Which is the best boiler for your home? When improving your home or replacing an old boiler for your central heating system, the opportunity to cut fuel bills and use less energy is ‘high on the must-have’ list.

Three most important considerations when choosing a new boiler:

  1. What is the best boiler for my needs?
  2. How much does a new boiler?
  3. Are there any schemes that will help pay for it?

A new energy efficient boiler can reduce your energy bills by hundreds of pounds each year and be environmentally friendly.

In addition, you may be able to save more money through ‘The Energy Company Obligation (ECO).’ The ECO is a government energy-efficiency scheme in Great Britain to help reduce carbon emissions and tackle fuel poverty. Under the Government’s ECO programme, thousands of UK residents are now eligible to receive a new boiler, some at zero cost.

London residents may also be eligible to claim £400 cashback for installing a new boiler, so changing an older boiler for a new one could save you money. ECO will run until September 2018.

Best Boiler – Rating Card

Boiler Type

Our Boiler Rating

Combination (Combi) Boilers

10/10

System Boiler

9/10

Conventional Boiler

8/10

Condensing Boilers

7/10

 

Choosing the optimum boiler for your house requires a good understanding of your house construction (building materials), the level of insulation and airtightness, its position (exposure to weather) and heating and hot water requirements. These details are needed to complete the necessary heat-loss calculations to correctly size your boiler. For example, just guessing these essentials can result in under-sizing the boiler which could push its capability beyond its optimum operating conditions. This will impact on efficiency, working life and running costs. It is important to remember, one size does not fit all conditions.

Combination (Combi) Boiler

Combi boilers deliver heating and hot water directly and there is no need for a tank in your loft. Combi boilers are cheaper to install, energy efficient and very common in the UK, particularly where there is a need to save space and use a power shower. They are very cost efficient.

System Boiler

System boilers have heating and hot water modules built into the boiler. This means you don’t need a tank in your loft. However, the hot water is not instant and can run out, so there is still the requirement for a cylinder for storing hot water. They are suitable for medium-size houses with an additional bathroom; it costs a little more to install and provides an economical service.

Conventional Boiler

Conventional boilers require a cold water storage tank in the loft as well as a smaller separate tank dedicated to the boiler to maintain its water supply. They take up more space and are suitable for larger homes with multiple bathrooms and shower facilities.

Condensing Boilers

Boilers are fuelled by natural gas which produces the heat for your central heating and hot water. Non-condensing boilers also produce waste gases which escape through the flue to the outside environment. It is estimated that up to 20% of non-condensing boilers efficiency is lost through escaping gases, taking your heat and money with it.

A ‘Condensing boiler’ can operate at up to 90% efficiency, saving you heat and money on your gas bill. You will be able to recover most of the heat that would usually be lost from waste gases. The way this works is; waste gases travel through a heat exchanger which condenses them back into liquid. The heat that would have otherwise been lost is recovered and recycled to heat the water returning from the radiators as it enters the boiler. .

Which Manufacturer to Choose?

Boilers are an important part of your house infrastructure and it is preferable to choose one from a sound and well established manufacturer that has a good reputation for quality of products and service. Typically, these are companies such as Potterton, Ideal, Glow Worm, Baxi, Vaillant, Worcester Bosh, Alpha and Volkera.

The optimum way forward is always safety first, then operational reliability and cost.

Boiler Installation

Before you purchase your boiler, you should ensure your installer surveys the property thoroughly and checks:

  • Your current boiler’s position
  • Water pressure
  • Heat-loss calculations
  • Number of radiators
  • The condition of existing radiators and equipment
  • Position of the flue
  • Additional space requirements
  • Access for servicing
  • Number of bathrooms in your home
  • Any other requirements you may have

Boiler Warranty and Service Agreements

In addition, buying a new boiler should also be accompanied with a warranty where you can obtain replacement parts for up to 10 years. The exact information about your warranty will be provided by the manufacturer.

Boiler Service Agreements

As well as the manufacturer’s warranty, you can opt for an annual service agreement from a service provider. This will ensure you have your boiler checked each year along with the condition of the radiators, valves and other equipment. When taking out a service agreement obtain two or three quotes and also check the cancellation clauses. You should not be locked into this agreement for more than one year at a time. For example, if the supplier lets you down for any reason, you need to be able to cancel the agreement without any penalties.

The installer should advise on the best way to install the boiler. If you are satisfied with what they propose, you can then discuss your payment options and a date and time for the engineer to begin the process. Keep a watchful eye on the process and ask questions if you are unsure of the installer’s methods.