Help and Advice

Thinking of replacing your boiler?

Buying a new boiler is likely to be one of the most expensive home improvement purchases you ever make, so it’s important to get it right.
Although getting great value for money is a must, you shouldn’t compromise on quality, energy efficiency or capacity. Following these straightforward steps will help you find the right boiler that fits your needs as well as your budget.

Research your options

Start by doing a little research; if you’re reading this, you’re on the right track. Dig a little deeper and learn more about the different types available to you. For reference, here’s a quick list:

Combi (or combination) boilers:
These are the most popular type of boiler sold in the UK, as they provide hot water without the use of tanks or cylinders. As such, they’re relatively compact and have the added bonus of supplying unlimited heat and hot water to your taps and radiators, whenever you need it. On the downside, if multiple taps are used simultaneously, water pressure may suffer. Combis are great for smaller households who don’t need to use various sources of hot water at the same time.

Conventional boilers:
Also known as regular or open vent boilers, conventional boilers include a cylinder and a tank to accommodate all your water heating needs. Although they do allow you to use multiple taps simultaneously without reducing water pressure, once the hot water supply has been used up, you’ll have to wait for it to reheat. Additionally, they’re big and bulky, so they’re not the best option for homes with extremely limited space.

System boilers:
Commonly referred to as sealed system boilers, these come complete with a cylinder, but no water tank. They’re smaller than conventional boilers, but still have the downside of a limited hot water supply. However, they do allow you to use multiple taps at the same time, making them ideal for big families.

Condensing boilers:
Available in all the aforementioned types, condensing boilers feature the added attribute of being able to capture and reuse some of the heat it puts out. Because they’re so energy-efficient, they’re a great way to save money on electricity bills.

By choosing the right boiler to suit your needs, you could significantly reduce your energy consumption and, according to price comparison site uSwitch, save you as much as £300 a year. Needless to say, investing some time in properly researching your options will pay off massively in the future.

Get in touch with the manufacturer

Once you’ve found the right boiler, contact the manufacturer directly to get a list of local installers. Get a few quotes in writing, and have an in-depth discussion with each installer to go over your heating needs. A few things to bring up include:

- How many bathrooms you have in your home.
- How much hot water you typically use.
- Whether you have double-glazed windows.
- How well insulated your home is.

This should help you and the installer decide what capacity your boiler should ideally be.

Learn all you can about the heating engineer prior to installation

After you’ve taken some time to chat with your potential installer, you should have a good feel for their overall knowledge and expertise. However, since it’s such an important job, you’ll need a little more than that to put your mind at ease. Check to make sure your installer is Gas Safe (previously run by Corgi) registered, and ask to see their credentials.

Protect your boiler

When all’s said and done, protect your boiler with an extended warranty. You’ll peace of mind knowing you’re covered in case of breakdown, freeing you from the fear of unexpected repair costs.


© Axonn 2015