You may need to install a new boiler if your old one has broken down; you’re moving house or are building a new property. However, if you also have a boiler that’s over 15 years old, it’s likely to be very inefficient, costing you extra on your fuel bills and harming the environment. According to the Energy Saving Trust (EST) installing a new boiler to replace your old, G rated one, could save you around £225 a year off of your fuel bills. So which boiler is best for your home? Find out here.
One of the first things to consider when selecting a new boiler is the type of fuel that will be used to fire it. This will often be determined by what type of heating system you already have and the area in which you live. Here are the main options:
If you’re installing a new boiler, by law it must be a condensing model. Condensing models recover waste heat, converting 86% more fuel into heat compared with only 65% in old, G rated boilers, says the EST. This means that condensing boilers are better for the environment and will cost you less to run. There are two types of condensing boiler:
Combination (combi) boilers are good for smaller properties or households with more modest hot water needs as they can struggle to provide hot water to more than one outlet at once. This is because the combi boiler combines everything in one neat unit which heats hot water on demand rather than storing it in a cylinder.
This is the traditional boiler model which stores heated water in a tank, normally located in the loft. This is a fairly efficient process, especially suitable for properties with extensive hot water needs, however, these systems can be more expensive to install.
A broken boiler is inconvenient and can be dangerous, so if there’s a problem get a certified boiler engineer out to fix the problem as soon as possible. Hire the right kind of engineer to install, repair or service your boiler:
“Solar thermal heating is the most popular option out of all the renewable heat solutions,” says Jonathan Mione, from Intelligent Energy Solutions in Leicestershire. Solar thermal panels use clean energy from the sun’s rays to produce hot water to heat your home, the solar system will be connected to your current boiler, which must have a hot water cylinder attached. Depending on the type of fuel you are replacing, heating your home with solar panels can save you up to £80 per year and cut your carbon emissions by as much as 570kg a year, says the EST.
Installing either a ground, water or air source heat pump to heat your home is another renewable alternative, which is growing in popularity. Heat pumps work well with underfloor heating but ground and water pumps take some installation work – air source heat pumps are the most popular kind in the UK and fit easily onto the outside of your home. According to the EST, a ground source heat pump could save you up to £370 per year and as much as 5,330kg of CO2, depending on the type of fuel you are replacing.
Prices for boilers will vary depending on the fuel type, size, system type and installation fee. Installing a system with a tank will probably cost more than installing a combi boiler. If you are replacing a boiler the costs of removing your old boiler must be considered, for example: “Replacing a system boiler with a combi boiler could cost around £3, 000,” says Harvey Morgan, from HSM Plumbing in Surrey.
According to the EST, average costs for a wood stove come in at £5,800 and an automatic feed wood boiler around £11,500. These prices include installation costs and the price of installing a flue for a wood boiler. Installing a heat pump can cost anything from £9,000 - £17,000 and solar thermal panels around £4,800, reports the EST.
Always get at least three quotes from certified engineers when installing, repairing or servicing a boiler or heating system. Check the contractor’s qualifications, references and insurance credentials before hiring.