New boiler vs boiler repair
When a boiler reaches a certain age, it is more likely to break down. Even if a boiler has been repaired multiple times, you could save a lot of money by buying a new one rather than sticking to your current boiler. In this article, we will investigate the benefits of a new boiler purchase instead of bringing your old boiler back to life through costly repairs.
How old is your boiler?
The age of your boiler will be your first port of call. Most manufacturers will discontinue the production of spares and accessories for a boiler after ten years. Therefore, it's worth checking if a repair is possible due to the potential lack of parts. Typically, an older boiler will lack efficiency due to its age and outdated technology. You may experience longer waiting times for your central heating to kick-in or your hot water to heat up to an appropriate temperature. Your boiler could be the main cause behind those sky-high monthly energy bills in addition to your repair costs.
It’s important to look at the condition of your boiler before going ahead with a repair. If your boiler is under-performing and has several faults, this may not be the first time you’ll have to pay for repairs. Just remember that you will need your boiler to perform to the best it can during those cold and bitter winter months, especially since your central heating needs to kick in on demand.
How energy efficient is your boiler compared to a new one?
Regulations were put in place in 2005 to ensure that all new boilers installed in property are condensing boilers. Condensing boilers consist of two internal heat exchangers which decrease heat loss and make them highly efficient. If your boiler is over ten years old, the chances are that you have a non-condensing boiler installed. High efficiency condensing boilers were introduced into homes as of 2005 when these building regulations came into practice. With energy prices increasing year by year, it's now more critical than ever to check your boiler's efficiency.
Boiler efficiency is rated and categorised using percentages and an A-G rating system. For a boiler to achieve an A grade, they will have to be more than 90% efficient. A boiler will be given a G rating if they fall below an efficiency percentage of 65%. As of October 2010, any new boiler installed in a domestic property must be condensing at least 88% efficient or more as part of the government’s aims to reduce carbon emissions. A non-condensing boiler will waste a lot more energy than a condensing model since it loses a lot of valuable gases that could be good for later use.
How much can you save with a new boiler?
The cost to repair your current boiler could set you back hundreds of pounds compared to the cost of a new boiler. You should ask yourself if the money spent to repair your boiler is worth it, especially with older models. If one part needs a replacement, you could be faced with a whole list of other issues. Plumbers can charge around £60 an hour and up to £100 if it’s a weekend or evening. Repair costs can range from £150 to £300 depending on the fault or damage. For example, if your boiler needed a replacement fan and gas valve at the cost of £300 and your engineer is performing the repair on the weekend at £100 an hour, you could be faced with a bill of £500. That price might look good in the short-term, but you could be faced with repeating faults and several plumber bills. If say the flaws continue and you're faced with a bill every three months, you could end up paying up to £2,000. If you decided to go with a new boiler including install for £1,600, that would save you £400 in the long-term, and you'd benefit from a new warranty and lower energy consumption.
Moreover, you have the potential to cut your energy costs by a healthy percentage if you decide to part ways with your old boiler. On average, customers can make a saving of £350 on their energy bills by installing a new boiler. Once you consider the costs of repair and the costs of running your boiler, the case for replacing your boiler becomes much clearer.
By the way, at Hometree, we offer a free boiler consultation over a video call with one of our qualified Gas Safe engineers. Our boiler prices are on average £1,000 lower than our competitors! Solve your heating problems today by filling in our short form, and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.
To improve boiler efficiency, it’s important to have the right model for your home - one that can cope with your needs and keep costs to a minimum:
- Combi boilers will heat water on demand, which makes them cost-effective and energy efficient. Combi boilers are ideal for smaller properties since they don’t require a hot water storage cylinder, making them less suitable for larger homes and families.
- Conventional boilers (also known as heat only, regular, open vent) are the most common boiler used by families who have a high demand for hot water and live in a more extensive property. Replacing a conventional boiler is pretty much stress-free. However, a loft is required for a large hot water tank to be installed for additional cold-water storage.
- System boilers sit in the middle between a combi boiler and a conventional boiler. You don’t require a hot water tank with a system boiler due to its added internal components, but you do still need a hot water cylinder.
Whatever your choice, installing an A-rated boiler will go a long way in helping to save money on energy bills.
What else can I do to improve my heating system after I install a new boiler?
We recommend that you have TRVs (Thermostatic Radiator Valves) installed on each of your radiators to reduce the amount of energy used to heat the rooms you spend the least time in within your home. It is quite uncommon for most homes not to have TRVs installed on each radiator. If you'd like more information about radiator valves, check out our guide here.
In addition to a programmer, you could also look into programmable room thermostats and smart thermostat options. You will not only benefit from scheduling features for your heating, but you could also use your smartphone or tablet with a smart thermostat to have full control of your heating inside and outside of your home. With a smart thermostat, you will not only be able to schedule your heating, but you can also monitor your energy usage and make adjustments where necessary.
What to consider when replacing your boiler
Size of your property
The size of your property is essential to finding the right boiler to suit your home. Conventional boilers and system boilers use a cylinder (conventional boilers also need a water tank in addition to a cylinder) which makes them more suitable for larger homes with more than one bathroom. These types of boilers allow you to run hot water in multiple bathrooms simultaneously, while combi boilers are unable to run two baths or showers at the same time because they heat cold water on demand. A combi boiler is best suited to smaller homes and is connected directly to the mains, rather than using a cylinder or tank for additional hot water. It’s important to note that the type of shower you have can be a deciding factor for which boiler you need. For example, a combi boiler replacement is often incompatible with a power shower.
Different boiler brands will offer different levels of energy efficiency with each of their boilers. How energy efficient a boiler is will have a significant effect on your savings on your gas and water bills, so it's best to do your research before you buy a boiler. Most importantly, we recommend you avoid cheap boilers, and you can find out why here. If your current boiler is more than 15 years old, it’s likely you have a G-rated one, which may be due for a replacement. An older, G-rated boiler is said to waste around 30p of every £1 of gas, which will cost you about £350 extra on your energy bills. It’s worth researching brands and their customer satisfaction ratings before you go ahead and purchase one of their boilers.
Type of property
Older properties are likely to already have a traditional boiler system installed, so it may be more cost effective to remain with your current boiler since any changes to an existing boiler system will likely be minimal. If you are planning to extend your property, you may also need to consider whether your boiler will be suitable in the long term. The more rooms and radiators in your property, the more strain on your boiler. You will also need to keep in mind that the boiler output will change depending on the size of your home.