Boiler Installation – the facts
Boiler installation is a key component for any new build. Where old properties are concerned – even the most reliable boiler will not last forever, so consider having yours replaced by a professional.
All boilers have a shelf life, but there are some telltale signs that can help you consider a new one. Can you answer these questions?
If so, your boiler’s ability to be efficient and reliable has no doubt dropped and whilst it might not be ideal timing to replace, you will save money in the long run and it’s better to do it sooner rather than later. Also you don’t want to be in the position of exposing yourself to dangerous carbon monoxide from a run down boiler.
(Make sure your boiler is serviced at least once a year by a Gas Safe professional boiler engineer – If your boiler pilot light changes from blue to yellow CO could be a risk, if so call Emergency Services for free on 0800 111 999).
The wholesale price of gas has been climbing steeply in recent years and if you are still on a fixed tariff but you are using more fuel then the reliability of your boiler may well be to blame. You may also find that your tariff rises considerably at your next renewal.
It is very rare for a boiler to break down and work fine in the long run. Rather than continuously pay for repairs, it would be more efficient to bite the bullet and replace. Any number of different repairs on a regular basis means you need to get a new one asap as parts are in high demand and you might have to wait at the wrong time of year to be without a properly working system.
More precisely is there a clanking noise coming, not from the pipes, but the boiler itself? Kettle-like sounds can be worrying as it suggests there is a problem with circulation. You’ll need an engineer to flush the system.
While carbon monoxide is an odourless gas, a scent has been added to natural gas so that you can detect a leak. If you smell gas, you must vacate the property and contact the Gas Emergency Services. If it is a different smell like metal, then there is a serious problem and an engineer needs to be called asap as it suggests the internal parts might not be functioning properly.
In bad weather, rainwater can be coming back through a steam pipe and can leak out of the bottom of your boiler. Any water leaking from your boiler or heating system needs to be checked out to make sure it isn’t becoming more serious.
Whilst insulation is critical to having an energy efficient home, if it is difficult to establish a comfortable temperature it might be time to act. A spring or summer boiler installation could even save you money compared to having a new boiler installed in the autumn or winter. Boiler installation is often cheaper through the summer months as heating engineers don’t tend to be quite as busy.
There is no hard and fast answer as there are varying factors to consider…
- A straight swap. Eg combi for a combi, is the most straightforward and likely to come at the lowest possible cost
- Many boiler manufacturers offer multiple ranges with each model having its own individual pricing
- Size matters. A small and light boiler will be easier to install than large and heavy
- Area. If you need to move the location of your boiler that is going to impact the price as pipe extensions or reworking might be required.
- Cost. A small guide, London will probably cost more. However:
Boiler type 1-2 bedroom home 3-4 bedroom home 4+ bedroom home
Combi Up to £1,750 Up to £2,000 Up to ££2,500+
System Up to £2,000 Up to ££2,500+ Up to £3500+
Conventional Up to £1,500 Up to £2,500 Up to £3,500+
This does not include parts or extra requirements depending on any above factors.
Combi Gas Boiler
- What do they do? Combi boilers heat water directly from the mains supply.
- Positives? Costs affective and require no cylinders and therefore small in space
- Negatives? A boiler that stores hot water in a cylinder would be a more suitable option if you have several bathrooms
Regular Gas Boiler
- What do they do? A conventional heating system includes several parts and a complex pipe network to connect them all together.
- Positives? The boiler directly heats the central heating system while domestic hot water is stored in the cylinder until needed.
- Negatives? Likely only installable where a system already exists.
System Gas Boiler
- What do they do? System boilers sit somewhere in between combi and conventional boilers, rather than deliver hot water on demand they store it in a cylinder.
- Positives? Cost effective and manageable for high demand
- Negatives? Space is required
Before a new boiler installation, do the following:
- Get a lot of quotes and compare options
- Ask questions, and ensure you get a comparable size to get a good supply of hot water and heating for the property size, particularly if you are doing an extension.
- Do you need to ensure there is extra space for cylinders, etc that need to be included in plans, etc?
- Ensure they are Gas Safe registered and have ID
- Have they got insurance?
- Are they fully insured and offer warranty?
- How long is boiler installation, any likely repairs and part costs that aren’t covered by warranty?
- How long it will take? (usually 2-3 days depending on options)
- What is the process, will they flush the system before and after installation? Do you need to be prepared for this, will it affect you or the home?
- Are any extra pipes and parts required?
- Will any old pipes and parts be taken away and disposed of?