Boilers are integral to the functioning of any home. It’s likely to be one of the most expensive items you purchase so it’s important to do your research before you purchase. Buying a reliable boiler is essential because no one wants to face cold showers and no heating, especially when it comes to the winter months.
The right boiler for your home depends on your central heating system. The majority of UK homes have a gas central heating system so many boilers are suited to accommodate this.
Get prepared with our buying guide to help you through the whole process, from what type to pick all the way through to installation. These are the things you need to be aware of when buying a new boiler for your home.
Here are some things to consider before you buy:
Type Of Fuel
Most UK homes already use a gas central heating system, equipped with a gas boiler. Even though gas is a very common source of energy, there are other options, including oil boilers, liquid petroleum gas boilers, or a wood-burning stove with a back boiler. It’s probably easiest to get your hands on a gas boiler if that is what is already in your home.
Types Of Boilers
Combination (Combi) Boilers
These are gas boilers that provide heat for your radiators and hot water when needed. These are usually suited for larger homes with multiple rooms and bathrooms. They use cylinder storage meaning they are usually stored in an airing cupboard. With combi boilers, you usually have to wait for the water to be heated before you can use it.
Heat Only Boilers (Open Vent)
These also use gas which is connected to a hot water storage system. They provide central heating and hot water through a boiler and water tanks stored in a loft. The storage cylinder is usually stored in an airing cupboard. Open vent boilers have high water flow rate which is great for quick showers. Once the hot water runs out you will need to wait for it to heat back up again. They are effective but take up a large amount of room in your home.
If your household is running on gas then your boiler will amount to 60% of all your homes CO2 emissions. And this affects your wallet too. If you are looking to cut down costs on your energy bill and lower your carbon footprint then the boilers you get for your home is crucial.
Many people tend to just use the same boiler from when they moved into their house, but old boilers are less economical and effective. Upgrade to a new model to cut back on your bills and reduce your emissions. With a new model you could potentially save up to £300 a year on your energy bill.
Since 2010, boilers have become significantly more energy efficient. All boilers have to meet the A-rated guideline or be at least 88% efficient.
Boilers don’t really have any snazzy features and high tech gadgets, what they do have are variable heating controls and settings. These put you in full control of your heating. You can decide on the heat setting and timer for automatic heating and hot water.
Never try to install boilers yourself. It is dangerous and could cause a lot of damage to yourself, those around you and your home. When you decide on the right boiler get in touch with a heating engineer from the Gas Safe Register to install boilers for you safely.
Some gas providers could suggest that they replace your boilers for you, without giving you a choice as to which boiler or model you want to get. This is because most heating engineers are adept at fitting specific boiler models and brands and this is the one they offer. If this is not the option you want to take then find a suitable heating engineer in your area. Make sure to check that they are able and competent to fit the boiler you want.
Once you have bought a boiler, regular maintenance is needed to make sure it is working efficiently and safely. Take a look at our guide on how to get your boiler ready for Winter, with tips such as ensuring it still works even in the summer months – you just need to turn it on for a few minutes every few days.
When you’re looking for an installation service, there may be a few fitters about who will give you a free full service after one year, or similar deals. These are a great way to keep costs down, and it is also a good idea to keep the same fitter to hand if possible, as they will know the ins and outs of the model and fitting better.