We've all been there: you can't book in a boiler repair for love nor money once a cold snap hits because everyone else is having the same problem: the unforeseen boiler breakdown... And why is it that the boiler always chooses to break down on Christmas Eve? Or when the first snowflake appears in the sky?
Of course, understanding and properly maintaining your boiler is crucial to it working well, but even a boiler that seems to be in good working order can break down unexpectedly.
In fact, ex-NASA scientist Adi Andrei claims that boilers are 'less predictable than planes' – which makes it less surprising that he has helped developed a new smart gadget for British Gas. Yes, you read that right.
Introducing Boiler IQ (opens in new tab) – a smart sensor that is able to detect problems in your boiler before you do: about 19 to 24 hours earlier, to be precise. The sensor connects up to a Hive Hub, which in turn connects up to your Wi-Fi router. You will receive a message on your phone if Boiler IQ thinks there's something wrong with your boiler, and it will even alert British Gas, who will then get in touch with you to book in an engineer.
The device costs £69 to install as part of a routine boiler inspection by British Gas, or £99 if you call them out especially to install it. It then costs £3 a month to maintain. There's a catch, though: the device is currently only compatible with a Worcester Bosch boiler that has been fitted by British Gas, and can only be used by a homeowner living in the property. Worth considering if you're planning a new boiler installation for added peace of mind.
For more detailed advice on boilers – and alternative heating systems that don't involve gas – read our essential guide to heating. And for more smart home tech, visit The Hub, our no-nonsense take on all things connected.