What you need to know when buying a new boiler

Wednesday 16th June 2021

Buying a new boiler is a big and expensive decision which leaves many of us asking  questions like “what size boiler do I need?” and “how much will a new boiler cost?”

Here at Hitachi Personal Finance, we’ve investigated exactly what boilers are required for a range of different hot water and heating demands, as well the price you can expect to pay for a new boiler including both installation and warranty.

What type of boiler do you need?

The type of boiler required is mainly determined by the households’ hot water and heating demands. However, other important considerations include the age of the current heating system and the water pressure supplied from the mains.

Combination boilers

Combi boilers are the most common type of residential boiler in the UK, providing homes with both hot water and heating from a single, wall-mounted unit. They provide hot water on-demand, are incredibly efficient and their small size makes them ideal for smaller properties.

However, they are not appropriate for properties with high hot water demands i.e., those with many rooms/radiators and multiple bathrooms. In this situation, either a system or a regular boiler is more appropriate.

Regular boilers

Regular systems are composed of a header tank that feeds the boiler with water, which in turn provides hot water to the central heating and a hot water storage cylinder for on-demand use.

System boilers

System boilers are essentially an upgraded version of the regular boiler and similarly, they consist of a boiler and hot water storage cylinder. There major advantage is that they have an internal pump, so do not require a header tank in the attic.

What size boiler is needed?

Choosing the correct size boiler is essential since an incorrectly sized boiler may use an unnecessary amount of energy, resulting in an overheated home or an inflated heating bill.

Boilers are sized in terms of power output measured in kilowatts and the standard equation used to determine a properties required size is 1.5kW per every radiator in the property + 3kW for the water cylinder.

Therefore, for illustration, if a property had 10 radiators of average size it would require a boiler with 15kW of power and in the case of a boiler with a tank, this would be 18kW, as an additional 3kW of power would be required to power the tank.

How much will a new boiler cost?

The final cost of a new boiler installed will depend on a variety of factors including the type of boiler and the brand of the boiler selected, as well as the installation provider and the warranty period.

For illustration, a straightforward combi boiler replacement, for a mid-range model including Gas Safe installation and a 10-year warranty will typically cost between £1,500 - £2,000.

As mentioned, a major factor in the cost of a new boiler is the provider chosen, with household names and market leaders typically charging a premium.

The boiler warranty period

The warranty period is perhaps just as important as the boiler itself since it is considered the main determinator of boiler quality. More importantly, when something goes wrong, getting the boiler back in operation as soon as possible and ideally at no additional cost is desirable.

Major boiler brands including Worcester Bosch and Viessmann boilers offer a 10-year warranty period.

Some brands like Worcester Bosch offer a guarantee as opposed to a typical warranty. This is an agreement that a company or brand will attend to the property to repair or replace the boiler.

Whereas a warranty is a contract to only investigate the problem, but not an agreement to necessarily fix the boiler free of charge. Therefore, it is certainly worth opting for a guarantee, with the longest term possible being most favourable.

Customer support & aftercare

The support received after boiler installation is just as important as the warranty itself, as it will ensure any issues that arise with the boiler are rectified as efficiently as possible.

As a result, it is worth opting for a boiler brand that has a reputation for offering excellent customer support and aftercare.

Third party review platforms such as Trustpilot are a reliable and trustworthy place to see what genuine customers have experienced from the various boiler brands available.

Paying for the boiler

There is no denying that boilers are an expense many homes could do without, but thankfully there are multiple payment options.

Many households can potentially take advantage of the Energy Companies Obligations Scheme (ECO Scheme). The ECO grant scheme is offered by some of the UK’s biggest energy companies and is part of their obligation to help subsidise new boilers in low-income households.

In addition, there are boilers on finance pay monthly schemes, that enable qualifying individuals to spread the cost of the boiler installation over 3, 5, 7 or 10 years.

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