Seven hidden heating faults could cost you £5,000 a year – and how to fix them

MORE than 21 million UK homes are estimated to have a niggling heating issue which could leave owners thousands of pounds out of pocket.

It’s estimated that three-quarters of households are suffering with niggles that could be adding to energy bills or causing damage.

Fixing a dodgy boiler could set you back more than £2,000 if you leave it too late - so act fast

Fixing a dodgy boiler could set you back more than £2,000 if you leave it too late – so act fast

Common issues include leaky taps, draughts, cracked walls and mould – all of which could cost you between £900 and £1,900 to fix.

The costliest heating faults include so-called lazy yellow flames instead of bright blue ones on gas appliances.

Others to watch out for include rotten wooding decking, which could set you back almost £3,500 if left untreated.

New data from Gas Safe Register and Which? Trusted Traders shows half of 2,000 homeowners surveyed have been left hundreds of pounds out of pocket after ignoring niggling house worries.

And one in 20 said they’ve had to spend £5,000 in a year fixing what first seemed like minor issues.

Homes Under the Hammer presenter Martin Roberts is fronting a campaign to warn homeowners against putting off key repairs.

Most read in Money

Hundreds of TalkTalk customers left without internet while working from home


Hundreds of TalkTalk customers left without internet while working from home

He said delaying crucial fixes will only bite you in the back pocket later on.

Martin said: “After 20 years in property, I’ve heard every shoulda, woulda, coulda going when it comes to regrets about dealing with niggles too late.

“The costs can be high if repairs or replacements are needed, but you can’t put a price on the health and safety of your family.”

As the cost of living bites and energy bills hit punishing highs, that advice could prove invaluable.

Here are seven of the most costly home heating issues you should get fixed ASAP.

Lazy yellow flames on gas appliances

Estimated to cost you £3,250 to repair if left untouched, these dangerous flames could signal a broken appliance.

A lazy yellow flame instead of a bright blue one means your gas appliance may be unsafe – and could pose life-threatening carbon monoxide risks.

But this isn’t something you can fix by yourself.

Gas and electrical work always needs the professional help of a trade expert.

You should get your gas appliances safety checked and serviced every year.

It shouldn’t cost you more than £50 to £100 – and might save you thousands, or even your life.

Cracked walls

Listed as one of the most annoying home faults, cracked walls can suck away your expensive heating and do structural damage to your home.

Plastering a small crack will set you back around £100, according to Check a Trade, while plastering a whole room is around £175.

Just don’t let those cracks get too big or deep – because it will make your heating less efficient, costing you money down the line.

And the repair costs are likely to pile up.

Leaky pipes

A dripping tap or pipe sounds like a minor issue, yet they’re often anything but.

If gas is being released by an essential pipe in your home, it could have serious health impacts – and cost you up to £2,520, according to Gas Safe Register.

Another important issue to keep in mind is water damage resulting from leaky pipes.

If excess water damages your home’s walls, you’ll need more than a local plumber to fix it.

Like lazy yellow flames, never do it yourself when it comes to crucial gas checks.

An engineer or plumber will cost you £50 to £100 for a brief check-up – and might save you much more than that down the line.

Rotten wooden decking

One of the most expensive home heating issues of the lot, good quality wooden decking always comes at a premium.

But if you allow your beloved wooden patio to rot, having professionals come in to clear it out and install new decking could cost a small fortune.

According to Gas Safe Register, the total price could be up to £3,344 for new materials and labour costs.

If you treat the wood once a year, however, it should protect it from the elements and save you a bigger outlay later down the line.

Rattling boilers

Replacing a boiler can set you back as much as £4,674, so if you start to hear rattles or banging, act swiftly.

According to Local Heroes, a boiler service costs a more modest £80 to £120.

A repair will set you back closer to £196, Gas Safe Register says, but that’s still much less than replacing the entire unit.

With temperatures low and energy bills high, make sure your boiler is as efficient as it can be.


Letting mould or damp build up in your home will make respiratory problems like allergies and asthma more likely.

Especially if you’ve got young kids at home, that’s a health risk not worth taking.

Admittedly an in-depth mould inspection can cost as much as £250 per room according to Air Tasker.

So if you start to notice any black marks on your walls or ceiling, call in help straight away.

If you’re living in rented accommodation you should be able to ask your landlord for help.


Another of Brits’ most annoying household niggling issues, persistent draughts will snatch warmth even when the heating is on high.

With energy bills high and rising, the cost across a year or more will definitely add up.

Get to your local DIY store for sealer tape, carpet underlay and keyhole covers.

A simple draught excluder can work wonders too.

Dealing with all of these in a timely manner shouldn’t set you back much – you can get draught excluder tape for as little as £3.

Property experts have advised homebuyers to look out for 20 specific things to potentially save thousands.

Unlucky social housing residents in some areas have waited years for the council to fix their leaky window.

And tenants in a Portsmouth tower block have complained they’re living in truly vile conditions.

Martin Lewis almost in tears after being unable to help mum with energy bills

We pay for your stories!

Do you have a story for The Sun Online Money team?

Email us at money@the-sun.co.uk