With so many of us spending long periods of time at home and with nowhere to go, more people turned their attention to household chores and DIY.
While it is one thing to paint the garden fence or shampoo the carpet, it is quite a different thing to attempt to carry out a service or repair to your home heating system. This is always a job for the professionals.
OFTEC technicians received a number of calls from members of the public who had botched repairs to their systems.
As we head into 2021 and the threat of further lockdowns remains, it is vital that homeowners turn to OFTEC registered technicians for jobs such as this – it's literally a decision which could save your life.
Poorly completed DIY jobs on heating systems can leave homeowners vulnerable to issues such as oil and water leaks, the risk of fire and the potential for carbon monoxide poisoning.
Botched repairs can also be detrimental when you go to sell your property and with house prices at a five-year high, there is every reason to ensure your system is serviced and in tip top condition to add value to your home.
The advice from boiler manufacturers, the Consumer Council and NI Direct is that your home heating system should be serviced annually by a professional; for gas that's Gas Safe and for oil it's an OFTEC registered technician.
By staying on top of servicing schedules you can often avoid costly repair bills and you have the peace of mind knowing your system is safe and working at its optimum level.
When it comes to the installation of new and replacement home heating equipment, homeowners need to be aware of the legal requirements to be compliant with building regulations.
OFTEC technicians can explain about building control requirements and how a boiler passport or completion certificate can avoid problems down the line around warranty claims or when the property is being sold.
Boiler passports were introduced to ensure rigorous quality levels around the installation and commissioning of an appliance and are a very necessary and useful tool to demonstrate the appliance conforms with current Building Regulations
2020 was also the year which brought significant reductions in the price of home heating oil. Many of us took the opportunity to save some money by filling our oil tanks. However, others wanted to take those savings up a notch by installing a second oil tank on their property. Many of these have been bought second hand with no regards for safety.
The message again is loud and clear. When it comes to doing DIY on areas of your home which could lead to serious injury or death then it is always the smart choice to use a professional.
There are legal requirements for installing oil tanks and they should never be installed by an amateur due to the very real dangers of leaks and fires.
OFTEC Ireland Manager, David Blevings said: "Modern home heating systems are complex and should never be tampered with by an unqualified person. Modern oil boilers are safe and reliable, if serviced by a competent person. There are very real health dangers which can be avoided by using an OFTEC registered technician.
"OFTEC registered technicians are insured to carry out installation work and repairs in your home and will be able to provide all relevant documentation for the work they have carried out.
There are always plenty of jobs around the home but if further lockdowns come along in 2021 the message from OFTEC is to leave the major jobs to the professionals.
"Don't forget a botched job not only has health and safety repercussions, it also comes with the added expense of paying for it to be repaired properly", added David.
It is easy to find registered technicians across Ireland from the OFTEC website using a simple postcode or county search.For your nearest OFTEC registered technician