With a new year of the academic year on the horizon, it is more than likely that you will have your new accommodations sorted with your university friends. If you’re fresh going into university, chances are you will be in the student’s hall of residence, meaning that these are typically well maintained by university staff. But usually, after your first year is over, you will be looking for private student accommodation off-campus, and it always worth checking it out before signing the paperwork, especially the boiler.
The Law Doesn’t Lie
When it comes to the law, there’s nothing we can argue against. By law, it is up to your landlord to repair and maintain pipework, flues and appliances. They should also be able to show you a gas safety check certificate, either a hard copy or on the gas safety register, and a history of regular boiler servicing. Also, it is crucial to check that carbon monoxide and smoke alarms are fitted properly within the accommodation. Please do not be hesitant to ask your landlord to run an alarm test as this is a legal requirement.
If your landlord is not able to meet the legal requirements, it would be best not to sign with them.
There’s Nothing Wrong With Asking
There’s no better way of knowing you feel better safe than sorry, so if you are curious about your boiler, ask your landlord to fire it up. If there is a pilot light on your boiler, check that it burns with a blue flame. If burning with a yellow or orange flame, this can indicate that your boiler is faulty and is possibly leaking carbon monoxide. Another way to check for carbon monoxide leaks is to look around the boiler itself for any soot which could be yellow or brown stains.
Once you’ve moved into your accommodation and you find that your pilot light constantly goes out, contact your landlord as this could be a sign of combustion.
Unusual Noises & Leaks
If in any way your boiler is making unusual sounds such as a grinding or rattling noise, the pump or fan could be faulty. If you hear a banging noise in your water pipes, this usually means that there is not enough water in the heating system. These are all valid reasons to call your landlord and get the problem sorted. Do not worry though, your boiler will shut off safely if these problems occur.
If you smell gas inside the property, you will have a leak and the gas and electrical supply must be shut down instantly. Contact your landlord to arrange for the repair of the appliance with a Gas Safe fitter.
Efficiency is Key
You may need to bleed your radiators if they aren’t heating evenly, to make sure they are running efficiently. It may seem like a daunting operation but it is pretty straight forward. You can follow a step by step guide on how to bleed a radiator.
The only time the boiler will be the least efficient will be when it is between 10-15 years old and whether it is a combi or condensing boiler.
Being a student living in accommodation without bills included, prices can soar without you knowing, so be sure to keep an eye on your thermostat on the boiler and make sure it does not go above 60 degrees, otherwise you’ll be wasting money on hot water you don’t need.
Choosing the Right Landlord
Picking accommodation for your next university year can be stressful at times with others that you are living with having different opinions. Most landlords do meet the legal requirements, meaning that proper boiler servicing and central heating maintenance has been properly carried out. They will be able to provide you with a legitimate Gas Safe certificate, fit alarms, and carry out repairs. If this is not the case, do not sign the paperwork and find a reliable landlord.