Four Things To Know Before Buying a New Boiler
Buying a new boiler is an expensive and confusing process at the best of times – let alone against the backdrop of your old boiler breaking down suddenly in the colder weather.
With the average boiler installation costing anywhere between £3,000 and £5,000, here are Paul M Parsons four things you need to know before you decide on a new boiler for your home.
What types of boiler are there?
There are three main types of gas condensing boiler to choose from: a combi, system and conventional.
A combination or ‘combi’ boiler is both a high efficiency water heater and a central heating boiler in a single compact unit. Combi boilers heat water directly from the mains when you turn on a tap, so you won’t need a hot water storage cylinder or a cold water storage tank in the roof space. They are also very cost-effective and energy-efficient as water is heated instantly rather than being heated and then stored in a cylinder. An added benefit is that hot water is delivered at mains pressure, which means that you could get a powerful shower without the need for a separate pump.
System boilers require a cylinder for storing hot water, however the major heating and hot water system components are built into the boiler itself, making it quicker and easier to install. In addition, there is no need for a tank in the loft, so it can be an option in a home with little or no loft space or where the space is earmarked for a conversion.These boilers are also compatible with solar water heating systems, which deliver environmental benefits as well as lower energy bills.
Regular boilers (sometimes known as traditional, conventional or heat only boilers) are ideally suited to homes that already have a traditional heating and hot water system which is linked to a separate hot water cylinder. These boilers also need a cold water storage tank in the loft to feed the hot water cylinder as well as a tank that maintains the water level of the central heating system. A regular boiler may be the best option for replacing an existing boiler if the property has an older radiator system, as it might not be able to cope with the higher water pressure that is delivered by system or combi boilers.
What the right size boiler for my home?
Boiler size is generally based on the heating and hot water capabilities of the boiler and the physical size of your boiler. Different boilers have different performance levels, so you need to ensure that you install a boiler which will efficiently cope with your demands for heat and hot water. Overworking a boiler that is too small for your home could be damaging to the boiler and shorten its lifespan, whilst a boiler that is too big could cost you more than necessary. The size of boiler you need will mostly depend on how many bathrooms and radiators you have, and how many people you live with.
Choose a trusted brand
The more reliable your new boiler is the less unexpected costs you’re likely to fork-out on expensive repairs. Do your research on the experience boiler owners have had with particular boiler manufacturing brands so you have a good understanding of which brands you can trust to provide a reliable boiler. Don’t risk being left suffering from cold showers and freezing cold home by going for the cheapest boiler available as often this means it could be considerably lower quality and lower manufacturing standards.