Boiler Replacement 101
Your boiler is probably the single most important device in your house, especially during winter. According to the Energy Saving Trust, it’s also accountable for half of your energy bills. For that reason, you should be making sure that it’s running at maximum efficiency to avoid wasting your money. Boiler and temperature control technology advances fast, so your model might be outdated and wasting gas.
By replacing your boiler, you could be looking at more than £300 savings per year. Moreover, a new boiler is much more reliable and can save you a lot of trouble and pricey maintenance.
When should a boiler be replaced?
Boilers usually last up to 15 years, so the first reason why you should consider a replacement is if your boiler is close to that age. A regularly serviced boiler has a longer lifespan, but age does have an impact on efficiency and risk of malfunction regardless of that. When servicing your boiler regularly becomes economically inconvenient, you should definitely consider replacement. However, you should keep in mind that annual services are fundamental, even for brand new boilers, in order to make sure that they’re completely safe. These checks usually cost between £50 and £150. You can also invest in boiler insurance, which costs around £100 a year and can be helpful if you don’t have enough savings to pay for sudden reparations. It might be possible that home insurance policy already has boiler cover in place, so make sure to check that first.
Choosing the right type of boiler
Before choosing your new boiler, you should be aware of the features of the different types available today. Since 2005, all new boilers must be of the condensing type by law. Condensing boilers are the most efficient ones (reaching up to 90% efficiency) because they utilize waste heat by condensing vapour into water. They are easy to install and you will simply need a new condensate pipe and a new flue. Although they have been associated with pipe-freezing issues in the past, new installation processes have solved those problems. Ask your installer if these precautions are being put in place.
When choosing which type of condensing boiler to buy, you should consider the size of your house and the number of bathrooms. The most common type of boiler in the UK is the “combi” boiler, a small system that heats water on demand, only when you need it. The benefit of combi boilers is that they don’t need a cylinder to store water, which makes them perfect for apartments and flats. However, if your house is larger (with more than 2 bathrooms), you should consider larger systems with water cylinders, or you’ll get pressure issues when more taps are on at the same time. A water cylinder is also needed if you’re considering solar thermal technologies. You will need more space to store the cylinder, but you will be sure to have enough hot water to supply the whole family at all times. Another great, sustainable option is the biomass (or wood pellet) boiler. Follow the link below for more information about biomass.