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Have a Plumbing Emergency? This is the Best Time to Call

Nick Geary
By: Nick Geary
Updated: 19th September 2023

There's never a good time for your heating system to break down and being landed with a large repair bill only makes matters worse.

At Boiler Guide, we've helped thousands of homeowners across the UK connect with local fully-qualified heating engineers to carry out boiler repairs. By analysing the past 5 years of enquiry data, we've discovered the days when heating engineers are at their busiest and quietest.

Using boiler repair enquiry data collected between 2015 and 2019, we've worked out the average number of enquiries made for each day of the year. Those with the most enquiries are considered the busiest for heating engineers while their quietest days are those with the fewest average enquiries.

When are heating engineers at their busiest?

Our research revealed that heating engineers are at their busiest in November and December with 16 of the 20 busiest days falling in these months. With homeowners relying on their heating system more during the winter, an increase in boiler repairs is to be expected.

Busiest Dates for Heating Engineers Percentage of Enquiries (2015-2019)
12th December 0.75%
11th December 0.73%
20th November 0.71%
21st November 0.67%
9th November 0.66%
1st March 0.65%
10th December 0.64%
6th November 0.63%
1st December 0.61%
13th November 0.60%
4th November 0.60%
14th November 0.59%
13th December 0.59%
3rd October 0.57%
14th December 0.57%
19th November 0.56%
11th November 0.56%
18th November 0.55%
22nd October 0.55%
3rd December 0.55%

When are the quietest days for heating engineers?

In contrast to the busiest days for heating engineers, the quietest days mostly fall during the summer months.

While you don't have any say in when your heating system may or may not break down, you can ensure that it's in the best possible condition by planning ahead. And with heating engineers at their quietest during the summer, you could potentially have work carried out at a cheaper rate.

The 23rd December comes out on top for the quietest days, which is handy if you have an issue around that time, but otherwise it's unlikely you'll want to wait until so close to Christmas for a better deal! Whereas the rest of the list goes on to list plenty of other options:

23rd June0.07%

Quietest Dates for Heating Engineers Average Number of Enquiries (2015-2019)
23rd December 0.06%
14th May 0.07%
26th July 0.08%
9th July 0.08%
24th July 0.09%
2nd June 0.09%
21st June 0.09%
7th June 0.09%
22nd April 0.09%
26th May 0.10%
30th June 0.10%
24th May 0.10%
5th July 0.10%
21st July 0.10%
9th June 0.10%
14th July 0.10%
12th May 0.10%
11th August 0.11%
28th August 0.11%

What else did the research reveal?

As well as the busiest and quietest days of the year, our research also looked into locations, timings and who is making the enquiries.

Heating engineers based in London are most in demand

As you might expect, London has the highest demand for heating engineers with 10.75% of enquiries being made within the capital during this 5 year period. This percentage dwarfs that of second-placed Birmingham (2.6%) and third-placed Manchester (2.01%).

Most enquiries are generated mid-morning

If you wake up to find that your heating system isn't firing up, don't delay getting in touch with the heating engineer. This is because our research revealed that fewer enquiries are made between 7-8am (3%) and 8-9am (4.5%). Meanwhile, these figures shoot up from 9-10am (6.9%) and remain above 1,000 enquiries into the afternoon.

As you might expect, the fewest enquiries are made in the early hours of the morning.

Men are making the most enquiries

Over the past 5 years, most enquiries have come from people with the title of Mr (59%) followed up by Mrs (19%).

What does this research tell us?

We've found that far fewer homeowners are looking for a heating engineer to carry out a boiler repair during the summer months. This is likely to be because there's much less reliance on the heating system when the weather is warmer.

While the central heating is likely to be the furthest thing from the minds of many homeowners through the summer, it's potentially the best time to ensure your heating system is in full working order. When heating engineers don't have much work on, you might find they're available at cheaper rates. So rather than the unexpected repair bill in the depths of winter, hire a heating engineer during the summer to service or replace your boiler.

Speaking about the reasearch, founder of Boiler Guide, David Holmes said:

"If this research teaches us anything it's that making sure your heating system is in full working order ahead of the winter months can save homeowners time, money and an awful lot of hassle.

"The last thing a homeowner wants is for their heating system to fail in the middle of winter, however, as this research shows, heating engineers are at their busiest during the winter months. Only a single day out of the top 10 busiest falls outside November and December which isn't good news if your heating system fails at this time of year.

"In contrast to the busiest days, heating engineers are most available during the summer. And while the central heating isn't often the first thing on the minds of many homeowners during this time of year, it's evidently the best time of year to arrange an appointment with a heating engineer. That way homeowners can be confident their heating system will be up to the task of keeping the property warm throughout the winter."

How to avoid a winter boiler breakdown

There's no argument that the winter is the worst time for a boiler to break down. And as our research proves, heating engineers are at their busiest then. So, not only is it an inconvenience but you could find it harder to find a professional to carry out the repair. Plus, when a heating engineer does become available, their rates will likely be higher than during the winter.

To avoid needing a boiler repair during the winter we advise making sure that your heating system is ready ahead of time. The best way to do this is by arranging an annual boiler service – which is also essential to keep your warranty valid. During a boiler service, a heating engineer will ensure the boiler is performing efficiently and reliable. It will also bring to light any potential issues before they become a major problem which could help you to avoid a repair bill.

If your boiler was installed more than 8 years ago then a new boiler will be much more reliable. With heating engineers being more available the summer is an ideal time to replace your boiler. Depending on the complexity of the installation, a boiler replacement can take several days and it's better to be without heating during the summer than winter.

Nick Geary

About the author

Nick Geary

Nick has a wide range of experience writing about conventional and renewable heating solutions, and is always increasing his knowledge by researching any new heating technologies on the horizon.

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