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How to replace your boiler

Martin Lane Photo
Written by Martin Lane, Managing Editor

3 January 2018

Replacing your boiler could save you money on your energy bills by heating your home more efficiently. Here is everything you need to know about getting your boiler replaced.

Man fixing boiler

3 steps to follow

  1. Check if there are other ways to save money

  2. Decide what type of boiler you want

  3. Find a Gas Safe registered installer who can fit it

Why replace your boiler?

If your boiler has stopped working properly or if you have high heating bills, you should consider getting a new boiler. Think about upgrading if:

  1. Your boiler is over 15 years old

  2. The cost of repairing your boiler is more than replacing it

  3. Your boiler is not energy efficient

  4. You are selling your home and want to increase its value

Will a new boiler save you money?

Yes, you could save over £200 a year* on your energy bills if you upgrade from an old boiler to a new energy efficient system.

*Based on Ofgem's estimates of typical household usage.

You also avoid the costs of emergency call outs and expensive repairs by upgrading to a new, more reliable boiler.

The Energy Saving Trust has more information about how much you could save on your energy bill with a new boiler.

How else can you save money?

You can also save money on your heating bill by:

  • Moving to a better deal by using uSwitch's energy comparison

  • Making your home more energy efficient

There are several things you should consider when you pick a new deal - not just the price. Here is everything you need to know about choosing the right energy tariff.

How much does it cost?

The cost of installing a new boiler can range from £1,000 to more than £4,000.

The cost of a new boiler is made up of:

  1. The price of the boiler

  2. The cost of installation

  3. The potential cost of chemicals, to flush your heating system

The cost of installation is usually higher than the price of a new boiler, so speak with a local engineer to get an idea of total cost before you part with any money.

You may be able to save money by using an engineer from the same company who supply your boiler, so compare as many products as you can to find the best deal.

No, only a Gas Safe registered engineer can install a boiler.

Can you get help paying for it?

Yes, you could be entitled to help with the cost of a new boiler:

  • Energy Companies Obligation (ECO): If you are on a low income, this government scheme lets you upgrade your old boiler for free. Your energy supplier may be able to tell you if you are eligible, or you can go to the Ofgem website for more information.

  • Warranties and insurance: If your boiler is insured or still under warranty, you could claim for a replacement if it is faulty. Most warranties last up to two years after your boiler has been installed, but extended guarantees could last up to seven years. Check your home insurance policy documents to see if boiler breakdown is covered.

You may also be able to trade in your old boiler with your new boiler installer for a cash lump sum. Speak to your energy company or local boiler engineer about scrappage schemes.

It was a Government scheme that offered money back for replacing your old boiler with a new energy efficient one.

The scheme has now closed, but you can still get help from other grants and schemes.

There are other ways to save money, like having your boiler serviced; insulating your home; replacing your thermostat; or switching energy supplier.

Read our guide to saving on your gas and electricity for more information.

How to choose a boiler

This will depend on your budget and the size of your home, but there are a range of boiler types to choose from:

  • Combi boiler: This provides you with heat and hot water without needing a separate water tank. Combi boilers are best suited to small homes because they take up little space and often have lower water pressure.

  • System boiler: This usually comes with a water cylinder that sits in an airing cupboard, so there is no need for a water tank. It lets you get hot water from lots of taps, but your water may not be instantly hot and could run out.

  • Regular boiler: This has both a water cylinder and a tank, so you will need to find room to store both. Like system boilers, hot water can run out so you will need to wait for it to reheat. They suit large households because they can send hot water to lots of taps at the same time.

  • Flow boiler: This type of boiler converts waste gas into electricity which can be used to power your home. Flow offer a finance package which means you can avoid upfront costs, but it ties you into a five year deal while you pay off the cost of the boiler. You can find out more at the Flow energy website.

For more information about choosing the right boiler, read the Which? guide to buying the best boiler.

Rent a boiler

If you cannot afford the upfront cost of a boiler, you could lease one for a monthly fee.

Be warned, you will be tied into your contract for 12 years or more and the overall cost is likely to be far greater than the upfront cost of a new boiler.

Find a registered installer

You can look for registered installers in your area on the Gas Safe Register website.

Compare quotes from several installers to make sure you get the best deal, and look for companies that have been in business for several years and have positive customer reviews.

Get estimated costs from your installer before they start work, along with an idea of how much time the work will take.