Boilers are vital to any home: they keep rooms warm, water hot and inhabitants happy. But not all boilers are born equal. By switching to a new, high efficiency condensing boiler, you could cut your carbon footprint by nearly two tonnes and save as much as £275 a year* on utilities bills.
With Confused.com’s guide to the perfect boiler, your home will be both warm and more energy efficient in no time.
Condensing boilers are the most popular type in the UK, and by law, all new central heating boilers fitted in the UK must now be condensing boilers.
Condensing boilers are easy to fit and tend to be highly efficient, with A-rated condensing boilers racking at least 90% efficiency ratings, compared to older boilers, which can convert just 60% of their fuel into heat*.
Because A-rated condensing boilers use a third less fuel than older boilers, they cut your heating bills and CO2 emissions by a third* - great for your savings and the planet!
You can also determine what kind of boiler you have by looking at the flue (the pipe that carries the boiler’s exhaust outside the house) and what comes out of it:
- If the flue is made of plastic and releases steam when the boiler is on, you probably have a condensing boiler.
- If the flue is made out of metal and you can’t see any steam, your boiler is probably of the non-condensing variety.
The 3 types of condensing boilers
Condensing boilers work for both oil and gas-heated homes and come in three varieties: regular, system and combination (combi).
- Regular condensing boilers heat hot water and then store it in a hot water cylinder. They’re best suited for homes with family-sized central heating systems.
- System condensing boilers are for similar-sized homes, but their heating and hot water components are already built in. Installation is quicker and easier.
- Combination (combi) boilers combine instant hot water heating with central heating in one boiler, taking water directly from the mains. There’s no need for a hot water cylinder and by only heating up as much hot water as you need, you’ll save on costs. They suit small homes with good mains pressure.
The best boiler for you
The type and size of your new boiler will depend on many factors such as the size of your home, how well insulated it is, and the kind of fuel you use. If you’re unsure which to go for, ask a qualified installer, such as a CORGI or Competent Persons Scheme technician.
Most of us waste oodles of energy keeping our homes too hot. Correct heating controls could save up to 17% of your heating bill on your existing boiler, or up to 40% if you buy a new one*.
Keep your room thermostats set to between 18°C and 21°C and your hot water cylinder thermostat to 60°C (140F). And by lowering your room thermostats by just 1°C you could save yourself £40 a year*!
Top tip: Make sure your boiler’s working properly. Get it serviced every year to ensure it heats your home the way it should.
*Statistics are taken from the Energy Saving Trust.
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