If you’re hoping to cut the costs of your monthly utility bills and choose a more efficient solution, you might be thinking about getting your boiler serviced or you might even be thinking about buying an entirely new boiler.
Either way, by making sure your boiler is in good condition and that you have the most effective solution for your property, you could begin to see savings right away.
If you’re not sure which boiler is going to be best for you, we’re here to help.
Below, we’ve pulled together a guide on what boiler efficiency means and which boilers can help to save you money depending on the type of property you have.
Read on to find out more.
What is boiler efficiency?
A boiler’s energy efficiency is determined by the percentage of energy used by the boiler to provide effective heating in a property.
So, for example, if you have a modern boiler that runs at 95% efficiency, this means that 95% of the energy is going towards heating your house and only 5% is being lost to actually running the boiler itself.
Efficiency levels tend to drop on older, damaged or less effective boilers. Therefore, your boiler will be given an efficiency rating between A and G. This rating system goes as follows:
A - 90% and above
B - 86-90%
C - 82-86%
D - 78-82%
E - 74-78%
F - 70-74%
G - below 70%
The only issue with this is that older boilers are given a rating retrospectively so, of course, this could change over time.
Which boilers can help save me money?
It used to be that boilers were non-condensing, which essentially meant that the waste gases and heat produced by the boiler were released outside the property. This meant that a large amount of heat, energy and therefore money was being wasted.
Nowadays, all new boilers are condensing boilers, though these are then broken down into three different types.
To help you decide whether to have your boiler fixed or replaced and to determine which can help you save money, we’ve put together a list of these different types of boilers, including a list of advantages and disadvantages for each one.
1. The combi boiler
A combi boiler is one of the most popular choices and you may already have this in your home. It is called a combi because it combines central heating and water heating in one system.
Without the need for a pump or additional pipework, hot water is delivered through the taps and showers at mains pressure. The pros and cons outlined below will indicate if this is the right option for saving you money:
Advantages of a combi boiler:
- You can create space and remove old water tanks
- Lower maintenance costs if something goes wrong
- More cost-effective for smaller properties
- How water on demand so you don’t have to wait
- Easy to install
Disadvantages of a combi boiler:
- Due to its small size, it is not efficient for large homes
- It does not work well in properties with poor flow rates or water pressure
So, in summary, a combi boiler could be the most cost-effective solution for smaller homes, particularly those with one bathroom. However, if you have a larger home or one with poor water pressure, this might not be the best option for you.
2. The system boiler
A system boiler has similar components to a combi boiler but this one works with a hot steel water cylinder to store heated water. This is then pumped throughout the heating system at a high pressure and delivered to the relevant water outlets. Some of the key advantages and disadvantages are:
Advantages of a system boiler:
- Good for properties with lots of water outlets, for example, multiple showers
- Can deliver good hot water flow to multiple outlets at once
- These usually come with a good cover/warranty from the manufacturer
Disadvantages of a system boiler:
- It does not work well in properties with poor flow rates
- They are larger than combi boilers and therefore require more space
Essentially, a system boiler is more suited to a larger property that has multiple bathrooms and water outlets. This can make it more cost-effective as heated water can be stored and then distributed to the relevant outlets. Although these can be more expensive to install, they are usually well covered by the manufacturer and for a longer period of time should something go wrong.
3. The regular boiler
The final boiler is the regular boiler. These are more commonly found in older homes and provide heat directly to the radiators, as well as relying on a cylinder to store hot water. This can then be distributed to the various water outlets throughout the home. Some reasons to consider these boilers are:
Advantages of a regular boiler:
- They are good in larger homes with multiple water outlets
- They can store a larger amount of water than a system boiler
- These are cheap to buy and therefore replace
- They work well with old radiators
Disadvantages of a regular boiler:
- Often only the boiler is covered by the manufacturer’s warranty which leaves a lot of other components vulnerable
- These can be expensive to fix
- These take up a lot more space and often rely on a tank in the loft (though not always)
So, a regular boiler could be the most cost-effective boiler for you if you have a larger property. What’s more, because they can hold more water these are popular for families who need large quantities of hot water each day.
They also work better in older homes, so could be a better solution if you live in a more dated property.