Your hot water boiler consumes the largest single proportion of your home’s energy consumption – as much as 60% over a year – but by installing a modern, efficient boiler, you can make enormous savings on your gas bills. Installing a new A-rated high-efficiency condensing boiler could save you up to £300 a year, as well as reducing your home’s carbon dioxide emissions.
Can I get a free boiler grant? – Yes you can !
The government’s new ECO funding scheme allows some households to receive free energy saving improvements to their homes, which can include a free boiler grant or repair grant, as well as many types of insulation. In some cases, whole heating systems can be installed under the scheme at no cost to the home owner.
Boiler repairs and replacements are being made through the Home Heating Cost Reduction Obligation (HHCRO) which is part of the ECO Funding scheme. This has been set aside for those on low income or people who already receive certain benefits. To find out if you qualify, see our Guide to ECO funding.
Benefits of new boilers – Cheaper to run !
Old-style boilers, while able to provide heating and hot water perfectly well, waste a lot of energy through the hot air that is released up the flue. New boilers have much better heat exchangers, using this excess heat more efficiently so only cool air is released, making them much more energy efficient. Put simply, they use less fuel to produce the same amount of heat.
They can even produce gases so cold that the vapour condenses, allowing the boiler to recover more energy and be even more efficient. This is why the new-style boilers are called condensing boilers.
Which boiler? – Newer is better !
There are two types available – a standard boiler, which heats water which it then stores in a hot water cylinder. Combi boiler, which heats water only when you need it, so no need to store it in hot water cylinder.
Each style has its pros and cons –
Standard boilers can be more efficient than a combi at actually heating the water, but if it then sits in the cylinder for a while and loses heat, it’s effectively a waste of your money.
Combi boiler only heats the water when you are ready to use it. And because of this when you run a bath for instance, you can be sure that it will be at temperature that you want.
There are a few key points to consider when deciding which type of boiler would be best for you:
Water usage. How much hot water do you use? If it’s a lot – large families, for example – a regular boiler with hot water cylinder might be the best option. For smaller households who only use little bits of hot water at a time, a combi would probably be best.
Space. There’s no getting away from the fact that a hot water cylinder takes up a lot of room, so if you’re already tight on space a combi boiler, which is wall mounted, will probably be be better.
Going solar? If you’re considering installing some solar water heating in the near future, this can affect the type of boiler you get – a lot of combi boilers aren’t compatible with solar water heating, so choose carefully.
Replacements are being made through the Home Heating Cost Reduction Obligation (HHCRO) part of the ECO Funding scheme. This has been set aside for those on low income or people who already receive certain benefits. To find out if you qualify for a free boiler grant, see our Guide to ECO funding.