For homeowners looking to save money when they need to replace their boiler, here’s our guide on how you can bring down not only the cost of a brand new boiler but also its installation in your home and your future energy bills.
Homeowners need to budget between £1,650 and £3,500 for a new boiler installation. By making sure that you and your installer choose just the system you need (and nothing more), you can save hundreds of pounds on both the boiler and the installation and even more in the years following.
60% of your energy bill is as a result of your boiler, according to Energy UK, and, when you install a modern, energy-efficient boiler, it could save you well over £2,000 in utility costs over the course of its 15 year life span.
Save up to £1,000 on the price of a new boiler
How do you save up to £1,000 on the price of a new boiler including installation? You should:
- get 3 or 4 quotes from installers – never accept the first quote you get
- check that everything list on an installer’s quote actually needs doing – you might be surprised how one installer says you need additional equipment and pipework only for another to tell you it’s not needed
- don’t take up an incentive offered by an installer to sign on the day like a discount. Any discount offered on the day will nearly always be honoured by an installer should you decide to go ahead with them later on.
- challenge any mistake an installer makes during the quote (for example, describing pipes you’ve installed recently as “old pipers which will need replacing”.
- let an installer know that you’d been keener to go ahead with them if they could offer an extended warranty (this will save you around £100 a year for every additional year you manage to negotiate)
But how much should you be paying for a new boiler?
New boiler prices
What are homeowners paying on average for new boilers in 2018? Below, please see the type of budget you should set aside for:
- boiler supply only,
- the replacement of a boiler in its current location, and
- the replacement of a boiler in a new location in your home.
|Boiler Type||Supply only||In its current location||In a new location|
|Sealed system boiler||£925||£1,300-£1,450||£1,800-£2,000|
Please do bear in mind that these prices are indicative. They assume that you’re keeping your existing radiators and taps where they are. There may be additional work which needs to be done in your home for a successful installation and this additional work will push the price you pay up.
Always make sure that, with every quote you receive from an installer, that the quote is a final quote and that there will be no unexpected charges (like installation or VAT) added to the actual price you pay.
When do you need a new boiler?
Because investing in a new boiler and its installation is expensive, many homeowners understandably try to keep their current boiler running for as long as possible. In the end, this may be a false economy because:
- your energy bills will rise as a result of the boiler’s increasing lack of energy efficiency and
- call-out charges for a boiler technician can be up to £150 and more each time.
If you have to call out an engineer a couple of times for two years running just to keep the boiler working, you’ll spend £600 or more on labour and call out, perhaps the same again on replacement parts, and your utility bills will go up. Delaying the decision for a couple of years could end up costing you between £1,500 and £2,000 – perhaps even more.
If your boiler runs on a pilot light or if it is situated on the floor, it will be quite old and not energy efficient. If you’re putting your home up for sale, it’s almost certain that a buyer will ask for a discount on the price equal to or more than the cost of a replacement boiler. People always pay more for a home that’s ready to move into and they’ll always discount against an asking price too heavily and in their favour if they think they’ll have to do work on the place straight after they move in.
If you make your home larger with an extension, conservatory, or loft conversion running new pipes, taps, and showers to the new areas, your house may outgrow the boiler meaning that it works harder, it costs more in bills, and it breaks down more often.
If your boiler has been in situ for 15 years or more, it almost certainly will need replacing. But what type of boiler should you go for?
Main types of boiler
There are four main types of boilers installed in British homes. Most new homes have combination boilers installed in them – indeed, two thirds of all British homes now have combination boilers.
What are the pros and cons of each type of boiler and which one is right for your home?
Conventional boilers use a storage cylinder (normally found in an airing cupboard) and a water tank (normally found in your loft) to power your home with central heating and hot water. Conventional boilers are sometimes called traditional boilers, heat-only boilers, or open vent boilers.
They take up a lot of room and once the hot water has run out, it’s run out – you’ll need to wait for the system to heat up the storage cylinder again. Britain has some of the smallest homes in the world and that’s one of the main reasons than conventional boilers have fallen out of favour – there’s just no room for them.
Conventional boilers, because they work well with high water flow pressure, are great for power showers but offer no other distinct advantages over the most popular type of boiler – the combination boiler.
Combination boilers, more commonly referred to as “combi” boilers, do two things – they provide your home with hot water and they heat the radiators. The one thing they don’t do well are power showers because they struggle to pump hot water to two different locations for any more than a short space of time.
Combi boilers are small and they are therefore very well suited to the smaller homes with fewer bathrooms that we Brits are used to.
System boilers are better solutions for larger homes with many (en suite) bathrooms. Their greatest advantage is that they can supply hot water at the same time to multiple different taps around your home.
Like conventional boilers, when the hot water has gone, you have to wait for the storage cylinder to heat up more water. The storage cylinders they use, again as with conventional boilers, are large and they can be difficult to find space for, if you were thinking about installing a brand new one in your home.
Back boilers sit behind your fireplace or your stove, using the additional heat generated by either to provide your home with hot water. Originally designed as an add-on boiler system for homes, the technology behind them progressed so quickly that back boilers became the main systems used by homes in the 1960s, 1970s, and early 1980s.
There are now major safety issues with back boilers as well as concerns over their lack of energy efficiency in comparison to other types of boiler. Most homeowners renewing their central heating and water systems choose to replace their back boiler with a combi boiler.
The last UK manufacturer of back boilers, Baxi, stopped making them in 2015 although they still do provide replacement parts to customers with one still installed and working in their homes.
Replacing with a different type of boiler
It’s almost always cheaper to replace the type of boiler you have now with a more modern version of the same type of boiler.
If you replace a combi boiler with a conventional boiler, for example, the cost for doing so will be greatly in excess of the cost of replacing a combi boiler with another combi boiler.
What size of boiler do I need?
Different sized boilers are needed for different sized apartments and homes. A boiler’s size (or “output”) determines the amount of hot water a boiler is able to produce. If a boiler is not big enough, it will struggle to provide all the hot water and central heating you need. If a boiler is too big, your home will be warm and your hot water ready when you need it but you’ll pay paying too much on your utility bills to run it.
Your installer will consider three factors in deciding the size of the boiler they recommend for your home – how many people live there, how many bathrooms (including en suite) you have, and how many radiators there are.
There are three main size groupings – 24kW-27kW, 28kW-34kW, and 35kW-42kW. We asked our partner installers what they would recommend and here’s what they told us:
|Bedrooms||Bathrooms||Radiators||Property Type||Boiler size recommendation||Boiler type recommendation|
|1 or 2||1||10||Small mid-terraced||24kW-27kW||Combi Boiler|
|3 or 4||1 or 2||15||Medium mid-terrace||28-34kW||Combi Boiler|
|4 or more||2 or more||20||Substantial semi-detached||34-42kW||Combi or Conventional|
Your installer may recommend a switch to a conventional boiler system if you have 2 or more bathrooms which need hot water and depending on how much hot water you use. If you have a high use of hot water, a combi boiler may lose pressure trying to supply two or more baths, taps, or showers at the same time.
The Energy Saving Trust recently released its findings into how money a gas-heated home would save on its utility bills if the old boiler was replaced by a new A-rated boiler which came with a room thermostat, a programmer, and TRVs (thermostatic radiator controls).
The savings are significant. See the table below to work out what you could save:
|Existing boiler energy efficiency rating||Measure of energy efficiency||Mid-floor apartment||Terraced house (not end terrace)||Bungalow, detached||Home, detached||Home, semi-detached|
|G||Less than 70%||£90-£95||£160-£175||£145-£155||£285-£305||£185-£200|
|F||70% to 74%||£60-£65||£115-£120||£100-£105||£200-£210||£130-£140|
|E||74% to 78%||£50-£55||£90-£105||£80-£90||£160-£180||£105-£120|
Let’s look at an example of a semi-detached home with a 15 year old boiler with an energy efficiency rating of G. The savings per annum you’ll benefit from on your energy bills by replacing your current boiler with a new system are £185-£200 a year. Replacing a combi boiler in its current location in your home will cost you £1,925-£2,125. This means that your new boiler will pay for itself in 11 years through energy savings.
But that’s not all. There are even more ways to save on utility bills with a boiler which we cover later in this article.
Boiler manufacturers, in the main, offers generous and lengthy guarantees on the longevity of their equipment. If your boiler breaks down during the period of time in which your guarantee is still valid, the manufacturer sends an engineer to your home to repair or replace your boiler free of charge. Although it’s not a blanket rule, cheaper boilers tend to have shorter guarantees and more expensive boilers have longer guarantees.
|Johnson & Starley||8years||8years|
|Zanussi||Up to 10 years|
Who should install my new boiler?
All boiler installers must be on the Gas Safe Register. Previously, this scheme was run by Corgi and installers on their approved list were called Corgi Registered Installers. The Gas Safe Register is a scheme designed to protect homeowners by making sure that only professionals who know how to safely manage maintenance, repairs, and installation of any gas-powered equipment could do this type of work.
DIY boiler installation
Unless you are a registered Gas Safe provider, it is illegal for you to install a boiler in your own home.
Save even more once your new boiler is installed
There are other measures you can take either before or after you replace your old boiler with a new boiler to save energy and cut down on your utility bills.
You can stop draughts from getting into your home. You can also insulate your home paying particular attention to your windows, your walls, and your attic or loft. There are also significant savings to be made by switching to cheaper energy providers – there are plenty of price comparison sites which can help you do this.
Get new boiler installation quotes
You want to make sure that you get the best boiler installation for your home that:
- does everything you want it to do,
- does it in the most energy-efficient way saving you money on your utility bills, and
- you pay the best possible price for.
The best way of getting the result you want is to get quotes from 3 or 4 qualified Gas Safe registered installers near to your home. Explain to these installers what you want your system to do and take your time to get as much information from them as you need so that you know everything you need to know when the time comes to making a decision.
When tradesmen quote against each other, the quality remains the same and the price comes down. Fill in the form on this page and we’ll put you in touch with 3 or 4 qualified, experienced, and trustworthy boiler installation companies. Each company we put in touch with you has been thoroughly checked and vetted by our team of business and consumer experts.
Our service is free. Your home visits from qualified installers (not salespeople) are free too. Better still, you’re under no obligation whatsoever to accept any of the quotes our partner installers give you.