Is your boiler getting on a bit and more than 10 years old? If so, it really is time to get a new one, not least because boilers of that age are not especially energy efficient and could be costing you a fortune on your gas bill.
Perhaps you’ve already decided to replace the boiler, but you’re bewildered by the number of options you seem to have and don’t know which best to choose. With this in mind, below are some tips and comparisons on the different types and how they might benefit you.
Let’s look at how much you can save
Modern boilers are much more energy efficient than their older counterparts and replacing yours could potentially save you up to 30% on your gas bills. Since 2010, all new boilers must conform to energy efficiency standards, meaning that they must be at least 88% efficient or A-rated.
According to utility comparison site u-switch, this means that you could save as much as £516 by upgrading from your old boiler. Many people put off getting a new one put in as they think that it’s a big expense which must be paid for all at once, but this isn’t necessarily the case.
Companies such as Help-Link allow you to buy a new boiler by instalments, making it much more affordable for those on lower incomes and starting at just £17 per month. This can be offset against how much you save on gas bills, meaning effectively, a new boiler is costing you very little, in anything in the long term. You may also want to check their Affordable Warmth scheme to see if you are eligible to receive grants from the government.
Types of boiler
There are three main types of condenser gas boiler:
- Combination (combi)
In the UK, the most popular choice is a combi boiler. These supply direct-demand water and heat without the need for a separate cylinder tank to be fitted in the loft or elsewhere in the home.
- Instant hot water
- Economical for smaller homes
- Space saving
- Can run a shower from bath taps
- Supplies up between 9 and 18 litres of water per minute
- Only provides maximum pressure through one tap at a time
- Not suitable for large homes with more than one bathroom
- Slow to run a bath
- No tank so no back up hot water supply
System gas boilers
Also known as sealed system boilers, system gas boilers also don’t require a cold water tank but they do have a hot water storage cylinder. These are ideal for larger homes with more than one bathroom where hot water may need to be supplied to more than one room at a time.
- Can use several taps at once
- No tank in the loft
- Installation is quicker and more efficient due to less parts
- Pump included in the system for quick water heating response
- Takes up more space than a combi
- Loses heat into surroundings
- Limited amount of hot water at any one time
Open vent boiler
These are generally connected to two water tanks, which are installed in a property’s loft space. One of the tanks feeds the hot water system, whilst the other feeds an open vent hot water tank. Again, these are suitable for larger properties, where several people might be using the hot water at any one given time.
- Water from multiple taps at any one time
- Have to wait for water to run out if tank is used
- Takes up quite a lot of space
Most modern boilers such as these are condensing boilers and allow heat that would otherwise be wasted to be re-used. There are 100s of different models available and you should check out the Which reviews to see which model might suit your family the best.
Whatever you decide, the cost of a new boiler is minimal compared to how much money you may be losing through having an old, energy consuming boiler. If you consider how much you can save throughout the year, it will soon become apparent why it makes sense to get a new, energy-efficient boiler fitted.