Tips on Choosing a Boiler
Choosing a boiler is a big investment so it’s essential to do your homework before you lay out any money. Whether you’re buying a new boiler or looking for a replacement boiler, there are so many boilers to choose from, you could be left reeling from the choices available on the market – from oil boilers to gas boilers, combi boilers and condensing boilers.
Buying a New Boiler
A new boiler can cost up to £2,000 so you want to make sure that you get the right boiler that will last you for many years – a good boiler will last you on average for around 15 years. Property owners are required to Newer boilers should be energy efficient. There are many guidelines in place to ensure that your heating system is working most efficiently for the environment – and also for your pocket.
Boilers are expected to have a minimum efficiency of 86% for gas and 85% for oil systems. You can read lots of information on the internet that will help you choose a boiler that complies with energy efficiency requirements. For example, you can download the Domestic Heating Compliance Guide to ensure that you stay within the law. In general, if you’re having a brand new heating system, you’ll be required to have a condensing boiler installed unless you have good reason for not installing a condensing boiler, such as space restriction. Condensing boilers are the most efficient type of boiler as they use less energy than traditional boilers. Whereas your old boiler would heat water to 180 degrees Celsius, a new condensing boiler will heat the water to 55 degrees Celsius, which is more than suitable for domestic requirements. Condensing boilers reuse heat, while a traditional style boiler lets out the heated gases through a flue. Here are some of the most common boiler types:
A combination boiler, often called a combi boiler, is the most popular type of boiler in use in the UK. Combi boilers are economical, efficient and convenient as they heat the water on demand, so there’s no waiting for the water to heat up. Because the water is heated directly from the mains there’s no bulky hot water storage take, meaning that these types of boiler take less space – making them ideal for smaller properties such as flats. On the downside, if someone else is using the hot water it will interrupt your flow of heated water as the water comes from the same source.
Open Vent Boilers
Another popular boiler type is the open vent boiler. Many homes are originally fitted with these boiler systems. These types of boilers use two tanks and a hot water storage cylinder, so they take up quite a lot of space in your home. One of the tanks draws the mains water through and the other tank is allows for the hot water to expand. The hot water is then channelled to a storage tank. This type of boiler takes a while to heat up the water supply and if the hot water runs out, it can take a while to reheat it. These boilers are ideal for larger properties as the hot water can be used at the same time around the home. An open vent sealed boiler system is a similar system that is often used to cheaply replace the older type of open vent boiler. This uses only one tank, which draws water from the mains, heats it and then feeds the hot water into the storage cylinder.
Sealed, Unvented Boiler System
A sealed unvented boiler is another common type of heating system that requires only one storage tank that is usually located in the airing cupboard. A seal unvented boiler heats and stores hot water. These are simple to install and very efficient to run. These are typically installed in larger homes because you can use the hot water from several different sources at the same time and you also get good water pressure. Because the hot water’s stored, if this store of hot water is used up, it can take a while to heat up some more.
Back boilers are quite a complicated water heating system often found in spacious older properties. These types of boilers use a lot of space, and are located behind the chimney with an extra two tanks in the loft and a storage tank in the airing cupboard. These boilers are not the most efficient and the water pressure tends to be quite low. There have been improvements in back boilers over the years and if you already have this typed of boiler in your home, it’s probably best – and cheaper – to replace it with another back boiler system. New back boilers take into account energy efficiency requirements and are also much more space efficient than the older models. Most homes in the UK are served by gas heating systems but some homes are not connected to the gas network and in these cases, you’ll have an oil, a liquid petroleum gas boiler, or a wood burning stove. LPG boilers can be costly, as can oil boilers due to the high oil costs.
Insure Your Boiler
A professional plumbing firm or engineer will be happy to give you all the options you need for buying a boiler but it’s good to know your stuff before you call them out, as it’s easy to get bamboozled by jargon. Once you’ve chosen your boiler, you should also consider insurance. Boiler insurance is usually a very worthy investment, as a boiler breakdown can be inconvenient but also costly to repair. You can help maintain your boiler by having it checked annually by a gas safety registered plumbing firm or engineer. For quality plumbing, boiler repairs and maintenance, contact G&A Plumbers. G&A is a leading plumbing firm that provides a range of home maintenance work for all types of properties throughout the UK. With qualified plumbers and a long history that goes back over 25 years, G&A is the number one choice for property owners wanting affordable plumbing and repairs. Call G&A Plumbers and speak to a qualified plumber today on 0800 626430.