Why Get a New Boiler?
Studies have shown that boilers are responsible for up to 60% of all domestic carbon dioxide emissions. Therefore, by replacing an older and less efficient boiler with a newer, much more energy efficient boiler, you will be significantly reducing your carbon footprint.
In fact, according to the Energy Saving Trust, if every household in the UK, which currently has a gas, powered central heating system upgraded their boiler to a high efficiency model, 13 million tonnes of CO2 would be saved from being released into the atmosphere. Individually, a household choosing to upgrade their boiler to a high efficiency condensing boiler with a full array of heating controls would make a saving of up to £250 on their annual heating bills and also save nearly 2 tones of CO2 from being released.
Which type of boiler?
If you seek to get a new boiler you will invariably be buying a condensing boiler. All new gas and oil powered central heating boiler systems must be, by law, condensing boiler models. Only in very exceptional standards will a new boiler not be of a condensing variety.
The particular type and the size of any new boiler will be determined by the individual circumstances of the householder, such as the current central heating setup, type of fuel currently used, budget, number of bathrooms, size of the property to be heated, etc. However, as a general rule of thumb, one could say that if you live in a flat or a home where space is of a premium, you would likely want to purchase a combi boiler, whereas if space was not an issue, you would most likely want to purchase a regular boiler system.
Regardless of your level of DIY experience, you will need to have the boiler installed by a Corgi (Council for Registered Gas Installers) engineer/plumber. The installer of the boiler will be able to advise you on the type of boiler best suited and the size that will be needed to adequately provide heat to the home.
Buying the boiler
It is possible to buy a boiler direct from the manufacturers or from plumbers themselves; however, this can be a risky proposition unless you are very confident that the purchase is exactly right for your situation. Due to the fact that you will be likely spending several hundred pounds (if not more) it makes sense to obtain the advice of an expert prior to purchase and installation.
The difficulty with seeking guidance on the boiler purchase process is that you need to be able to trust the advice you are being offered, as it is not unknown for this field to be considered as somewhat “murky”.
It would make sense to consult with CORGI plumbers or engineers that have been recommended by friends or family, as word of mouth is typically the best type of referral.
A local firm will likely cost you less than an established nationwide firm, however, with the nationwide firm you are also buying peace of mind. Also, the aftercare is something that should certainly be considered as you do not want to have bought you boiler and had it installed by a firm that subsequently goes out of business.
For this reason, we would recommend that you obtain a free no-obligation quote for your boiler services from British Gas. They regularly provide large discounts and offer free HomeCare cover with each new boiler (a saving of £204).
The Energy Savings Trust currently lists the following three boilers in their “recommended products” section.
Vokera Linea HE range
Ideal Imax W range
Grant Vortex Outdoor 26kW VTXOMCOMBI26
The boilers noted have a SEDBUK ‘A’ rating, with seasonal efficiency of over 90% in each instance – basically among the most energy efficient on the market as of September 08.