Top Tips For Buying a New Boiler
A new boiler is a big investment, one that will be part of your every day life for a number of years to come. So, it’s important to make sure you get the right boiler.
In this article, we share our top tips for buying a new boiler to making choosing the right boiler less of a minefield.
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Tips for buying a new boiler
There are 8 things that you need to do when the time comes to replace your boiler and they are:
- Do your research
- Find the right boiler type
- Know the heating and hot water demands of your home
- Pick a location for your boiler
- Set a budget
- Check the warranty
- Find out if you’re eligible for a grant
- Choose your installer wisely
- Get multiple quotes
We’re going to take you through these tips for buying a new boiler one by one and once we’re done, you’ll be well on your way to finding the perfect boiler.
Do your research
A new boiler is an important purchase so a little bit of research should help you narrow down your choices. Spending a little bit of time looking into the different boiler types, manufacturers and models will help to ensure you end up with the most suitable boiler and you could even save money – on the initial costs as well as in the long term thanks to lower energy bills.
Find the right type of boiler
Modern boilers are manufactured to highly efficienct standards but with so many different types, brands and models to choose from it can be hard to find the right boiler for your home. Before considering brands and models, you’ll need to know which of the 3 boiler types is best suited to your property:
Each of these boiler types have their own pros and cons and are better suited to different property types.
Combi boilers are the most modern type of boiler and are perfectly suited to homes with 1-2 bathrooms (depending on the output). Water is delivered to a combi directly from the mains supply where it is heated on demand as and when needed. This removes any need for any external tanks or cylinders as everything is wrapped up into a single compact cost-effective unit. Thanks to these space-saving qualities, combi boilers have become the most popular heating system in the UK.
While combi boilers have a number of benefits, there are some considerations that need to be made too. As combi boilers take water directly from the mains, you will need a high water pressure at your property, otherwise the hot water that comes out of the tap will always be weak. Also, they’re unable to supply a strong supply of hot water to more than a single tap at a time (in most cases) which is why they’re best suited to smaller properties.
A system boiler sits somewhere inbetween combi and regular boilers in terms of they operate. Like a combi, they take their water directly from the mains supply however, rather than heating it up and delivering it straight to a tap, the hot water is stored in a cylinder. This means that they can deliver a strong supply of water to more than a single outlet at a time but hot water isn’t available on demand and additional space will be needed for a hot water cylinder.
Regular boilers, otherwise known as conventional and heat-only boilers, are the oldest type of heating system and are best suited to larger properties. If you live in an older property with multiple bathrooms then it’s likely that you’ll have a regular boiler.
Like a system boiler, regular boilers heat water for storage in a cylinder but in addition to needing a hot water cylinder, a feed and expansion tank is also needed – found in the loft. Regular boilers don’t heat water directly from the mains (unlike the other boiler types), as they’re instead fed cold water from a tank in the loft.
Work out your heating and hot water demand
The size of your property as well as the number of people living in it is an important factor to consider in determining what type of boiler will be most beneficial for your needs. And a suitable output rating for your heating and hot water demands is essential.
An output rating that’s too low will struggle to provide a sufficient amount of central heating and domestic hot water. Meanwhile, an output rating that’s too high could result in your energy bills going up.
So, how do you know which output rating is best suited to your home?
Well, below is a boiler sizing rule of thumb which you can use to get an idea of the right size boiler for your home.
|Type of House||Number of Bedrooms||Number of Bathrooms||Number of Radiators||Suitable Output Rating||Recommended Boiler Type|
|Small terrace, flat or bungalow||1-2 bedrooms||1 bathroom||Up to 10||24-27 kW||Combi|
|Medium terrace, bungalow or semi-detached house||3-4 bedrooms||2-3 bathrooms||Up to 15||28-34 kW||System|
|Large semi-detached or detached house||4 or more||2 or more||Up to 20||35-42 kW||System or regular|
Find out more by taking a look through our guide to boiler sizes: What Size Boiler Do I Need? [Definitive Guide].
The above is very much a rule of thumb ALWAYS have your home’s hot water demand assessed by a professional before going ahead with a boiler replacement – get free boiler installation quotes from local heating engineers today.
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Know where your boiler will be installed
A location for your new boiler is an important factor to consider. Most boilers today are designed to be compact and lighter enabling them to be conveniently wall mounted. Free standing boilers tend to be narrower, allowing them to be fitted between kitchen units.
Most boilers are installed in a kitchen or utility room but these aren’t the only options. Gas and oil boilers must be installed onto an external wall, so that a flue can be fitted which emits the waste gases out into the atmosphere – electric boiler installation is much more flexible as they don’t produce waste.
For most people budget dictates our choices. Therefore, it’s imperative to be clear on your budget – and, more importantly, make sure you stick to it. The price of the boiler will depend on several things:
- Type of boiler (combi, system or regular)
- Output rating (this determines how powerful the boiler will be and is measured in kW)
It’s worth checking to see if there are any available finance deals, but don’t fall into the trap of paying out more than you can afford and feel comfortable paying.
|Boiler Type||Potential Cost|
|Combi Boiler||£500 – £1,500|
|System Boiler||£500 – £3,500|
|Regular Boiler||£550 – £4,500|
It’s also important to remember that the price tag attached to a boiler doesn’t include the cost of installation. There isn’t a set installation price for all boilers which makes comparing quotes from several heating engineers vital to help you find the best deal for you.
Check the warranty
In the event that your boiler runs into an issue after the installation, it’s important to know that you’re covered. All boilers come with a warranty period but what’s covered and for how many years will vary depending on the brand and boiler.
Find out if you qualify for a grant
For most people, cost is going to be pivotal when it comes to buying a new boiler. So it’s worth looking to see if you are eligible for a boiler grant by visiting boilergrants.co.uk.
While some installers run special discounts, others offer ‘buy now pay later’ schemes. When it comes to the latter option, always check the small print because this type of loan usually comes with an extremely high interest rate. Although closed in England and Wales, Scottish residents are able to benefit from the boiler scrappage scheme.
Note: As of April 2020, there is very little funding available for boiler grants.
Choose your installer wisely
Ask friends and family for recommendations where possible. And always use a professional qualified heating engineer. So make sure they are Gas Safe registered – and check their credentials.
If you can look beyond the initial expense, installing a new energy efficient boiler is a worthwhile investment, not least because a new boiler can help reduce your central heating bills by up to 40%. Which, according to the Energy Saving Trust, could see you achieve an annual saving of up to £225.
Get more than 1 quote
Accepting the first quote you receive would leave you with no idea whether you’re being overcharged. So, the best thing to do is compare multiple quotes – and remember to get them in writing.
On a similar note, the cheapest quote isn’t necessarily the best so find out what you’ll be getting for your money, such as a comprehensive warranty.
Which are the best boiler manufacturers?
Finding the right boiler type for your home is one thing but then you’ll need the right model and there are many UK boiler manufacturers to choose between. The best boiler manufacturers in terms of homeowner reviews and installer feedback are widely considered to be:
Each of these manufacturers all 3 boiler types, mainly gas-fueled but with a couple offering oil boilers too.
|Boiler Manufacturer||Boiler Types||Fuels|
|Baxi||Combi, system & regular||Gas|
|Ideal||Combi, system & regular||Gas|
|Vaillant||Combi, system & regular||Gas|
|Viessmann||Combi, system & regular||Gas & oil|
|Worcester Bosch||Combi, system & regular||Gas & oil|
When should I replace my boiler?
Boilers typically have a lifespan of 10-15 years but they can begin to lose their efficiency after 8 years. When efficiency begins to drop, your energy bills will slowly increase. So, if your boiler was installed more than 8 years ago, it’s time for a boiler replacement.
The following are all signs that it’s time for a boiler replacement:
- You boiler is breaking down on a regular basis
- The cost of a repair would be more than a new boiler
- You’ve noticed that your energy bills are on the rise
- Your heating and hot water demands are no longer being met
- You’re planning to sell or rent out your property – a new modern boiler will help to lift the efficiency rating of your home and make it more appealing to potential buyers
To find out whether it’s time for a new boiler, take a read through our guide to New Boiler Replacement & Installation Costs.
Don’t forget to compare quotes
One of our top tips for buying a new boiler is to compare quotes.
At Boiler Guide, we’ve made finding heating engineers to quote on your new boiler installation easier than ever. Simply complete our online form and we’ll match you with up to 3 boiler installers based in your local area who will each provide a free quote. Once you have your quotes, you’ll then be free to compare them.