You’ve had your old boiler as long as you can remember. It’s on its last legs, it’s pipes are warped and chances are you’ll need a new one soon.
What you may not realise is that the technology in boilers has changed massively since you last bought your boiler (which could be as long as 10 years ago). You will have hear terms like Combi boilers in everyday life, those of us who are boiler installation experts are sizing boilers to your home (rather than going through a process of upsizing), and, one of the largest changes, all boilers (gas or not) need to be condensers now.
Sounds like nonsense to you? Not to worry: We have some helpful advice on what you might need to do when choosing the right boiler for you.
The 3 types: Combi Boiler, System Boiler or Conventional Boiler
When you last bought a boiler there might have only been 2 to choose from. No longer! Now there’s 3. Details on each one follow here, including whether they’ll be a good fit for your home.
What is a combi boiler: These boilers are sealed systems heat water directly from the mains. That means that you won’t need a hot water storage cylinder or cistern that takes up valuable space. An added bonus is that water arrives at the mains pressure.
Good for: Smaller sized families. These combi boilers are suited best to homes which only need heat for one device or product at a time. That means that if many family members need showers at the same time as the washing machine being on, then a combi might not be the right choice.
What it is: These too are sealed systems, in a similar fashion to combi boilers, but instead the hot water is stored in a cylinder.
Good for: If your home has a higher demand on your hot water (for example you have a larger house or more family members) then a system boiler might suit you better. You’ll be able to have hot water at mains pressure from multiple outlets at once. That means multiple people showering at once whilst the washing machine is running. Whilst the hot water comes out immediately, it can run out if the tank empties.
What it is: Rather than a closed system, as the previous two examples were, conventional boilers are open systems instead. This means that they make use of a cistern. If you already have a cistern in your loft then you might consider opting for a conventional boiler instead. The hot water produced by these boilers is also stored in a cylinder much like a system boiler.
Good for: Houses with lots of people in them, or if you’re after really high pressure for your shower (who doesn’t?!). Similar to system boilers, you’ll get good pressure from multiple outlets at once. These are, however, more expensive than system boilers and, because of the cistern, take up considerably more space.
Time to start shopping
What’s best for you budget? What’s best for your home? Which boiler suits you? Time to get asking those questions and finding the answers.
Which one is best?
Well, straight forward question but not straight forward answer. Every boiler is different and, as you’d expect, there is a massive variance in quality. This is where your research will pay dividends. Spend time finding out which brands are respected and which particular models are well reviewed and, importantly, which you should avoid altogether.
Get advice from friends and family
Word of mouth and recommendations will always be the best form of advice as you can get an opinion straight from the horses mouth. Try and chat to people who are in a similar situation to yourself. If you own a typical two bed terraced house, your needs will be completely different to someone in a studio flat or a gigantic mansion.
Questions to ask will include the length of time they’ve had the boiler, the amount of times that it has had to be maintained and how easy it was to fix any issues.
If you’re adept at social media you can ask the masses. Throw up a post and you’ll be inundated with options and opinions. Be wary though, you’ll want to match up their advice with those who review these products professionally.
Whilst you’ll be able to garner some general opinions and feelings from those who use them, it’s also worth reading some reviews by those who judge quality professionally. There are hundreds of review sites out there. By simply putting a model into Google you’ll get some quality results and independent reviews.
Be wary of those who are masquerading as a review site but are actually just working on the company’s behalf to promote their models!
Which? are a great, independent and factual review site who offer pro’s and con’s for hundreds of makes and models across hundreds of brands.
Maintaining your boiler
Once you’ve found the boiler that you want, make sure to look into the optional extras. Warranties and installation costs vary hugely from manufacturer to manufacturer and from installer to installer.
Some will offer free warranties that might not last that long, others will offer paid ones that’ll last for a whole lot longer. You might also want to look into a care package for your boiler to ensure that you’ve got peace of mind, should anything go wrong.
Registering your boiler is a quick and relatively simple process, and one which you should do as soon as possible once the boiler is installed. This means that the manufacturer can see where the boiler has come from and they’ll be able to track problems whilst you have a warranty. It’s also worth noting that all boilers have at least a one year warranty at a bare minimum.
Extending your boiler warranty
Warranties are great. They reduce any stress should anything go wrong with your boiler and make the process of repair far simpler. That means you might look into extending your warranty. You can often do this with the manufacturer direct, or with some installers.
There might be some conditions attached, such as annual boiler servicing, but these are often best practice anyway. If you do go for a manufacturer warranty, they might stipulate who can and who can’t work on your boiler, so read carefully before getting someone out to work.
It should go without saying that you’ll want anyone who works on your boiler to be safe. The easiest way to check this, if you have a gas boiler, is to check the Gas Safe Register. Only those who are certified can be on the register, so you know you’ll be working with a professional.
Looking for professional advice?
That’s where we come in. A Class Boilers are accredited professionals with years of experience. We’re more than happy to offer impartial advice and help you choose the right boiler for you. We offer regular servicing, care plans and a complete installation service. That means less worry for you and more stress-free relaxation.