British Gas

British Gas

December 16, 2011 04:00 ET

Your New Boiler: Prices and Tips

DYNO, LONDON--(Marketwire - Dec. 16, 2011) - Buying a new boiler is one of the most important household decisions you can make. This is for a number of reasons:

The proper heating of your home is essential for the health and well being of you and your family. A new boiler is a considerable expense, this amount of money spent should always be accompanied by an informed decision as to the options available. Lastly, if you are concerned with environmental issues, the Energy Saving Trust says that over 60% of your CO2 emissions will come from your boiler, so efficiency can be important as price for some customers.

Comparison websites and consumer organisations like Which? Magazine conduct surveys into the relative values of boilers, examining a boiler coming in at around £600 and going up to boilers that retail at as much as £2500.

As with many large items such as cars, a new boiler price depends on its type, brand, and size/capacity. The type can be divided (for gas boilers) into combi (combination) and heat-only (conventional and system). Prices for these 2 types of boiler are mostly grouped in the £700 to £1000 bracket.

A consistently well-reviewed (by real customers and professional reviewers) model in this price range is the Vaillant EcoTec Plus 824 or 831, which comes in at around the £1000 mark. It is rated highly for efficiency and quietness. Many heating engineers themselves praise it for ease of installation. There have been some negative comments from customers as to its reliability but some gas engineers have replied that this is because those customers have gone for cheaper boiler installers, who, it is alleged, have not followed the manufacturer's instruction properly.

The Vaillant and the Worcestor-Bosch brands have also come high up on some customer satisfaction surveys, a 83% level of satisfaction achieved, accompanied by a 90% efficiency rating. Potterton and Glow-Worm have also received good recent reviews, these particularly in the heat-only category of boiler, and in the cheaper range of prices.

These reviews are to do with the gas boiler category, but not all UK customers are connected to the gas network. They will shop for an oil-combi boiler. Prices for these are generally higher, starting at around £1200. On the other hand, oil is a more efficient fuel than gas so a new oil boiler system will achieve 92-93% efficiency, as opposed to about 85% for a new gas-combi boiler.

There are less manufacturers and thus less choice for oil boiler customers, the largest names being Warmflow, Trianco, Worcester, Grant, Turco and Firebird. The Trianco make is regarded as having greatly improved the quality of its boilers recently, translating into good recent reviews.

A final thing to consider is the size of boiler you require. With boilers this is best looked at in terms of power output or Kilowatt (KW). The range of most household boilers is from 12kw to 40kw. You will pay more the greater the power. Easy to remember that! Calculate your capacity from the relative size of your home to the average home, and the number of radiators and hot water outlets you have.

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