What you need to know about replacing your boiler
Boilers, like most appliances, don’t last forever. They have a lot of moving parts that are a requirement in order for them to heat water as and when you need it. However, as these appliances age, they can become unreliable and inefficient, so a replacement is certainly in order. But maybe you should start thinking about this sooner rather than later.
Does my boiler need replacing?
If your boiler stops working completely and can’t be repaired, you’ll obviously need to get a new one. However, this isn’t the only reason to consider investing in a replacement. Here are some other signs that it could be time to upgrade to a new model.
The occasional boiler breakdown may not merit buying a new one, but if you find that you have to call out an engineer to fix this appliance often (for example, more than once a year), it’s worth asking yourself if the cost of call-outs and repairs is making your boiler uneconomical to run.
Replacing an old, unreliable boiler with a new model will also be safer and give you added peace of mind that you will have heating and hot water whenever you need it.
Not working as well as it used to
If your heating system is no longer able to meet the needs of your house, you should think about getting a replacement. For example, if you’re struggling to keep your home warm or your water isn’t hot enough, this could mean that your boiler isn’t doing its job properly anymore - or simply that the model you have no longer matches the needs of your household.
Higher household energy bills
Old boilers are nowhere near as energy efficient as new models. Modern A-rated condensing designs operate at over 90 per cent efficiency, while G-rated models run at 70 per cent efficiency or less.
According to the Energy Saving Trust, an average detached house could save up to £305 a year by replacing a G-rated boiler with a new A-rated condensing model.
Difficult to find replacement parts
One of the disadvantages of having an old boiler is the fact that it can be hard to find the replacement parts needed to fix and maintain it. If your appliance requires repairs and it’s going to cost a lot of money or prove difficult to get the necessary parts, now may be the time to upgrade to a new model.
Doesn’t support smart technology
An increasing number of newer boilers now have built-in support for smart home technology, allowing you to control your heating environment via the internet using a tablet, PC or your mobile phone. This means you can control your comfort and efficiency at your fingertips whenever and wherever you are.
As a result, you could be able to save a significant amount on your energy bills. If your boiler doesn’t support smart technology, you will be missing out on these benefits.
New boilers tend to be safer than older central heating systems. Advancements in technology mean that more safety features are included to prevent issues such as carbon monoxide leaks. It’s also easier to fault find should anything go wrong with your boiler replacement.
How often should a boiler be replaced?
There are no set rules when it comes to how often boilers need to be replaced. However, these appliances should last for up to 15 years, or even longer if they are good quality and well maintained.
Exactly how long yours lasts will depend on a range of factors, including the type of boiler you have and how regularly it has been serviced.
How much does it cost to replace a boiler?
The cost of getting a new boiler will depend on a range of factors, including the type of appliance you choose and the complexity of the installation.
Different types and sizes of boiler can vary significantly in price, and then you’ll need to factor in how much a heating engineer will charge to fit the new appliance. For example, a new combi boiler for a small home could cost anywhere from £600 to £1,500, depending on the particular model. For a terraced or semi-detached home, the cost of a new combi boiler could range from £700 to £2,000, while for a detached property, you’re probably looking at between £900 and £3,500. You’ll then need to add the cost of installation, and for this type of boiler, charges can range from around £600 to over £1,000.
The complexity of the installation will have a big impact on costs. For example, replacing a boiler with the same style of appliance in the same location will be cheaper than installing a different type of boiler in the same place, or installing a boiler in a new location. Also, bear in mind that if your heating system is old, it might need a power flush to remove dirt that has built up over time - this will also increase the cost.
Having extras like new radiators or a new thermostat installed will also make installation more expensive.
Do I qualify for free boiler replacement?
You may be eligible for a free replacement boiler through the Energy Companies Obligation (ECO) scheme. This is designed to enable certain homeowners and private tenants to get their old boilers replaced free or charge or with the help of a subsidy. To qualify for the ECO scheme, you must meet specific criteria. For example, you must be receiving at least one benefit and be earning less than £20,000 per year as a household. Additionally, you must either own your property or have received permission from your landlord if you are renting.
Your eligibility will depend on a range of other factors too, including where you live and the level of cost/carbon savings that could be made. Your energy supplier should be able to advise you if you’re eligible for an ECO grant.
Does house insurance cover boiler replacement?
Some home insurance policies include boiler breakdown cover as standard, but in most cases you have to pay extra to add this type of financial protection. In the event that your appliance breaks down, boiler insurance will help to cover the costs of labour and parts to repair it. If your boiler can’t be fixed, this insurance may pay an amount towards a replacement appliance.
Make sure you read the terms of your insurance policy carefully to see exactly what you are covered for and what you will have to pay yourself if you need to get a new boiler. Also, when choosing a new boiler, it is recommended to check how long the standard warranty lasts and what options are available for extended warranties.
What should I replace my boiler with?
Once you’ve made the decision that your boiler does need replacing, it’s time to start taking those first steps to actually getting a replacement. You need to think about what type of boiler you need, what the most reliable brands are and how much it may cost to replace.
You could use a boiler replacement company. These are local experts who are able to provide you with a range of different boiler replacement options based on your existing boiler and central heating setup. Get them to go through the different boiler options from budget to premium. Also don’t forget to enquire with at least three boiler replacement companies as their prices may differ.
Alternatively, you could contact your energy supplier and see if they offer a complete service. Many providers including British Gas and E.ON offer a total service package for replacement boilers. They will be able to advise you which kind of boiler is suitable for your home and also they will be able to help you calculate the cost savings.
The third option you can take when looking for a boiler replacement is to look online. This is a cost effective way of saving money on your replacement boiler purchase. If you take this approach, be careful because you will need to specify exactly what you require. Some websites will guide you based on your outlined requirements, like house size, number of bedrooms and bathrooms.
Use our handy tool below to see which boiler could be best for you depending on your heating and hot water demands as well as the size of your home.
When getting a replacement boiler, you should always pay attention to warranties. Replacement boilers are not cheap, so if there’s an opportunity to purchase an extended warranty, we recommend it. If you hire a Gas Safe engineer who works alongside a manufacturer it’s possible that you may get an extended warranty.
How long does it take to replace a boiler?
This will depend on a number of factors, including the type of appliance you’re installing and its location. If you’re going for a straight swap on a like-for-like boiler in the same location, you can expect installation to be completed within one day. However, if the pipework doesn’t quite match directly with the new appliance, this may take around one and a half days.
If you’re fitting a different type of boiler, you’re changing the location of the appliance or you’re having your heating system power flushed, you can expect this process to take anywhere between one and three days.
Meanwhile, if you plan to have an alternative type of system fitted, like a heat pump, installation may take between three and five days.
Your heating engineer will be able to provide you with an accurate timescale when you book the installation, meaning you should have a clear idea of what to expect.