Boiler Guide

Choosing the best new boiler & central heating system

Choosing  the best new gas boiler or domestic central heating / hot water system for your home can be a difficult choice. The range of high-efficiency condensing gas & combination boilers (combi boilers), heating controls & radiators can leave the average home owner a little confused.

Here we provide a few tips and advice regarding  –

Choosing a new boiler

Choosing the best new gas boiler type for your home boils down to a choice between a combination boiler (combi boiler) or a regular condensing gas boiler.

Condensing Gas Boilers
Gas Boiler - Condensing high efficiency combi boiler

Condensing boilers function at extremely high efficiency levels because of their design.

Conventional central heating boilers work in a straightforward fashion – that is there has to be enough energy generated to heat the cold water in a large tank.

This can be very expensive – as much as 80% of heating costs are used to heat your boiler for hot water or warmth in the home.  Excessive energy usage is also  damaging to the environment in terms of Carbon emission output levels.

A condensing boiler partially heats cold water before it enters the burner by means of a heat exchanger.  Technically  a thermal transfer of heat occurs from the exchanger to the water, warming it up before it reaches the boiler. The water is already warm so takes much less time to heat, saving on both energy and heating costs.

  • Combi boilersA combi boiler is combination between a hot water heater and a central heating system. Combi boilers provide on demand hot water for your taps and to heat your radiators without the need for a water storage tank.Combi boilers require less space to install and are currently the most popular gas boiler choice in the UK.
  • Regular condensing gas boilers –  Regular  condensing gas boilers heat your radiators and store hot water in a storage tank or cylinder (normally in your  loft or  cupboard). The normally come with heating controls and if your boiler system is older, the chances are that it will be this type.

Conventional Gas Boilers

Conventional central heating boilers work by heating water via a heat exchanger – fuel, or gas, is burned and the heat passes through a compartment where a percentage heat is transferred to cold water. This hot water is used to heat your radiators or for your hot water taps. The remainder of the heat escapes from the boiler.

The gas boilers which are available via the boiler grant scheme are high efficiency gas condensing boilers. Condensing boilers are more energy efficient than conventional gas boilers. They heat water more efficiently, therefore they use less energy, which means that less harmful Carbon Dioxide emissions are released into the environment, and also that your gas bills are reduced.

Domestic Boiler Efficiency Grades

SEDBUK (Seasonal Efficiency of Domestic Boilers in the UK) are the

Energy Performance Certificate for Gas Boiler
EPC’s come as standard with new boilers

advisory organisation responsible for the grading of boilers in England, Scotland & Wales.

The diagram shows the range of traditional energy grades for conventional boilers and central heating systems.

All gas condensing boilers function at over 90% efficiency, This is also the mandatory level for any new boiler installed in the UK.

Domestic Gas Boilers &  Energy Performance

The body which determines a boiler’s grading is SEDBUK (Season Efficiency of Domestic Boilers in the UK). SEDBUK. Boiler ratings are assessed  by a Domestic Energy Assessor. Boiler and central heating performance contributes to the overall energy performance of your property and is included in any Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) or Report.

Boiler performance is measured as a percentage although the European Grading method (A-G according to energy usage performance) is also often included for consistency. The energy efficiency of gas boilers (the free boilers available in the UK are gas boilers) is assessed on a variety of factors including -

  • Seasonal conditions
  • Boiler / heating usage patterns
  • Housing occupancy at the time of boiler installation
  • Boiler storage conditions
  • Boiler Location
  • Boiler insulation

Other factors deemed to affect the energy efficiency of boilers such as climate and the age of a boiler are also taken into account when assessing a boiler’s performance. The boiler rating system is designed to be a fair and accurate method of determining boiler efficiency, regardless of manufacturer.

Energy Performance certificates

EPC - boiler efficiencyAll boilers installed the UK  now must have an energy performance certificate. They also must have a Grade A rating. If your boiler is not A rated you my be entitled to a free boiler via the boiler grant scheme. In order to qualify for a free boiler your existing boiler must not be a condensing boiler.

If you are unsure about your boiler or its energy rating you can get it surveyed by a Domestic Energy Assessor. The assessor will come to your home and determine the energy-efficiency grade of your boiler and tell you if you qualify for a grant.

 Boiler Replacement

Although the current  number of different boiler grants, free boiler schemes and Government boiler programs can appear confusing, in truth has never been a better time to replace or upgrade your boiler & heating system.

Your prefered method of payment  will depend on your circumstances but here are some options to consider before buying a new boiler. The main boiler replacement  payment options are –

Pay Monthly Boilers  – Boiler  Flexible Finance Credit

If you don’t have the funds available to pay for a new boiler up front perhaps you would prefer to pay monthly for a replacement boiler via a boiler flexible finance monthly payment plan.

This would enable you to spread the cost of your boiler installation over manageable monthly payments. Pay monthly boiler plans are available from most utility companies and boiler manufacturers.

British Gas &  SSE are  currently offering varying flexible finance monthly payment options on most condensing boilers and combination (combi) boilers.

Boiler payment plans  have a variety of interest rates and payment terms depending on the supplier and installer  so you should do a bit research to find out more about the payment length and terms, Interest rates and if the boiler installation includes a warranty and maintenance contract etc.

Pay Monthly Boilers – FAQ’s

Why have pay monthly combi boiler plans been introduced?
Pay monthly combi boiler plans are part of the Green Deal, a Government-led energy-efficiency improvement program in the UK which enables you to get financial help to install energy saving measures in your home.

What type of boiler will I get if I apply for a boiler monthly finance plan?
Any new boiler fitted either via one of the Boiler Finance options or as part of the Free Boiler ECO Grant Scheme will be  from one of the UK’s leading boiler manufactures or suppliers – Vaillant, Glow Worm, Baxi Boilers, Ideal Logic etc.

Will my new boiler come with a warranty etc.?
Yes, of course. Pay monthly combi boiler finance plans, free boiler grants and boiler installations are strictly monitored by the Department of Energy & Climate Change. Green Deal Code of Practice.

If you qualify for a pay monthly boiler finance plan this will be set out in your contract before the boiler installation along with the usual manufacturer’s warranty etc.

Who will install my new boiler?
All boiler installers are  verified under the Government’s Green Deal Installers legislation and are accredited Gas Safe engineers.

Boiler quote - get a quote from 3 Gas Safe boiler installers

 

 

Boiler Type Boiler
Efficiency
Flat Bungalow Terraced Semi-detached Detached
Condensing A Grade Boiler 99%  £186  £234  £242  £270 £368
Heavy weight 55%  £308  £393  £408  £458  £634
Light weight 65%  £266  £338  £350 £393  £542
Annual cost of heating your home –
Comparison of typical A Grade condensing boilers installed as part of boiler flexible finance plan compared to older less efficient boilers

 

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