rental property. Here are some of the most popular heating systems:
- Gas Central Heating – This is the most common type of heating system. It uses a gas boiler to heat water which is then distributed throughout the property via radiators.
- Electric Storage Heaters – This system uses off-peak electricity to heat bricks which then release the stored heat throughout the day.
- Oil Central Heating – This system is similar to gas central heating but uses oil instead of gas to heat the water.
- Underfloor Heating – This system uses pipes or wires installed under the floor to heat the space. It can be either electric or water-based.
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Maintaining Heating Systems
Regardless of the type of heating system in your rental property, regular maintenance is essential to ensure it runs efficiently and safely. Here are some maintenance tips to keep in mind:
- Schedule an annual service by a qualified engineer to ensure the system is in good working order and to identify any potential issues.
- Bleed radiators regularly to remove trapped air which can cause them to work less efficiently.
- Check for leaks or cracks in pipes and radiators and repair them immediately to prevent further damage.
- Ensure that the thermostat is working correctly and set at the right temperature to avoid energy waste.
- Replace old boilers with newer, more energy-efficient models to save on energy bills.
Maintaining the safety of your heating system is crucial for both your tenants and property. Here are some safety tips to keep in mind:
- Install a carbon monoxide detector: Carbon monoxide is a colourless, odourless gas that can be deadly. Installing a detector will alert you to any potential leaks and allow you to take appropriate action.
- It is now a legal requirement to have a CO2 alarm for all properties with combustible appliances
- Keep an eye out for corroded pipework which is a sign of a potential leak forming
- If you smell gas in your property – in the first instance, leave your home and report this to call National Gas Emergencies on 0800 111 999 to log the issue. They will provide useful advice and arrange for a gas engineer to visit. Be sure to not touch any electrical appliances or light switches and leave your windows slightly open to allow excess gas to escape.
1. What should I do if my heating system breaks down?
If your heating system breaks down, it’s important to act quickly. Contact a qualified engineer to inspect your system and carry out any necessary repairs.
2. Do I need landlord insurance to protect my heating system?
While not a legal requirement, it’s recommended that landlords take out landlord insurance to protect their property and its contents, including heating systems.
3. How can I reduce my heating bills?
Simple measures such as turning down the thermostat, installing insulation, and upgrading to a more energy-efficient heating system can help reduce your heating bills.
4. Can I install a new heating system without my tenant’s permission?
No, as a landlord, you need to obtain your tenant’s consent before carrying out any significant changes to the property, including installing a new heating system.
Protecting your heating system is a vital part of achieving a safe and habitable property for your tenants. Regular maintenance, safety checks, and taking appropriate measures to reduce energy consumption can help ensure your heating system remains efficient, safe, and cost-effective.
By following these tips, you can help safeguard your property’s heating system and ensure your tenants’ well-being. Remember, a well-maintained heating system is not only good for your tenants but also for your property’s value and longevity.
Meet Sam your local Expert
Sam has a wealth of experience across the private landlord and Build to Rent sectors. He has advised a wide range of clients across the whole of London on how to find great tenants, improve their assets and effectively market their properties for the best returns.