How much money can you save by replacing your boiler?
A new energy-efficient boiler could take hundreds of pounds off your heating bill every year. In fact, you could reduce your bills by 30%.
With energy costs generally rising over recent years, you will no doubt want to do everything you can to save on your energy bills – especially if you’re working from home this winter.
Why worry about your boiler?
Your boiler could be the single most important appliance in your home, particularly in winter as you rely on it to heat your home and water.
Typically, around 50-60% of your energy costs will be spent on heating alone each year. So boiler efficiency is a top priority if you are looking to cut down on your costs.
You can make the most energy savings by replacing your boiler if you have an older boiler in your home. Most boilers should last at least ten years, but this depends on the quality, reliability, and efficiency of your current boiler.
Replacing your boiler seems like an expensive option reserved for when your boiler breaks down for good. However, this could end up being the cheapest long-term solution for reducing your heating bills. An old, faulty, or inefficient boiler will have a direct knock-on effect on your bills.
Save up to 30% on your heating bill
The Energy Saving Trust says that if you replace your old boiler with an A-rated boiler plus a new, modern set of heating controls, you could save up to £340 and 1,500kg of carbon monoxide a year. Modern heating controls mean you can operate your heating remotely via an app on your phone or a home automation device like Alexa or Google Home.
If you bought an A-rated boiler costing £1,500, it would take around four and a half years to pay off, based on the Energy Saving Trust figures of £340 a year saving. It’s important to note that these figures are very optimistic. However, even if you save half of that figure, you will still be saving money.
A new boiler will be much less likely to break down, so you get peace of mind too.
Why is an efficient boiler so important?
Boilers can last more than 15 years, but as they get older, they have to work harder to heat your home and water so you may be spending more on heating bills to get the same result.
It might seem like you’re saving money by not purchasing a new boiler. Still, you could be spending more than you need to each year that the boiler isn’t performing as efficiently as a modern A-rated model. A-rated boilers are more than 90% efficient. In comparison, G-rated boilers are usually 65% efficient, highlighting the gulf in performance between an older boiler and a modern one.
And, if your boiler breaks down for any reason as it gets older and parts become worn, you will incur costs for engineer callouts and replacement parts. Emergency callout charges are expensive as well as sometimes stressful, especially during the colder months when you depend on your boiler to keep your home and water warm.
Other benefits of a modern boiler
More modern appliances could not only save your monthly bills but in the long term provide:
fast access to hot water on demand
peace of mind, thanks to their improved safety features and fail-safes
a guarantee of future support with a warranty
How to find out if you need a new boiler
There are some clear signs that you’ll soon need to buy a new boiler. You’ll know the time is right when you recognise some of these:
Your boiler needs regular repairs
If your boiler needs constant repairs, it’s time to think about replacing it. As part of your annual boiler service, your gas safety engineer may make recommendations if the boiler is nearing the end of its life if they have to keep replacing parts.
You can’t control your heating
Does your boiler give you the control over your heating that you need? For example, are the controls or timer flexible enough? A new boiler might be a good option when it comes to more accurate and flexible control over your heating. It may also help you to cut your heating bills. In some circumstances, you might be able to get away with just installing new controls.
Your boiler makes an unusual noise
If your boiler is making knocking, popping or hissing sounds when switched on, then you should get it investigated by an engineer. Depending on the source of the noise, it may be time to start thinking about a new boiler.
Your boiler has a continuous pilot light
A continuous pilot light is a flame you can see burning through a small window on the front of some older boilers. This used to be a standard feature on boilers and uses a lot of gas. You will notice a significant difference in your energy use once you update to a more modern boiler that doesn’t have a continuous pilot light.
Your boiler is positioned on the floor
If your boiler is located on a floor rather than a wall, it’s likely to be older and much less energy-efficient. It's time to consider a replacement boiler.
Your boiler has a low energy rating
If your boiler has a low energy rating, for example, it is G-rated for energy efficiency, it’s time to replace it with something more efficient and enjoy the savings you’ll make on energy usage. Most boilers will have a sticker indicating their energy efficiency rating, or you can check your boiler’s manual for this information.
You’re trying to sell your home
If you want to sell your house or you're renovating your home, a new boiler could add to its value.
What are your options for a new boiler?
Combi (combination) boiler
A combi boiler provides heat for your radiators and domestic hot water when you need it. This means it doesn’t waste energy when hot water is not required, saving you money.
This type of boiler is a very efficient source of hot water for smaller homes and flats. However, a combi boiler is not ideal for delivering hot water to more than one source at the same time; for example, a shower and the kitchen tap simultaneously. If you want a combi-boiler but need the shower to work while you are running hot water in another location, you would benefit from an electric shower.
Combi boilers are the most compact type of boiler, taking up the least amount of space.
Heat-only (conventional) boiler
Heat-only boilers need a cold water storage tank, usually stored in a loft, and a hot water cylinder which is typically stored in an airing cupboard.
A heat-only gas boiler can store gallons of hot water. It can supply this to more than one source at a time. However, it can run out of hot water if not programmed to heat enough water to meet the demand of the house.
Heat-only boilers are ideal for big homes and families that need plenty of hot water at the same time, for example, when filling a bath while someone else is doing the dishes or having a shower.
A system boiler is similar to a heat-only boiler. However, it takes up less space and doesn’t need a cold water storage tank. Instead, it preheats and stores hot water in a cylinder. System boilers use a pressurised system.
System boilers can store large quantities of hot water. This is ideal for supplying hot water on demand to more than one source at once.
This type of boiler is best for homes with weak water pressure or limited space for a cold water storage tank. They can be slightly pricier than a heat-only boiler.
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