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The Almost Impartial Guide to Boiler Replacement

Becoming even more energy efficient

It will come as no surprise to learn that older boilers and heating systems are far less efficient than their more modern replacements.

And that doesn’t mean a per cent or two. The least efficient older systems can waste more than 40 per cent of the fuel they use to heat your home. Compare that to the three per cent waste that can be achieved with a modern system - giving an efficiency rate of 97 per cent.

So who should be looking at replacing their boiler?

Owners of old, inefficient or boilers that are just totally worn out… need to give the question serious consideration.

Being more Energy Efficient…?

Just replacing a boiler isn’t going to make your home energy efficient on its own. Before you take the step of replacing the boiler take other things into consideration. The less heat that is escaping from your home the less energy it will take to heat it.

With the introduction of buyer’s pack for anyone trying to sell a home - energy efficiency is going to be an important element. And how long will it be before carbon dioxide omissions from homes become an issue?

Better insulation of a property could mean that you need a smaller boiler - which will mean less fuel used and less harmful emissions to the atmosphere.

But do ensure that a competent heating engineer carries out a heat-loss survey to ensure you get the best sized boiler to suit your home and needs.

Familiarise yourself with the energy efficiency labels and choose a boiler that has a high rating - it may cost a little more initially but could save you money in the future. Also look for a good warranty, take advice on how expensive replacement parts can be and seek out a deal that gives you a good back-up service.

A Safety Tip

A safety tip is to ensure that your new boiler is a sealed combustion unit. This type of boiler eliminates the risk of bringing dangerous gases into your home that could combust. A sealed combustion unit has the added bonus of usually burning more efficiently as well.

Different Types of Boilers

When discussing a replacement boiler with a heating engineer it might help to have a brief idea of the different types of boilers available.

Condensing boilers:

Building regulations state that it is now compulsory to use a condensing boiler (in nearly every case) as a replacement for domestic heating systems.

The advantage of these boilers is that they extract more heat from the fuel - thus making them more efficient to run, so they can decrease fuel bills and carbon dioxide emissions to the atmosphere.

Condensing boilers are available to users of gas, oil or solid fuel.

NB. Anything which doesn’t fit into the category of a condensing boiler is usually referred to as a regular boiler.

Combi boilers:

A combi boiler heats tap water as it is used. Turning on the tap draws the water through the boiler - heating it before it reaches the tap.

This system does away with the need for a hot water storage tank making it a cheaper system to install. The drawback is that they are more prone to breakdowns than non-combi boilers that store water in tanks in lofts or airing cupboards.

System boilers:

If you ask you installer if these have any advantages he will probably say yes - but it could be advantages for him. As system boilers have components such as a circulating pump and an expansion valve already fitted, he doesn’t have to fit them separately.


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