Thousands of homeowners decide to upgrade with a new boiler installation every year, whether because an old central heating system has broken down or become unreliable or because they’re looking to upgrade the efficiency of their property while reducing energy costs.
Upgrading an old boiler with a modern, efficient and high-performance boiler replacement can make a dramatic difference to your energy bills and ensure you save money. However, we recognise that with countless options, performance ratings, fuel types and budgets, it can be tricky to make informed choices or know which heating system will remain functional and efficient for the years to come.
Here Gas Worx explains the options you might come across when picking a replacement boiler and some of the important factors to help make your decision-making easier.
Understanding Different Types of Modern Boilers
There are two primary types of boiler commonly used in UK homes. A system boiler has a hot water cylinder which stores water once heated, and a combi boiler doesn’t have a cylinder but heats water as and when required.
System boilers are generally better at producing hot water, but those efficiency gains are minimal since the cylinder will continually lose heat, albeit gradually. Combi boilers can be more energy efficient, but there isn’t one boiler we’d recommend for every property since a lot depends on factors such as:
- The size of your home, the number of occupants and your hot water demands.
- Average temperatures and the thermal efficiency of the property.
- The appliances, gadgets and hot water plumbing in place.
One consideration is that if you intend to fit solar panels into your home (or already have them), a hot water cylinder can be a great option. Solar heating systems can power a hot water cylinder, which might influence the type of new boiler installation you require and how much reliance you’ll place on it for hot water demands.
Combi boilers are the best option for smaller homes since the hot water is delivered straight from the mains without needing extra space for a hot water tank in the loft or a cupboard. However, you can also fit a combi boiler model called a storage combi, which includes a cylinder like a conventional boiler, which keeps water warm once it’s been heated.
If you have a large home with multiple bathrooms or a bigger family, a system boiler or storage combi may be preferable since a compact combi boiler might be unable to keep pace.
Property Energy Efficiency and Boiler Installation Options
All homes experience heat loss to a certain extent. Still, older properties and period buildings are often far less efficient at thermal retention than newer builds due to various aspects such as insulation and double or triple glazing.
The priority when selecting a new, energy efficient boiler is to ensure the boiler has the capacity to cater to all your heating and hot water requirements year-round and for at least the next decade. But, if your home has a low Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating, it is important to address this.
Part of the issue is that, regardless of how efficient and advanced your boiler system is, it cannot compensate for high levels of heat loss, and you’ll have to spend far more on utilities as the boiler operates overtime to try and sustain a comfortable temperature.
New boiler costs can make a large dent in your wallet, but investing in an oversized boiler to try and combat an inefficient property will almost certainly end up costing more both in the boiler installation and the cost to run it.
A far better, long-term solution is to have an up-to-date assessment of your property’s heat loss, which looks at things like:
- How many doors and windows you have.
- The number of radiators throughout the property.
- How doors and windows are glazed.
- The insulation in the walls, loft and floors.
- The total volume, accounting for ceiling heights.
Once you have a firm idea of how well your home performs in terms of heat retention and where you can make improvements, a boiler installation consultant will be better placed to advise which energy efficiency measures are worth investing in to ensure a modern, technologically advanced boiler works optimally.
An improved EPC rating isn’t just a great outcome in terms of utility bills and boiler efficiency, meaning the boiler needs to work less and will last longer, but it can also increase the saleable value of your home.
Upgrade the heating and power in your home
Choosing Between Boiler Fuel Types
The majority of UK homes have gas boilers, where condensing gas units tend to be the cheapest models to run and provide hot water and heating from one system. Other fuel options include electricity, oil, or LPG.
You might also consider a low-carbon heating solution – heat pumps are increasingly popular, and an air-source heat pump is suited to any property type, from terraced houses to larger detached properties and apartments.
If you are in any doubt, or if you’d like advice about whether the best way forward is to replace an older gas boiler with an eco-friendly upgrade, please get in touch for more information.
Although heat pumps are more sustainable and use renewable energy, gas is considered the cleanest mass-use fuel. Oil boilers are typically used in areas without a mains gas connection. Because these units tend to be non-condensing, efficiency becomes even more important to avoid unnecessarily high running costs.
A-Rated Boiler Installations and Utility Cost Savings
Whichever boiler type and fuel you select, the ideal is to look for an A-rated boiler, which operates at 90% efficiency or above. A G-rated boiler, in comparison, runs at around 65%, depending on the boiler’s age.
As a rough indication, according to the Energy Saving Trust, you could save the following per year:
|Flat / Apartment||Terraced House||Semi-Detached House||Detached House|
|Replacing a D-rated boiler||£125||£235||£305||£375|
|Replacing an E-rated boiler||£140||£260||£335||£460|
|Replacing an F-rated boiler||£160||£290||£380||£590|
|Replacing a G-rated boiler||£230||£420||£540||£840|
These estimates are based on replacing an older boiler with an A-rated modern unit, including energy-efficiency accessories such as radiator controls and room thermostats.
Depending on the home and the type of boiler you have now, the savings in fuel bills, improved property EPC rating and reliability of a modern, efficient boiler providing on-demand hot water and heating can provide multiple benefits, with the reduction in utility costs alone covering the price of a new boiler within as little as five years.
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Let us know if there is a particular heating solution you are interested in, or schedule a call at a good time for a discussion with one of our renewable and energy-efficient heating experts to explore all the options.