Sustainable Home

Replace Your gas boiler

Heat Your Home For Less

Did you know that the cost of heating your home and hot water can make up around 60 per cent of your annual energy bills*? Ensuring your home is fitted with an efficiently functioning boiler will help save you money and help protect the planet.

So how do you know how to maintain your boiler or when to replace it with a new model? What is the most efficient boiler system for your home? How much money can you save?

Let’s take a look at the ins and outs of home gas boiler systems and see how much money you could be saving.

New and improved gas boiler systems

Even well-maintained gas boilers may not be the most efficient option as older boilers can lose heat in the hot gases that exit through the flue. Modern gas boilers are known as ‘condensing boilers’ as they have larger heat exchangers that capture the heat from any gas before it escapes up the flue. Sometimes these gases become so cold that vapour (or condensation) is formed that can then also be used within the heating system. This means less energy is wasted to efficiently heat your home.

When should I upgrade?

Gas boilers can be expensive investments and choosing when to upgrade can be a big decision. We recommend upgrading if your existing boiler:

  • has been tested as faulty by a qualified technician, it is an old model and is beyond repair
  • doesn’t let you control or monitor the amount of energy it is consuming. This could be that you don’t have sufficient controls through your thermostat or timers.
  • has a continuous pilot light (the blue flame you can see through a pane) and is constantly using gas
  • is on the floor rather than the wall – this is a tell-tale sign it is probably an old inefficient boiler
  • has a G energy efficiency rating (find out the rating of your boiler at the Building Energy Performance Assessment support website).

Installing a new boiler when selling your home could also help increase the value of your property.

Fuel options

If your home is connected to mains gas then installing a new gas system is likely to be the cheapest option. If you are not currently on mains gas then you should speak to your local gas network about getting connected. Visit the Energy Networks Association website for more details on who supplies gas in your area.

Alternatively it may be better to choose to use another renewable heating system such as ground source heat pumps or biomass, and benefit from the incentives on offer. You can learn more about renewable energy systems here.

What type of boiler do I need?

Most older boiler systems have separate cylinders that store hot water for your home. When choosing a new boiler system you can choose from a system boiler and keep your existing water cylinder, or switch to a combi-boiler that doesn’t require a cylinder.

While a system boiler uses less energy to produce hot water, heat is lost from the water storage cylinder, making combi systems more efficient overall. For larger households system boilers are a better option as you can store larger quantities of water. Combi systems don’t require cylinders, therefore taking up less space and are more suitable for smaller homes.

How much will I save?

While purchasing a new gas boiler is a significant cost upfront, you will instantly see savings on your energy bills when replacing an inefficient boiler. This table produced by uSwitch shows how much you would save on your gas bills as well as the payback period if you upgrade to a 90% efficiency boiler costing around £1800.**

 

Efficiency of your old boiler Annual saving on your gas bill in % Annual saving on your gas bill in £ How long it will take for your boiler to pay for itself
60% 33% £237 7.6 years
65% 28% £201 9 years
70% 22% £158 11.4 years
75% 17% £122 14.8 years
80% 11% £79 22.8 years

What else can I do to save on heating costs?

Upgrading your gas boiler isn’t the only thing you can do to save on your heating bills.

  • Check the seals around your doors and windows to block out all draughts
  • Make sure you have efficient insulation in your walls and loft
  • Check the insulation on your hot water cylinder
  • Use energy monitors on your heating system to see how much energy you are using
  • Install underfloor heating for a more efficient and even home heating system.

Sources:

http://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/home-energy-efficiency/boiler-replacement
http://www.uswitch.com/boilers/guides/new-boiler-cost/

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