A boiler is often one of the most frequently used household appliances. They provide heating and hot water and are especially important during the winter months.
Having an unreliable boiler can be hugely inconvenient. However, many people are reluctant to replace theirs due to the perceived costs involved. Check out our guide to signs that you need to replace your boiler, the different types available, and boiler replacement costs.
Signs You Need A New Boiler
A boiler should last for 10-15 years provided that it is regularly serviced. It is important to get any issues looked into as soon as possible, as otherwise your boiler could break down completely and leave you without heating and hot water.
It’s Not Working Effectively
If your radiators and hot water take a long time to heat up and don’t feel as warm as they used to, your boiler is unlikely to be working at its best.
Increased heating bills when you haven’t changed your usage or tariff are another sign of an inefficient boiler. In this situation you are paying for energy that you aren’t getting the benefit from, so it is important to identify the issue and get it resolved. This will avoid you wasting money and prevent the problem from getting worse.
Your Boiler Smells
If your boiler is giving off any smells it is important that you get a professional out to look at it right away. This could be a sign of a carbon monoxide leak which can be extremely dangerous. If you notice a smell and are experiencing any of the signs of carbon monoxide poisoning you should leave your property and call the National Grid gas emergency line.
It Has Become Noisy
It is normal for your boiler to make some noise when it turns on. However, banging, clunking, or loud whirring sounds can indicate a problem. If you notice unusual sounds it is best to turn your boiler off to prevent any further damage and call a gas safe registered engineer. They can identify the issue and make sure your boiler is safe to use.
Your Boiler Is Leaking
Have you noticed any puddles appearing underneath your boiler? This is a sign that parts within it are faulty or have started to disintegrate. Leaks can cause damage to your home and are a sign that your heating system is not working effectively.
It Keeps Breaking Down
An unreliable boiler is inconvenient and the cost of calling someone out to fix it can soon start to add up. If your boiler is regularly breaking down or losing pressure it’s time to get a new one. Replacing a faulty boiler can be more cost-effective than repeatedly calling out an engineer and also means that you don’t experience regular disruption to your heating and hot water supply.
Benefits Of A New Boiler
There are plenty of benefits to investing in a new boiler. Modern boilers are quieter and smaller than older models and are compatible with smart devices such as Nest and Hive. These allow you to adjust your heating from anywhere in your property and warm your house up ready for when you arrive home.
Newer boilers are more energy efficient than older models, saving you money on your energy bills and reducing your carbon footprint. New models are around 90% efficient compared to the 75% efficiency of older models
If you have an old boiler, replacing it will save you from worrying about the impact of an unexpected breakdown and provide you with peace of mind during the winter months.
Different Types Of Boiler
There are three main types of boiler, the best one for you will depend on the size of your household and the amount of space you have available.
A combi boiler (also known as a ‘combination’ boiler) connects directly to your mains cold water supply and provides hot water on demand. They are ideal for small houses and flats that only have one bathroom.
No water tank is required and you never have to worry about running out of hot water. However, it is not usually possible to have hot running water in two places at once so these might not be a good choice for properties with multiple bathrooms.
Heat Only Boiler
A heat only boiler is also known as a ‘conventional’ or ‘regular’ boiler. It provides heat directly to your radiators and connects to a water tank to provide hot water. They usually have an on/off switch so you can heat water in a storage tank and then switch it off when not in use.
A heat only boiler is good for large households with multiple bathrooms, as more than one shower is able to run at the same time. However, you will have to wait for the water to heat up (or set a timer) and if you run out you will need to wait for the hot water tank to refill.
System boilers (also known as ‘closed vent’ or ‘sealed system’ boilers) require a hot water cylinder but don’t need a cold water tank in the loft. They have fewer external components compared to a heat only boiler and therefore take up less space.
Like a heat only boiler, the water must be given time to heat up before use, and it is possible to run out of hot water and have to wait for more. System boilers are good for homes with multiple bathrooms as they allow more than one person to use hot running water at once.
Which Type Of Boiler Is Best?
|Combi Boiler||Unlimited hot water on demand
Don’t need a water tank
|Can only have one source of hot running water at a time|
|Heat Only Boiler||2+ people can use hot water at the same time||Have to wait for water to heat up
Can run out of hot water
Needs more space than a combi boiler
|System Boiler||2+ people can use hot water at the same time
Needs less space than a heat only boiler
|Have to wait for water to heat up
Can run out of hot water
Needs more space than a combi boiler
Once you’ve decided which type of boiler will be best for your household you will need to decide which make and model to pick. There are a number of different boiler manufacturers to choose from and it is worth doing some research to ensure you pick one that will be both efficient and reliable.
Make sure you use an engineer who is on the gas safe register. They will have a Gas Safe ID card that they keep with them when carrying out work, if they don’t show you this card or have it on display, ask if you can see it before they start work.
Installing a new boiler is a relatively straightforward job and a like-for-like replacement should be completed within 1 day. If you are changing the type of boiler that you have, moving it to a new location, or having additional work completed it can take 2-3 days. Your engineer will be able to give you a timescale based on the amount of work required.
Your engineer will start your boiler replacement by removing your old one, and then fitting your new boiler along with any necessary pipework. They will then test the boiler and show you how to use it.
How Much Does A Boiler Replacement Cost?
There are many different boiler models available, and the price will vary depending on the boiler brand, the cost of labour, and any additional costs such as changing your radiators or moving your boiler to a different location.
Boiler prices can range from anywhere between £625 – £6,190, and you can expect to pay another £1,260 – £1,625 for installation, flushing out your heating system, and moving any pipes. The overall price will largely depend on how much the boiler costs, so it’s worth comparing the prices and features of different models.
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