Brrrrrrr. The central-heating boiler breaks down at the most inconvenient moment - and it's only then you realise how much you'd taken it for granted! Here are 19 things you only realise when it's not working...

1. It’s a fact: the central heating boiler breaks down just as the temperature plummets…

2. …and also just as you’re about to have friends round for a special dinner…

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3. Everyone’s central heating seems to break down at the same time.

4. There is a distinct lack of plumbing and heating engineers on hand to come out at a moment’s notice, probably because everyone else is calling them too.

5. You suddenly wish you’d trained as a plumbing and heating engineer.

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6. Tonight’s the night you have that important date, and your hair definitely needs washing.

7. You’ve forgotten where you stored that electric fan heater.

8. When you do locate an engineer, you’re amazed at how expensive it is for them to come out on an emergency call.

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8. When they do arrive, the one part your boiler needs to repair it is inevitably not immediately in stock, and is also the most expensive part in the contraption too.

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9. It takes ages to boil enough water to even do hand washing.

10. You’ve forgotten where the nearest launderette is and can’t believe how many 20p coins it takes to dry your jeans in the tumble dryer.

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11. You realise how few thick jumpers you have in your wardrobe.

13. Ice actually forms on the inside of the window during the night.

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14. You’re suddenly glad for the comedy slippers and slanket your gran gave you at Christmas – or would be, if only you could find them.

15. You wish you’d bought those fleece pyjamas after all – your clothes are in cupboards and drawers that are much too far from your bed first thing in the morning.

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16. It’s possible to be colder indoors than outside.

17. But, then again, at least you’ve got a good reason to go to the pub.

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18 And on the positive side, you can leave the milk out of the fridge all night without it going off, and don’t need to feel guilty about just spending the evening snuggled up on the sofa under a blanket watching TV.

19. You’re glad you read this post and found a link to the Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineers so at least you can hopefully locate a reliable repair person.