Has your heater been serviced ahead of winter?

24 May, 2024

RAA Insurance is urging South Australians to check if their heater needs servicing ahead of the winter chill, as new data shows heaters and air-conditioners contributed to more than 2,400 insurance claims over the last five years.

RAA Insurance data shows heaters and air conditioners contributed to an annual average of 483 home and contents insurance claims between 2019-2023 – including causing more than 100 house fires in that time. 

It’s recommended homeowners service any reverse cycle air conditioning units once per year, and any gas heating units every 1-2 years – to ensure all components are working safely and effectively. 

RAA Insurance Head of Claims Jess Lyons said the lead-up to winter was a great time to check heaters were working as they should. 

“Almost all air conditioner or heater issues are preventable, and they can be disastrous, resulting in minor damage or much more costly repairs,” Ms Lyons said. 

“Each year we have hundreds of home and contents claims because of heaters and air conditioners – with some of those resulting in considerable damage to both home and contents.

“Many South Aussies will be starting to use their heating units a lot more in the coming weeks – especially during the evenings – so it’s a good idea have yours looked at by a professional if it’s been a while.

“Keeping on top of your heater’s maintenance will not only ensure it’s working effectively and prolong it’s lifespan, but it also helps identify and address any potential issues before they escalate – such as electrical faults or, in the case of gas units, carbon monoxide leaks.”

Ms Lyons also reminded homeowners to follow the manufacturer’s directions for use, like ensuring no clothing, toys or other items are touching heating units or blocking their airflow.

RAA Insurance recommends the following tips for homeowners preparing their heaters for winter:

  1. Schedule a professional service if it’s been more than 1-2 years.
  2. Replace or clean filters regularly to maintain optimal airflow.
  3. Check for any signs of wear and tear, such as strange noises or unusual odours.
  4. Ensure proper ventilation around the unit.
  5. Consider upgrading to a more energy-efficient model if your heater is outdated.

South Australians looking to book a service for their heater or air conditioner can do so via RAA Trade Assist.