Condensing boilers are mandatory for anyone replacing a gas or oil fired boiler in the UK and will be covered by the Green Deal.
But what exactly is a ‘condensing boiler’? In simple terms a condensing boiler uses the waste heat gases from heating the water to preheat the water entering the boiler. This means that the boiler has less of a difference in temperature to get the water to the right heat, making the whole system much more efficient. Typical condensing boilers can have an efficiency rating of 89% and up, which is 25% more efficient than a non-condensing boiler.
Your boiler can take up to 60% of your energy costs in a year, so you want to make sure you have the most efficient type possible when looking for a replacement. All new boilers now come with an energy rating from A to G, (the rainbow coloured labels can be found on a number of products from light bulbs to cars and the European Union Energy Labels will be popping up on even more products in the future). If you are replacing a ‘G’ rated boiler with an ‘A’ rated one you would be looking at a saving of up to £300 per year. Typical installation of a new boiler is around £2500, but as this is an average figure it will change in each particular case.
Some other questions to think about when replacing your boiler:
- Are you on mains gas? There are alternatives to mains gas but have you also considered Air Source and Ground Source heat pumps, which would negate a boiler completely.
- Are you considering solar water heating? Combination boilers might not be the best option for solar heating systems as they need a tank.
- If you are short on space then do consider a combination boiler as they don’t require a tank. These are the best options for flats or houses that have little storage space.