Heating makes up about about 60 % of what you shell out in a year on energy bills, so an efficient boiler makes a big difference. In a part of the world that gets as cold as the UK does, a boiler is the most crucial single appliance in the home — yet it is also poorly understood. Many of us set the thermostat and then don’t give a second thought to the boiler — until it breaks down, at which time we pay someone else to inspect it. However, when it comes to replacing your boiler, improving the energy efficiency of your home, or saving some money, it pays to understand what your options are, and that’s where our highly trained gas engineers Liverpool can be of service.
Different types of boilers and boiler brands
The boiler market in the UK is dominated by one particular variety of boiler: the condensing boiler. However, there are various kinds of condensing boiler, including combi-boilers, heat-only and system boilers. Popular brands producing combi-boilers include Baxi and Glow Worm (both Baxi heating boilers and Glow Worm boilers are British made). It is also worth noting that combi-boilers are available in all kinds of shapes and sizes and one type of Glow Worm boiler, for instance, may differ substantially from another. Meanwhile, a wood boiler (otherwise known as a biomass boiler) is yet another alternative. Let’s look at all the different types in-depth, and their advantages and disadvantages.
Condensing boilers are by far the most popular boiler type in UK homes, and are also considerably more energy-efficient than older mains gas boilers, using around 90% of their heat. A condensing boiler functions by passing hot gas through a central chamber which heats up water but, cleverly, a second chamber uses remaining heat to heat up water finding its way back into the unit from the heating system. Out of all the condensing boiler types, the combi-boiler is considered the most popular. A combi-boiler includes the hot water unit and cold water tank in the same unit, which means all your hot water and heating originate from the same unit. That makes them straightforward to install. It also means you get a steady supply of hot water through your taps because you don’t have to wait for the tank to fill and don’t have to worry about lots of space for different tanks. The downsides lie in the fact that, since they are a compact unit, you will merely get maximum pressure through one tap at any given time, plus they struggle to produce large amounts of hot water.
Heat-only boilers, in comparison, have a more traditional approach by providing hot water only, whilst cold water is supplied separately. This eliminates some of the difficulties of supply and water pressure. However, due to the fact hot- and cold-water systems are separate, they occupy extra space, and therefore are less energy-efficient.
A biomass boiler, or wood boiler, stands out as the other main choice and, as the name suggests, relies upon wood pellets, chips or logs to produce heat. Wood pellet boilers are very cheap in comparison to the other options, costing an estimated ?600 a year to operate, and generally are energy-efficient. The Energy Saving Trust estimates installation costs between ?7,000 and ?13,000, and a tonne of wood pellets can cost under ?200. They emit around 3 tonnes fewer of carbon dioxide per year when compared to a gas boiler, but there are certain things to be mindful of.
Unlike gas or oil boilers, a wood pellet boiler will produce ash, so you will have to clean it out around once per week. The ash may be self-cleaned depending on the boiler, but if you don’t ensure that it stays clean it could shut down. Biomass boilers tend to be slightly larger than gas or oil boilers and you will also need to have someplace to store the heating fuel. Likewise, you will need a flue or chimney, which might mean you require planning permission, so make sure to check the regulations for your property beforehand. You will also need to maintain the flue pipe or chimney to keep it clean of soot deposits. HETAS, the official biomass body, recommends you do this about twice a year. Additionally, you will need to ensure that your flue or chimney is free of debris or bird’s nests.
So, which boiler is right for you?
Selecting the suitable boiler is tricky, but whether you choose gas-powered combi boilers like Baxi boilers or Glow Worm boilers, or if you opt for a biomass boiler, your choice will more often than not depend upon what is suitable for your property. The main issues are:
How much space have you got available?
Are you on mains gas?
How big is your property?
Will you need planning permission for a flue or chimney?
Is it easy to find a wood pellet supplier in your area?
At CBQ Heating LTD, our experienced team of experts are available to assist you in making the right choice for your home, making us your natural initial choice for a CBQ Heating LTD.
Are any grants accessible to me in England?
Insulating your home, buying a new boiler, or updating your central heating system could be incredibly expensive. All of these home improvement measures can be seen as an investment that ought to save you money on your heating and hot water bills in the long run, though the initial cost can still seem high.
There are various schemes available in England which offer heating and insulation improvement grants.
The Energy Company Obligation (ECO) is a Government scheme which strives to tackle fuel poverty in vulnerable and low income households.
Energy companies have a legal obligation to aid households to become more energy efficient; specifically low income households who are in receipt of a range of qualifying benefits. Eligible homeowners or tenants who reside in privately rented accommodation (and possess permission from their landlord) could possibly be eligible for free loft and cavity wall insulation, have their boiler repaired or fit a free replacement boiler with a boiler grant. To find out if you qualify, click here.