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Boilers: Woes and solutions (not always costly)

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  • Boilers: Woes and solutions (not always costly)

    After having a mini problem with my boiler in the new place I bought (about a year back, I find myself talking about boilers often to friends and colleagues at work or social circles, my problem is I worry....often so when I initially had a problem with my boiler and had to get someone out to look at it I thought it a good idea to get in the know about them as soon as possible before I called out the “help” that way I would know if I were being taken around the garden path or not, (also I have seen tons of watchdog and rogue traders episodes where boilers were the main focus so I was already weary).
    In order to help anyone else who I have not already spoken to (at length) about this here is a sort of summary of facts and need to know stuff that I think will prove handy in any situation that involves a boiler scare.

    When choosing a new boiler you’ll have to consider:

    Whether to choose a regular system boiler or a combi boiler,
    Regular system boilers : have a separate cylinder to store hot water in and are good for households with extensive hot water needs.
    Combi boiler : For smaller homes with only one bathroom or less extensive hot water needs. The combi boiler heats water on demand and doesn’t have a hot water tank so it can fit into smaller spaces.
    Top brands of boilers: There are many well-known boiler brands to choose from such as Vaillant, Baxi, Intergas and Ecogen. Shop around to find the right boiler for your property, A good Boiler will keep the Rogues at bay for a good while.

    Condensing Boilers:
    Under section L of UK boiler regulations, all new boilers must be condensing models, which are up to 12% more efficient than non-condensing boilers. Condensing boilers recover more heat from waste gases, making them cheaper to run and more eco-friendly. There are some rare instances where you may not be able to install a condensing boiler, for example if it can’t be positioned safely, even with the aid of an extended flue. If this is the case, an engineer will provide you with a certificate to prove this and you will be able to install a non-condensing model instead. Prices for condensing boilers will vary depending on size and make; here are some example costs:

    A gas Ideal Logic Code combi condensing boiler costs £1,250 (or there abouts)
    A Grant Vortex wall hung external oil condensing boiler costs £1,500 (or there abouts)

    Intergas boilers: If you’re looking for a replacement combi boiler, Intergas makes high-efficiency condensing boilers which are great for the environment and will save you money on your fuel bills over time. Costs vary, (£704.09 and £855.29) dependant on size.

    Oil boilers: If you live in a rural area that isn’t on the gas or electric mains you may need to install a replacement oil boiler. There are a wide range of oil boilers to choose from; select one that’s the right size for your home’s heating and hot water needs. Some example prices for oil-fired boilers can be found below:
    A Worcester Greenstar Carway external system oil boiler will cost £2,100 (or there abouts)
    A Grant Vortex Pro External combi oil boiler costs £2,310 (or there abouts)
    According to Which? it will cost around £1,100 a year to run an oil boiler (based on heating and hot water for a three-bed, semi-detached, well-insulated home).

    Electric boilers: Even though it’s cheaper to run a gas boiler; with the cost of gas set to rise considerably, installing an electric boiler may be a good option: A replacement electric boiler will cost from around £500 depending on what make and size you choose
    Which? estimates that an electric boiler will cost around £1,600 a year to run.

    Ecogen boilers: Baxi Ecogen boilers provide gas central heating and hot water as well as providing your home with electricity as a bi-product. This can cut your yearly fuel bills by £600 and your carbon emissions by around 40%. Baxi Ecogen boilers come in different sizes and cost more than your average boiler; although they will save you more off your fuel bills compared to regular boilers. A Baxi Ecogen costs:
    £8,781.48 from mytub.co.uk
    £7,127,82 from bhl.co.uk

    Boiler repair costs: On the whole, it’s cheaper to repair a boiler rather than replace it completely. However, always seek advice from a qualified boiler engineer to establish whether you need to repair or replace. Taking out boiler insurance may be a good idea to cover the cost of any unexpected repairs; without insurance you will often pay a higher repair fee.
    Annual boiler repair insurance costs between £156 and £324 from British Gas
    Other boiler repair costs will vary depending on the problem, the area you live in and the type of boiler you have. You are likely to have to pay expensive emergency call-out fees (especially in winter), plus hourly rates. Always get at least three quotes before you hire a boiler engineer to carry out repair work.

    Hiring a boiler engineer:
    When replacing your boiler always make sure you hire a qualified engineer for safety purposes. Choose the right type of engineer to install your boiler:
    Gas boiler replacement – by law anyone who replaces, repairs or services gas boilers needs to be Gas Safe registered
    Electric boiler replacement – hire a qualified electrician who can comply with British Standards 7671: 2008 Requirements for Electrical Installations
    Oil boiler replacement – ideally, hire a member of OFTEC, the Oil Firing Technical Association
    Solid fuel burning boilers – hire a HETAS registered engineer to replace your boiler.

    Boiler replacement grants:
    You could receive a grant for replacing your boiler through one of the following schemes:
    The Scottish boiler scrappage scheme – receive £400 off the cost of replacing your old boiler with a new energy saving recommended model if you live in Scotland
    The Warm Front scheme – those in England can receive up to £3,500 off the cost of replacing their boiler if they meet eligibility criteria
    Warm Homes scheme – a similar scheme to Warm Front for residents in Northern Ireland
    The Fuel Poverty scheme – for Welsh residents
    Energy supplier grants – energy suppliers are obliged under Carbon Emission Reduction Target guidelines to provide grants for boiler replacement to vulnerable customers
    Local government grants – check with your local authority to see if you’re eligible for a grant towards the cost of replacing your boiler.

    Boiler replacement rules and regulations:
    When replacing your boiler it’s essential that you comply with UK installation laws for energy efficiency purposes and to keep your home safe:
    Planning permission – you’ll only need planning permission when replacing your boiler if the work involves fitting a flue outside of your home
    Building regulations – require all new boilers to be rated A or 88% efficient on the SEDBUK scale
    Heating controls must be installed when replacing your boiler. Heating controls can save you £55 and 280kg of CO2 per year, says the Energy Saving Trust.

    I hope this is of some use for all those out there who may be having issues with boilers or thinking of upgrading to a more cost efficient model, I’m not an expert in this field I have just been a little busy in my own time and researched a lot of really sound advice from many people and websites and simply thought the best way to educate was to put it all in a simple to follow fact sheet type order

    Marty "the Druffalo" Druffield

  • #2
    Re: Boilers: Woes and solutions (not always costly)

    Very helpful, many thanks for your time for sharing.