5 things to think about BEFORE installing a new boiler
A new boiler is a considerable investment. Maybe one of the most important purchasing decisions for your home. It isn’t an everyday purchase, so your choices need to be informed and carefully considered. Here are five things from the WPJ Boiler Guide, you need to know before you install a new boiler.
Your Old Boiler
This may sound obvious, but do you actually need a new boiler? Your needs might be a simple boiler service or maintenance check. Maybe you need to update your controls – the programmer or thermostat if you notice that your boiler doesn’t switch itself off when your house is warm enough. Or the burning flame (through the window of some old boilers) stays on permanently, then it’s worth investing in a new boiler.
Boilers that can’t regulate themselves by switching off when necessary are costing you more in your yearly gas bill.
How you use energy should influence which boiler you install. For example, the size of your property, how much space do you have? How many bathrooms do you use regularly? Should you install a system boiler or a combi boiler?. How many people live in your home? Is your family likely to grow? Do you have a loft? What’s the water pressure from your mains? These are questions that your heating engineer should explore with you.
Your engineer is a great source of information about your new boiler. There are many choices and a detailed discussion with an expert is necessary. Check to make sure your heating engineer is accredited and gas safe registered. Read about choosing a gas safe engineer here.
Bear in mind, most installation engineers will have an incentive to recommend a particular brand. Most companies that install boilers have arrangements with big boiler manufacturers. According to Which?, most people don’t know this and 93% of consumers trust the recommendations of their heating engineer. Now, your engineer’s deal with a boiler manufacturing brand doesn’t always affect their judgement. Good engineers will put your needs first. You can tell by the questions they ask you and the information they provide.
Make sure you check reviews online. Reviews from checkatrade.com, Google reviews and on social media can show you how trustworthy your engineer is.
We’ve established that a new boiler is a heavy investment. But there are a lot more cost related things to consider beyond how much you need to spend now. Future savings in utility bills and maintenance costs are just as significant. It is sensible to consider how durable the parts are and how long the warranty provided is. The Energy Saving Trust has said that 60% of your annual energy costs go to your boiler. So, it’s important that it runs as efficiently as possible.
Generally, most of the heat created by older boilers is lost, making them more expensive to run. You could save up to £652 on your annual gas bill by choosing a more efficient boiler. Make sure to ask questions relating to efficiency before making your decision.
Your Carbon Footprint
A boiler that is efficient will be more friendly to the environment. Ask your engineer about heat recovery devices you can use to recapture lost heat. For example, a passive flue heat recovery system can reclaim lost heat that escapes through the flue. If you have a cylinder, keep your hot water warm for longer by increasing the insulation. And if your heating system is old, chemical inhibitors might slow down the buildup of scale and sludge. This will prevent deterioration and improve efficiency.
While these measures can help in the short term, they do little to reduce your carbon footprint in the long term. Domestic boilers currently account for 21% of the UK’s total CO2 emissions.
You can explore more carbon efficient boilers – check the Carbon and Nitrogen Oxide emissions of your new boiler. Also, explore installing a solar thermal system, which uses renewable energy.
Finally, your installer needs to make sure your new boiler is energy labelled. This allows you to track the efficiency of your new boiler and its contribution to your home’s carbon footprint.
If you choose to sell your home in future, you will need to produce an Energy Performance Certificate. A highly efficient boiler will boost your EPC rating, which can make your home more profitable.