Buying a new boiler: The Ultimate Guide

December 4, 2019

[Collaborative post]

 

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. 

Budget

If you do need a new boiler, the first thing you want to do is set a budget and not go over this. 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: 

  • Boiler size

  • Boiler brand

  • Boiler type

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.

Boiler types

Finding the type of boiler that you need is a vital part of the buying process. There are three main types of boilers:

  • Combi boiler

  • Regular boiler (also known as a conventional boiler)

  • System 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. 

 

Combi boiler
Pros
  • 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

Cons
  • 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

Conventional boiler
Pros
  • 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

Cons

  • 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

System boiler

 

Pros

  • 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 

Cons

  • 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

Boiler Brands

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:

  • Vaillant Boilers 

  • Ideal Boilers 

  • Worcester Bosch

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.

 

Boiler Installers

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.

 

 

 

 

 

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Hello, I'm Sarah. Part of a family of 5 who can often be found foraging in the woods or camping at a festival. I love anything boho and am rarely without my camera.

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