With the rapid pace at which technology is changing and how everything is evolving, you have numerous options when you want to buy a boiler these days. Furthermore with the numerous features and types of boilers that are in the market these days it gets difficult to make a decision. Often this can get frustrating and the anxiety of having to choose can become overwhelming. To buy a boiler is indeed a big decision and it involves quite some money that you put into it so it is important to make a wise choice. So before you decide to make that big decision, here is a buying guide for the best boilers in the UK so you know exactly what you’re looking for.
The first thing you need to know is what type of boiler you need. There are five main types of boilers.
The first is combi or combination boilers, the second is a system boiler and the third is conventional or heat only boiler. If you want to cut the cost for a storage tank and get a heater that will eliminate the need for a tank then the combi boiler will fit your needs. In the UK these are the most popular boilers and also the most modern. The water in a combi boiler is heated when you need it on demand and therefore you will not need to spend on an external tank or cylinder. It is compact and not too expensive. Owing to this and other qualities, combi boilers are extremely popular.
Secondly is the system boiler which resembles the conventional boiler in quite a couple ways. It is to be noted that a system boiler has more components built into it than the conventional boiler and it is also much easier to install than the others. Apart from this, there are also numerous other subtypes of boilers with operations such as water tube, fire tube, external fired, internal fired, low pressure, high pressure, forced circulation, high circulation, and so on.
Thirdly is a conventional boiler and if you use this then that means that you will need to have a hot water tank or cylinder. This is where hot water will be stored to use later. Apart from buying a hot water cylinder, you will also need to make sure you have a feed and expansion tank.
A significant percentage of the British population uses oil boilers. Oil boilers may or may not be a viable alternative based on what your requirements are and therefore it is important to understand what the main and significant differences are. Firstly, oil boilers are significantly more expensive than other boilers because you have to pay a couple of hundred pounds more for the gas. They are fairly similar to traditional boilers if you are speaking in terms of operation. The significant difference that we talk about here is the fact that we use oil to heat the pipes that heat the water while traditional boilers use gas instead.
Further, procuring the oil will also make a difference. It could be delivered to your house but you have to make all necessary arrangements for this at least days in advance and make sure that the price for the oil or kerosene is optimized. You may have to ask around and do more research to get a good deal and make sure that the delivery is on time.
The more popular and common choice is condensing boilers which most of the UK population adores. This is because they are more efficient and they are much better overall in terms of operation when compared to oil boilers. The idea behind a condensing boiler is to pass hot gas through a chamber which will heat the water and then use the remaining heat to warm up more water making it highly efficient. They have built-in units so you don’t need to buy more components. Furthermore, this is by far the easiest to install.
It is extremely important to buy a reliable boiler so that you can shell out the bills for the initial purchase instead of having to call in for numerous repairs. It is of utmost importance to understand this and make sure that your boiler will not just do the job but also continue to do its job for a long time. You’d rather not be left having to call for more expensive repairs and having cold water in the winters so watch for the reviews of the boilers you intend to buy.
Be sure to buy from a brand that is reputed and well known. You can read reviews off of the website but it would also be more helpful to get unbiased opinions. After reading both positive and negative reviews, you could also discuss your choice with people you know have purchased this product including friends and colleagues who will be cutthroat about what they mean.
Doing your research about this decision will pay off in the long run. You need to be able to gather as much information and opinions as possible before finally signing. We know that when it comes to buying a new boiler, reliability and dependability are by far the most important factors that will influence which boiler you will end up buying. It is important to go to great lengths to separate the good from the bad brands in terms of reliability and how they perform.
What about the size? When you are in the market searching for a new boiler, the most important decision is choosing the right boiler size for your house. This depends on the size of the house you live in as well as the number of bathrooms, which will determine your heating and hot water requirements. You might be extremely worried that you buy a boiler that ends up not being enough for your house or too much for your needs. There are numerous factors that you have to keep in mind when thinking about size. You should also consult a proper expert before you make this choice.
But before you do any of that, analyze your situation and write down what your needs are specifically. It is important to truly understand your requirements. After this, understand your house and how it functions overall. The need for hot water, the placement of the boiler and other details are extremely important to keep in mind.
The correct heating size of the boiler will be something you will have to put in a lot of thought because it depends on things like the total number of bathrooms you have in your house and also how many people you live with and the overall need.
So let’s continue about the size.
- If you live in a small property then you will be well away from the option of a standard or a conventional boiler. These boilers suit larger homes and perhaps you should stay away from those for now. Combi boilers are best for smaller properties and you would be happy with a compact combi.
- If you have multiple bathrooms and a large family and live in a larger property that often uses more than one hot tap at once, and you have room to store a hot water cylinder and cold water storage tank in your house, then the benefits of a heat-only boiler will suit your needs.
- If you’re moving from a flat to a detached house, your old boiler will not work in your larger new home so you should keep that in mind. If your property size is a house with 1-2 bedrooms, or a 1 bedroom flat, with no more than 1 bathroom then you don’t need a high capacity boiler. You may have a system boiler, and might not want to change but it is still recommended to convert to a combi. With this decision, you will have dual benefits. Save space, and save energy.
- If we’re talking big, such as a 3-4 bedroom house which will usually have one bathroom or two bathrooms then you will need a higher capacity powerful combi boiler. A high capacity powerful boiler should work perfectly for a property of this size.
4. Output Rating
The size of your property, as well as the number of people living in it, is an important factor to consider when you are determining what type of boiler will be best for your needs. What is even more essential is a suitable output rating for your heating and hot water demands. If you have an output rating that’s too low, then it will struggle to provide enough central heating and domestic hot water to meet all your needs. But on the other hand, if you choose an output rating that is too high, it could quite potentially result in your energy bills going up. Neither of these is very pleasant situations so let’s make sure that you know the output rating you require. Another thing that you should be sure to think about is the location.
A location for your new boiler is an important factor to consider and you should have this figured out before anything else. The boilers today are designed to be compact and light so that they can be conveniently wall mounted. If you want a boiler that is slim and can fit between kitchen units then the standing boilers tend to be narrower, allowing them to be fitted between kitchen units for your needs. Most boilers are installed in a kitchen or utility room but you should know that these are not your only options. Gas and oil boilers must be installed onto an external wall and they also require more work going into the installation.
6. Budget and brand
While it is not ideal, for most people our budget dictates our choices. Therefore we must be very clear on our budget. Even more importantly, make sure you stick to the budget you made. The price of the boiler will depend on several things. Some of these are the brands.
Many brands are labelled as high quality when they are just overrated hype mass-produced products, and at the same time, there are brands of high quality, distinct aesthetic, a long history, and service behind the product. So be sure to understand the brand before you make your choice as well. You might say a brand is not important but a brand represents the sum of people’s perception of a company’s customer service and their reputation.
Their brand sets them apart from competitors, promotes recognition, and represents their promises. Be sure to check their website and do all the right research before the purchase. Ask friends and family for recommendations whenever and wherever possible. Always make sure you are in contact with a professionally qualified heating engineer. You could even go as far as to check their credentials.
If you look beyond the initial expense of buying a boiler, installing a new reliable and efficient boiler is a worthwhile investment. It could help reduce your central heating bills by up to 40%. If you have or are planning on having central heating, your boiler will account for around 60% of your home’s CO2 emissions. So the decision you make here will leave an impact not just as a key priority for energy bill but for the carbon footprint you leave behind.
If you are still worried about installing prices some installers run special discounts and also others offer ‘buy now pay later’ schemes. But be sure to read carefully. And even if anything goes wrong, you can have a warranty if you purchase from a good brand. If your boiler runs into an issue after installation, do you know if you are covered? All boilers come with a warranty period but you should know what’s covered and for how many years. As you might have guessed, this will vary depending on the brand and boiler.
These are important factors to keep in mind when you decide to buy the boiler but apart from this, it is also important to trust the brand and the people who have given their valuable opinion. Buying a boiler is a big deal and it can mean a lot to many people to make the perfect purchase. Be sure to discuss the needs of the people you live with so that they can pitch in and tell you about their needs and requirements. Understanding your requirements is of key priority and we cannot state enough how vital it is. You should also go to lengths to keep it all budget-friendly. After you have your requirements, fix your budget.
You may be flexible and leave it as a range of a couple hundred but to stretch your budget too far would not be advised. When you know what you want, stick to it. After you have your needs and budget nailed down, zero in on the type you want. When your type is decided, move on to the rest of the details such as size, location and brand.