Choosing your new boiler is about more than price
Image Source: Vaillant
Replacing your boiler when it is nearing the end of its life is a significant outlay, and we have discussed the various finance options in a previous blog.
However, there is more to consider alongside price – what about the boiler make, its warranty length and terms and conditions and the cost of installation? How much does it matter to you whether the boilers are manufactured in the UK?
Among the most consistently-reliable brand names in the UK are Grant, Ideal, Vaillant, Viessmann and Worcester Bosch.
Then there is the size of your home and number of bathrooms, which may make a significant impact on a boiler’s performance, and nowadays, we also have to think about the environment.
If you are connected to the UK’s mains gas supply and living in a smallish (two bedroomed house or flat) you are most likely to have a combi boiler, which provide heating and hot water “on-demand” and don’t require additional water tanks.
Larger homes with a bathroom and one en-suite may be able to use a larger higher capacity (28KW to 35KW) powerful combi boiler, but multiple bathrooms may mean you will need a new, energy efficient conventional or regular boiler (18kW-24kW), with a water tank. This is something you need to talk through with a heating expert.
Brands like Ideal, Baxi and Glow Worm fall in the affordable or cheap boiler category.
Ideal is a Hull-based brand that has been in existence for 100 years and offers a range of combi, system and conventional boilers. Popular models across the Ideal range include Logic and Logic+ combi, system and conventional boilers. Their standard warranty comes with a free two year parts and labour repair service.
Grant is a Wiltshire-based company which is better known for its oil-fired boilers and is particularly focused on tackling issues such as high energy prices and CO2 emissions. Several Grant boilers have been regularly-named as Which? best buys.
Worcester Bosch has been manufacturing boilers since 1962 and is part of the Bosch group. It is based in Worcester and Derbyshire. Well-known for its combi boilers, the company is another multiple Which? award-winners and has a very strong reputation with few negative reviews. The company offers a variety of different warranties and guaranties including a 10-year guarantee on the heat exchangers in the boilers.
Vaillant is a German company which has been a key player in the heating market for over 135 years, and now sells its products in more than 80 countries. It offers more than 30 boilers, in combi, conventional and system models. Its boiler range provides options for all sizes of homes and power levels. Vaillant offer a minimum 2-year parts and labour warranty, which can be extended up to 10 years.
You can choose between national and local fitting companies and many of the named brands actually train and accredit local fitters. While some national companies may offer a slightly cheaper service you should always consider the possibility that an engineer may not be available quickly enough particularly in the depths of winter in an emergency.