Choosing a New Boiler
Choosing a New Boiler
When autumn rolls around many households face an annual stalemate over when they can switch the radiators on. Central heating accounts for more than half the average fuel bill, so it’s no wonder that it can be a daunting expense. However, there are only so many blankets you can pile on the sofa before you accept that a more efficient boiler should be on the cards.
But where to begin? Here’s what you need to know before taking the plunge with the plumbing and new boiler installation.
First, for anyone still concerned about the cost of new boiler installation, it’s important to remember that running an old model is a false economy. Less modern boilers lose heat much faster, making them work overtime (around £600 more expensive per year to run, in the average detached house). They’re also more prone to breakdowns, with boiler repairs typically costing more than £200 to deal with.
The initial outlay for boiler installation is likely to be £1800 to £5000 depending on model, area, and current plumbing situation. Forking out is going to be worth it in the long run, but make it count: scour the internet for product reviews, ask friends and family for their own recommendations, and ask for your plumber or engineer’s perspective too. Bear in mind, of course, that they may be financially affiliated with certain brands, so do your research as well.
The first major consideration when buying a new boiler is the fuel type. Gas boilers tend to be the most cost effective, but if you don’t have a gas supply, you could try contacting your local gas board to set one up http://www.energynetworks.org/info/faqs/who-is-my-network-operator.html – at little or no cost, as it may be subsidised. If gas is out of the question, biomass and heat pump options are both low carbon and more efficient than oil, coal or economy 7.
Once you’re clear about the fuel type, you’ll need to think about the kind of boiler you want: this could be the traditional style with a separate hot water cylinder (like most older boilers have), or a more contemporary style combi boiler. The combi is slightly less efficient at producing the hot water, but it loses less heat overall, which can make it more worthwhile. Variables that may influence your decision will include how much space you have available (combis are smaller); how much hot water you tend to use (traditional boilers could be less frustrating for large households using lots of hot water at certain times of day); and even whether you’re hoping to use solar power (not all combi boilers are compatible).
When you’ve found the right boiler for your home, you’ll need reliable professionals to install it for you. Always make sure you’re confident and comfortable with people who will be working in your home: consult references and seek accreditation’s.