Retiring your old boiler?

Modern energy-efficient boilers could save you money by being more efficient and less prone to breakdown.

Is your boiler more than ten years old? Replace it with a more efficient, modern boiler and you could see your energy use fall1.

Many people flinch at the cost of a new boiler, but the reality is because it is the real workhorse of your home, it has a limited lifespan. Not to mention the fact that, according to the Energy Saving Trust, over half1 of what householders spend annually on energy normally goes on heating, so the more efficient your boiler is the more cost-effective it could be.

Think before you bin the boiler

Some old gas or oil-fired boilers have separate hot water cylinders to store hot water. If you are thinking of replacing one like this then you may be able to choose between a new regular boiler that allows you to keep your existing tank, or a Combination (Combi) Boiler that doesn’t need a cylinder.

Regular versus Combi boiler

Regular boilers using tanks need more space in your house than a combi boiler. It’s worth thinking about the compatibility of your new boiler with your current set-up or even your future plans. For instance, if you’re thinking of installing solar water heating, you should be aware that some combi boilers may not be compatible nor efficient with this type of heating system.

You should also think about space. Regular boilers using tanks need more space in your house than a combi boiler, which can often be tucked away. It’s worth thinking about the compatibility of your new boiler with your current set-up or even your future plans. For instance, if you’re thinking of installing solar water heating, it’s well worth considering that a lot of combi boilers may not be compatible nor efficient with this type of heating system.

Need help finding an installer?

You can find a list of registered installers at the Competent Persons RegisterHHIC or SNIPEF.

Your installer should help you ensure your system complies with all current building requirements.

And just for extra peace of mind, it’s a good idea to get at least three quotes from installers who all have local offices, are well-established and have a good range of customer reviews.

Often a new boiler is needed when you carry out other larger projects such as a loft conversion  or an extension so it’s worth checking before you put your budget together for any home improvement loan you might need.

You can find more information online at The Gas Safe Register.

Keep warm with heat pumps

Air source heat pumps grab warmth straight from the air, providing heating and hot water to your home. 

Ground pumps versus air pumps

Although a big job to install in the first instance because trenches need to be dug, ground source heat pumps can be more efficient than their air source counterparts3.

Ground source heat pumps employ pipes, buried in the garden to take warmth straight from the ground, which can be then used to heat radiators, underfloor heating and hot water in your home. In a nutshell, according to the Energy Saving Trust3 the main benefits of ground source heat pumps are that they:

  • can heat your home as well as your water
  • need very little maintenance
  • don’t require any fuel deliveries
  • can lower your fuel bills – as well as your carbon emissions2
  • could provide an extra income through the Government’s Renewable Heat Incentive 

If you’re planning to install heat pumps at the same time as carrying out a wider project in your home such as landscaping, building a new extension or converting your garage so it causes the minimum disruption, you can find more information on ground source and air source heat pumps at The Green Age.