How much does a New Boiler cost? When the time comes to replace a central heating boiler it is rarely a case of a simple replacement as the overall condition of the central heating system must be considered. Information from the Office for National Statistics shows that energy and home maintenance expenditure accounts for the largest slice of household costs and heating accounts for than 55 per cent of total domestic energy costs. These figures highlight the need to be proactive. Older boilers are relatively inefficient (55 to 60 per cent) whilst new boilers are required to have a minimum efficiency of 88 per cent. The Energy Saving Trust estimates a new boiler could save a home owner of a semi-detached home £305 per annum. It is important to take total installation costs into account. Factors to consider include:
Available Fuels Boiler type Radiators Hot water system Installation price Grants
Available Fuels In many cases, the homeowner has little choice, but where alternative fuels are available, these can have a significant impact on running costs. Natural gas is the most common and cheapest energy source when measured in terms of pence per kWh of heat generated. Alternatives include heating oil, LPG, and electricity. The price of heating oil is 40 per cent higher than gas and the cost of LPG is similar, so these are viable substitutes where natural gas is not available. Although electrically heated boilers are efficient, electricity prices are significantly higher than other energy sources and electrical heating costs three times more than gas heating.
Boiler Types The conventional boiler is the most common type of boiler, providing heat for radiators and for a separate hot water cylinder with a cold water tank. However, the hot water pressure from this type of boiler is low. A combination boiler is a space-saving unit that provides hot water for central heating and domestic uses, but does away with the separate hot water cylinder by heating the water directly as it is used. As the domestic hot water is at mains pressure, showers work better, though when the demand for hot water is high, this could cause the water to run at just a lukewarm temperature.
The system boiler is similar to the conventional boiler, but the hot water cylinder operates at mains pressure and there is always a reservoir of hot water.
Boiler Costs Prices for new boilers vary depending upon their design and capacity. Homeowners can expect to pay between £700 and £1,000 for a conventional boiler, around £700 and £800 for a combination boiler, and between £600 and £700 for a system boiler. However, the latter may require a new unvented water cylinder. These prices apply to gas and LPG boilers, while oil-fired boilers are more expensive and cost between £1,000 and £1,500. These prices do not cover any extras such as accessories, flues, or hot water cylinders.
Radiators The radiators installed in older homes may be too small to adequately heat the home; they also may be blocked and in poor condition. When replacing the boiler, the replacement of radiators needs to be considered if anticipated energy savings are to be realised. New radiators cost between £30 and £80 each, depending upon their width and design. The radiators are controlled by a simple valve or a thermostatic valve that will regulate the temperature in the room.
Hot Water Cylinders Where system boilers are installed, the hot water cylinder will have to be changed from a low-pressure cylinder to a high-pressure type. These cost between £400 and £500, whilst replacement low-pressure water cylinders cost between £150 and £200.
Installation Costs Installation costs vary with the amount of work required. When the installation is a direct replacement with a newer type of boiler with no other alterations, the installation cost can be as low as £500. On the other hand, if the boiler location is changed, the cost will increase due to the need to reposition the flue and other piping and will cost between £1,000 and £1,500. When new radiators are fitted assuming a three bedroom home the installation cost could be an additional £500.
Total Costs Without specific knowledge regarding an individual installation, it is difficult to be precise about total installation costs. For the direct replacement of the boiler without any other changes, the full cost can be expected to be between £1,100 and £1,200, plus another £500 to £800 if the boiler location is being changed. When replacing the boiler, upgrading the water system, and installing radiators, the full cost will probably be between £3,000 and £4,000. A similar upgrade, but including the conversion to a system boiler would cost between £3,500 and £4,500. Registered Installers
It's important to bear in mind that the work must be performed by accredited and registered contractors. There are different requirements for gas, oil, LPG, and electricity, and homeowners should consult their local authority to establish what regulations apply.
Quotations Sizing of a new boiler is a technical task that needs to take into account the size and design of the home and the hot water demand. Homeowners should seek advice regarding the scope of the upgrade and then write up a simple specification for the work so that each contractor quotes for the same scope of work. When requesting a quotation, ensure that the contractor supplies information regarding the capacity of the proposed boiler. Information should include:
Central heating output in kW Hot water heating capacity Thermal efficiency (the higher the better) Boiler cost Detailed list of accessories and their cost Piping costs Radiator costs Hot water cylinder costs Installation cost
The cost of upgrading a boiler is high and it is wise to obtain several quotations and spend some time reviewing them before making a decision. Homeowners should specifically request warranties regarding system performance and life. Quotations from the large gas companies are often higher than those obtained from independent contractors; information about these contractors can often be found on websites of boiler companies, GetABestPrice, the Competent Persons Register, or the Heating and Hot Water Industry Council.