Whether you’re moving into a new home, or just doing some well-needed renovations, upgrading your heating system can be a confusing and expensive time if not done correctly. It’s something many homeowners forget to think about and to feel more in control; you need to have a boiler you know you can rely on. Making an informed decision on what heating system to choose will slash your energy bills, and also heat your home efficiently. But, we know there’s a lot to take into consideration, so we’ve compiled our ultimate guide to buying a new boiler, so you don’t miss a trick.
Do I need a new boiler?
Sometimes it can be challenging to know if you need a new boiler or not, and even if your home is being heated - it may still be time to upgrade. Boilers tend to have a working life of between ten and fifteen years, so it’s not a constant worry - but also something you should get right first time to avoid further complications. If you’ve had your boiler for more than ten years, chances are you no longer have a warranty and should definitely be looking to upgrade to meet your home demands. Boiler life can be maintained and slightly extended by having an annual boiler service, and toward the end of your ten year period, the serviceman should give you a heads up to look for a boiler replacement.
If you do need a new boiler, the first thing you want to do is set a budget and find out how much a new boiler costs. Setting a budget is essential as this will determine what brand your boiler could be, as some brands cost a lot more than others. Branding is not the only factor in boiler pricing; here are the three main factors that affect your boilers price:
The installation of your boiler will generally be a separate cost from the price itself. However, each heating engineer will charge a different price for the installation. Getting quotes from a few different local heating engineers can be a great little money saver.
Finding the type of boiler that you need is a vital part of the buying process. There are three main types of boilers:
Regular boiler (also known as a conventional boiler)
Each of these three types of boilers is usually what an older boiler will be replaced by. However, each of these types of boilers has its pros and cons, so knowing these is going to help you choose which boiler is ideal for you.
Highly efficient, could save up to £300 a year
Doesn’t require a water tank to be heated - hot water straight away
Takes up less space - no water tank means less space taken up
More accessible to service - most engineers are trained to service combi boilers
Depends on mains pressure - low-pressure mains can mean boiler won’t work properly
If the boiler breaks down, you’ll be left without hot water due to no immersion heater
Can only heat one water output at a time - can’t run more than one bath or shower at once
Can meet higher water demand - can run more than one shower or bath at once
A good option for low water pressure areas
Easier to replace a conventional boiler with another conventional boiler compared to a conventional boiler to a combi boiler
Can only use as much hot water as there is in the tank
Heat loss - water stored in a tank so if not used then the heat will be lost
A large amount of space is required due to needing a hot and cold water tank
Installation can be costly and lengthy due to multiple parts needing installing throughout the property
Don’t need a cold water tank - take up less space than a conventional boiler
Simpler to install than a conventional boiler
Able to meet a high water demand - can run more than one shower or bath at once
Take water from the mains - means a higher water pressure
Require space for one tank
Hot water tank requires insulation to avoid losing heat
Can run out of hot water - once the hot water tank is empty it will need to refill
Only heat water ahead of time and not as and when you need it
You’ll find that while looking for your new boiler, there are several brands that make boilers. Each brand can offer something a little different from the next and may vary in price, just like shoes or clothing. Below I’ve listed three companies that you will most likely find when searching for a new boiler:
These aren’t the only brands that are available; however, they’re amongst the most popular in the UK and can often be found to have great reviews.
Finally, after deciding the type of boiler and brand, it’s time to decide on an installer. The only rule to follow here is that the installer is Gas Safe registered as this is required by UK law. This means that all gas work done by the engineer is going to be safe. Engineers tend to charge different prices, so the best thing to do is to check with a few different engineers in your area to get a range of prices. Some companies offer boiler installation services and have tools that will work out the costs for you, such as BOXT’s boiler installation guide.
Just like any significant change to your home, choosing a new boiler can seem like a mammoth task at first, so hopefully, this guide will help you out in selecting the right one for your home.