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Boiler replacement

If you need a new boiler in emergency circumstances, or you've been pre-warned that yours is on the way out, replacing it can be a large expense.

amy smith
Amy Smith
Updated 19 June 2020  | 2 min read

Key points

  • You can buy a new boiler outright, take out a finance plan or see if you qualify for any government schemes to receive a free or heavily subsidised boiler
  • There are three types of boiler: combi, heat only (conventional) or system boilers
  • When getting a boiler installation quote, make sure it’s from a registered Gas Safe engineer

Boiler replacement options

If you’ve got the funds, you can buy a new boiler outright.

Many companies offer finance plans so you can pay for your boiler over a set time. Make sure you account for any interest you might have to pay on top of the cost of the boiler.

When you’ve chosen how you’d like to pay for your boiler, check to see what kind of warranties are available. Many boilers that are fitted by a registered engineer come with warranties between five to 10 years.

Boiler replacement grants and allowances

Free or heavily subsidised boilers are available to low income families through schemes, for instance, the government’s Energy Company Obligation (ECO) Scheme.

Your boiler must be at least five years old and you’ll need to provide some details to check whether you’re eligible.

A boiler from a scheme is likely to be more energy efficient than the one you currently have, so you’ll likely have cheaper energy bills too.

Free boiler replacement for pensioners

These are available if you’re on Pension Credit. The boilers offered under this scheme are all rated A for energy efficiency which means you’d likely benefit from reduced energy costs.

Green Homes Grant

If you're interested in a green alternative to a standard gas boiler, homeowners in England can apply for the Green Homes Grant to help pay for a ground-source heat pump, air-source heat pump, biomass boiler or solar water heating.

Homeowners apply for a voucher to pay two thirds of the cost of installation, with a maximum voucher value of £5,000. Those on low incomes or certain benefits can cover the total cost of improvements, up to £10,000.

That might sound generous, but be warned - these alternatives to your standard gas boiler can be very costly indeed, so make sure you get some quotes and an idea of costs before you apply.

You'll need to redeem the voucher and have the work scheduled for completion by March 2021.

Upgrading your boiler to an A rating in a semi-detached home could save you between £110 (D rated) to £205 (G rated)
According to the Energy Saving Trust

What types of boiler are there?

There are three main types of boiler:

  • Combi-boiler heats water as you need it so doesn't have a storage tank. Some combi boilers don’t work with smart thermostats such as Nest and Hive
  • Heat-only or conventional boiler has a hot water tank or cylinder that stores hot water for use when you need it
  • System boiler works like a heat-only boiler, but tend to take up less space than conventional boiler water tanks

Tips for getting the right boiler

The easiest way to get a good deal on a new boiler is to compare installation quotes. Account for the labour fees, the cost of the boiler and the warranty you’re offered.

However, don’t rely on online prices. Quotes given online will generally just be estimates as an engineer will need to come and assess your current set up and what’s required for your home. It could be worth looking for boiler suppliers that offer free, no obligation survey appointments to get more accurate quotes.

Make sure your installation quote includes:

  • The model, make and type of boiler
  • The cost to buy it and why your engineer recommends it
  • Where the boiler is going to be fitted and an explanation if it needs to be moved
  • The cost of cleaning your system
  • The cost of labour
  • Post-installation checks - this might not cost extra, but it should be mentioned
  • An explanation of the warranty

Some engineers are given incentives to install boilers from certain brands, so weigh up their recommendations against your own research into different boiler suppliers.

Check the engineer you choose is Gas Safe registered. And make sure they conduct a heating survey of your home, to learn about your hot water and heating needs. It shouldn’t be a quick conversation.

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