Heating maintenance – regular performance saves money and nerves

Heating maintenance must be carried out regularly in Germany. Specialists check the functionality of the system and repair any impairments if necessary. You can find out who has what obligations in this connection here.

The law is not clear

A worker at the heating maintenance

According to the Energy Saving Ordinance § 11 sentence 3, which came into force on 1. Since the German Building Energy Act of November 20, 2020, every operator of a heating system is obligated to have it serviced and maintained by experts on a regular basis. However, the term "regular" is not further defined here. However, tips from the industry are helpful: manufacturers often tie their warranties to annual heating maintenance by specialist companies. This means that owners must pay for repairs out of their own pockets if damage occurs within the warranty period due to missed or improper maintenance.

The owner is considered to be the operator of the heating system. Owners of a condominium or a house in which they live themselves thus count as well as landlords. If you are the owner of the property and thus of the heating system, you have a duty to ensure that it is properly maintained.

Attention: In the case of large systems (more than 50 kW), maintenance can be useful even twice a year!

Heating maintenance brings numerous advantages

If you have your heating system serviced regularly, this is advantageous in several respects at once. As mentioned above, not only does the manufacturer's warranty remain intact, but

The maintained heating system is safe and the risk of property damage or personal injury due to a defect is minimized.

This is how heating maintenance works

The specialists ask whether the heating system still heats the rooms evenly and quickly and whether there have been any malfunctions such as noises, dripping heating valves or even a temporary failure of the system. Also, it is checked whether the amount of fuel needed has increased. A general visual inspection is carried out. Only in case of need individual components are checked separately and if necessary wear parts are replaced.

Depending on the heating system, the following work or checks can be carried out:

  • Checking the safety technology
  • measurement of operating and exhaust gas values
  • Checking the water pressure in the boiler
  • Ventilation of the radiators
  • Refilling the heating water
  • Degree of wear, corrosion, tightness
  • condition of the valves
  • Degree of contamination
  • Supply of combustion air
  • Exhaust gas routing
  • Pressure and operating temperatures
  • Inspection and cleaning of the heat generator
  • Replacing the filter (in the case of oil heating systems)
  • Checking the burner settings
  • cleaning of the burner chambers and burner components
  • Control of storage and if necessary. the automatic delivery system (in the case of heating systems that operate on solid fuel)
  • Checking and cleaning of the heat exchanger
  • Cleaning the chimney

The best time for the heating system maintenance

Ideally, you should have the heating system serviced at a time when you don't need it. In summer, providers are usually less busy, so it's easier to get an appointment. In addition, there is enough time to have any necessary replacement parts installed before the next heating season. You can also schedule the appointment so that it is before the fireplace inspection by the chimney sweep: This way, the heating system is already appropriately optimized at this time.

Is a maintenance contract for the heating system worthwhile??

Property owners can conclude a maintenance contract for their heating system. They are not legally obliged to do so. However, there are subsidies for heating systems for which the maintenance contract is one of the basic requirements. In general, the contract brings some advantages

You do not have to remember to make an appointment – the company will contact you when it is time again.

Property damage and personal injury caused by a defective heating system are only covered if a maintenance contract is in place.

Overall, the costs for the maintenance contract are slightly higher than those for simple maintenance. However, in the event of an emergency, this can pick up costs that, without a contract, can put a serious hole in your wallet.

Maintenance costs for the heating system: how much are they and who pays?

Depending on the type and size of the system, and depending on the provider, costs for heating maintenance will vary. A rough rule of thumb is that you should budget around 150 euros per maintenance for a single-family home and around 200 euros for a multi-family home.

However, the prices for different heating systems also diverge: For gas heating systems, the costs can range from about 120 to 300 euros, while for the heat pump they are more likely to be between 100 and 200 euros. If you burn solid fuels, such as in a wood heating system, it depends on the size of the system and whether you use an automatic conveying system. The cost range here is from about 100 to about 370 euros.

The landlord is responsible for carrying out the maintenance, but he may pass on the costs for this to the tenants in the operating or ancillary costs statement. This is true at least if it is explicitly stated so in the lease agreement. On the other hand, the tenant is not allowed to take care of the heating maintenance by himself. And if repairs are needed, the landlord pays the spare parts and labor costs for them out of his own pocket.

Conclusion: Regular heating maintenance is a must

If you own a property, you are obliged to have regular heating maintenance carried out. The fact that this must be done by specialized companies is established by law. Manufacturers therefore often tie their warranties to an annual maintenance date. Depending on the type of heating system, the work that needs to be done will vary.

In a tenancy, the landlord must give the order, while he may pass on to tenants the cost of maintenance – but not that of spare parts. There are several points in favor of signing a maintenance contract, however, no one is forced to do so. A carefully maintained heating system is safe, durable, energy efficient and therefore economical. So the commitment to do this makes sense.

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