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Maintenance of heating equipment: what are the rules?

Verified 10 September 2020 - Directorate for Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister)

An oil, gas, wood, coal or multi-fuel boiler with a power between 4 and 400 kilowatts must be maintained annually. The maintenance obligation also applies to a heat pump and heating appliance with ventilation. The interview must be done by a driver. In the absence of maintenance, the lessor may withhold the amount of maintenance from the security deposit. The insurer may refuse to compensate in the event of a claim.

The maintenance of heating equipment is designed to avoid the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

This gas is invisible and odorless. It causes headaches, nausea and dizziness and can be fatal.

It is caused by poorly maintained equipment associated with poor ventilation of the dwelling.

FYI  

if there is a suspicion of poisoning, you need to air your home, stop the combustion equipment and call for help.

Who shall I contact

The maintenance obligation shall relate to the following equipment:

  • Fuel boiler, gas, wood, coal, multi-fuel with a power of between 4 and 400 kilowatts
  • Heat pump
  • Heating apparatus with ventilation

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Individual equipment

The tenant must call on a chauffeur to maintain his equipment, unless the lease provides that it is the owner's responsibility.

Collective equipment

Owner or syndicate of co-owners the building must call on a driver to maintain the equipment.

You can call on a driver of your choice or enter into a maintenance contract with him.

Annual maintenance consists of checking your heating equipment and, if necessary, its cleaning and adjustment.

This interview also includes an assessment of:

  • Performance of your equipment
  • Good size of the heat generator in relation to your heating needs. This assessment is not required if the heating system and your heating needs have not changed since the last maintenance.
  • Emissions of air pollutants from your equipment (carbon monoxide - CO)

If, when measuring the level of carbon monoxide (CO) in ambient air, a CO content of between 10 ppm (part per million) and 50 ppm is found, the situation is considered abnormal. The driver must inform you that further investigations concerning the drawing of the smoke duct and the ventilation of the dwelling are necessary. These investigations may be carried out during the visit or be the subject of additional services.

If a CO content is greater than or equal to 50 ppm, the situation indicates a serious and immediate hazard. The operator must then advise you that your equipment must be stopped until it is returned to service under normal operating conditions.

At the end of the maintenance visit, the heating operator must provide you with the necessary advice on the proper use of your boiler, on possible improvements to the heating system and on the possible interest of its replacement.

The driver must give you a certificate of maintenance within 15 days of the visit. This document must be retained.

The regulations do not provide for penalties in the absence of annual maintenance. No fine is therefore applicable.

However, if you do not submit a maintenance certificate, your landlord may withhold the amount of the maintenance from the security deposit..

In the event of an accident with a poorly maintained boiler, the insurer may also refuse to compensate you.