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Boilers, Solar PV, Thermodynamics

Does My Existing Boiler Need Replacing?

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There are times when, inevitably, a boiler will give up the ghost, making replacement a vital necessity. However, for most homeowners, the answer to the question ‘does my existing boiler need replacing’ isn’t quite so clear-cut.

Perhaps it appears to be puttering along just fine, but given its age, you’re wondering whether to simply have it serviced-or replace the system in its entirety.

Alternatively, you may be making do with consistently cold showers, imagining that your compromised comfort is inevitable. It isn’t.

From improving systems efficiency, to keeping energy costs in check, a replacement boiler can make a world of difference to the running of your home-as long as you choose the right model.

In the following guide, we explore the subject of boiler replacement in greater depth, including signs to spot, savings to be made, and how to enlist an installer who’s up to the job. Let’s begin!

What Are the Main Signs of An Inefficient Boiler?

Although the signs of an inefficient boiler tend be explicit, there are times when a boiler breaks out down without prior warning.

Nevertheless, if your boiler is exhibiting one or more of the following issues, it’s likely to need replacing:

•    Knocking or hissing sounds
•    It constantly needs repairing
•    It’s more than 10 years old
•    The water temperature continues to fluctuate

It should be stressed that this is not an exhaustive list; if you’re in any doubt as to the health of your boiler, and whether it’s on its way out, it’s crucial to call in an expert.

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Knowing you need a new boiler is only half of the story; you also need to consider additional factors such as: fuel type, the requirements of your family (in terms of hot water), and the accreditations of different contractors

Existing Boiler Replacement: What Do I Need to Consider?

So, you’ve decided to replace your boiler-but what should be your next steps?

Knowing you need a new boiler is only half of the story; you also need to consider additional factors such as: fuel type, the requirements of your family (in terms of hot water), and the accreditations of different contractors.

With the above in mind, here’s a little more detail on each key consideration in turn:

Key Consideration No.1: Fuel Type and Efficiency

For homeowners with a mains gas supply, gas will inevitably be the cheapest option.

If, however, you are not hooked up to the mains, you may wish to get a little creative with your choices.

In these cases, biomass can be a viable option-especially if you’re keen to cut your output of carbon, whilst still meeting your needs for hot water.

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If you have a larger family, with several children in tow, a conventional boiler is far more appropriate for your needs and will produce a steady stream of hot water

Key Consideration No.2: Household Hot Water Requirements

The size of your household has a direct bearing on the amount of water you use, and, consequently, the amount of hot water you need.

For smaller households, with one or two occupants, a combi boiler is well advised. This boiler type is also incredibly neat and compact and can be accommodated just about anywhere in your home, without dominating the overall space.

If, on the other hand, you have a larger family, with several children in tow, a conventional boiler is far more appropriate for your needs and will produce a steady stream of hot water.

Key Consideration No.3: Accreditations and Experience

When it comes to ascertaining the quality of a product or firm, accreditations are everything-and your boiler is no exception.

Legitimate installers will be either Gas Safety registered (for gas and LPG boilers), or OFTEC registered (for oil-run systems.)

Moreover, accredited companies will also be able to ensure that your installation meets the very latest building regulations so that if you sell your house at a later date, you will have the documents you need to do so.

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Generally speaking, the most appropriate device will depend on your current system. For those with combi boilers, a heat recovery system offers the best value for money

Are There Any Other Steps I Can Take to Improve My Heating System?

Absolutely! From heat recovery devices, to chemical inhibitors, there’s certainly no end of options out there-but how do you decide which is best?

Generally speaking, the most appropriate device will depend on your current system. For those with combi boilers, a heat recovery system offers the best value for money.

However, if you have a conventional boiler instead, you’d be far better off opting for a chemical inhibitor, which will decrease the corrosion rate considerably.

Still seeking further clarification? Let’s explore each heating control option in a little more detail…

Heating Control Option No.1: Heat Recovery Devices and Systems

Even with the best will in the world, a portion of the heat generated by your boiler will still escape through the flue.

Thankfully, a heat recovery system can help.

These salient systems have been specifically designed to capture this lost energy (before it attempts its ‘great escape!’) and, subsequently, utilising it to heat your hot water.

Despite their growing popularity, it should be stressed that these systems are only available for combi boilers.

Newer combi systems often come with this feature already incorporated into the unit. However, if your have an older combi boiler, a heat recovery system is a wise investment.

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From improving systems efficiency, to keeping energy costs in check, a replacement boiler can make a world of difference to the running of your home-as long as you choose the right model

Heating Control Option No.2: Hot Water Cylinders

Ever readied yourself for a hotly anticipated shower-only to be get given the cold shoulder by the temperature of the water?

It’s an all too familiar reality, and one which a hot water cylinder remedies with immediate effect. 

This addition supplies you with a consistent supply of hot water on tap. 

One word of note: in order for this product to perform as efficiently as possible, it needs to be insulated with at least 80mm of top quality insulation.  Anything less than this reduces the overall effect.

Heating Control Option No.3: Chemical Inhibitors

If your current central heating system is as old as the hills, at some point, corrosion is likely to occur.

Not only will this reduce the impact of the radiators-it will, eventually, have a knock-on effect on the efficiency of the entire system. Sorted!

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