The onset of winter is usually the time when people start worrying about the state of their boiler. On average boilers last about fifteen years, although they deteriorate in efficiency as they age. Regular servicing can help maintain boiler efficiency, but there usually comes a point when the cost of repairs and servicing outweighs a new boiler cost. There are a number of things to consider when replacing your old boiler.
Firstly, what type of boiler do you have? Understanding what type of boiler you own will not only save on costs when diagnosing system problems for potential repairs but also when assessing boiler replacement cost. There are three main types of system: a combi boiler, which can be gas or electric, combines central heating and hot water, but has no hot water cylinder and can lose pressure if you run too many taps at once. A system boiler has a cylinder but no cold water tank, and whilst you can run taps from anywhere, the hot water is not instant and can run out. A conventional boiler has both cylinder and tank and can also have instant hot water from numerous taps, but it can run out and takes time to reheat.
There are also cost savings that can be made over the lifespan of a boiler that you should consider before replacing a unit. The Energy Saving Trust estimate that replacing your old boiler with a brand new unit could lead to savings of £340 per annum and remove up to 1500kg of Co2 from your annual carbon footprint. A new boiler cost of £1500 could be paid off in less than five years whilst also helping the environment.
Where to put your boiler and how much space you have can also impact on which system you choose. Combi boilers are far better suited to smaller houses with less space.
If you are in receipt of social security payments, you could find that your boiler replacement cost is helped by the Energy Company Obligation scheme. Advice on what benefits are available and the conditions attached can be sought from the Energy Saving Advice Service in England and Wales or Home Energy Scotland. In Northern Ireland, there is a Boiler Replacement Allowance for households with an annual income under £40,000. This can help considerably with boiler replacement costs for boilers over 15 years old.
Always make sure to check your installer before buying a new boiler. Getting a wide range of quotes and references really will minimise the risk of problems later on down the line and helps you get the best deal on a new boiler. The Competent Person Register, the Heating and Hotwater Industry Council, SNIPEF and Worcester Bosch can all provide certified and approved installers.
Last but certainly not least, always check what cover is provided by your boiler’s warranty, especially before spending on insurance. Your boiler will be covered by guarantee but you should also look at boiler service cover or cover for the rest of the system for additional protection.