Q1. How do you know if it’s time to replace your existing gas boiler?
A1. There is no set timeframe as to how long a boiler will last. Many factors have a bearing from the original sizing of the boiler for the load, usage patterns, maintenance and service regimes, robustness of design, availability of spare parts, etc. However, an average life span for most domestic gas boilers is approximately 10 – 15 years.
Q2. What should I be looking for if replacing it?
A1. Several factors need to be considered when looking to replace your boiler, some of which are:
Consult a competent and registered gas installer when looking to replace your boiler, as they have the necessary skills and knowledge to ensure your new boiler meets your needs, and importantly, expectations.
Q3. What skills/qualifications should my appointed installer/fitter have?
A3. Firstly, your professional gas installer needs to be registered with Gas Safe Register . The registration body ensures that installers have the necessary skills and qualifications to work on gas, as well as monitoring their work on a periodical basis.
Secondly, every competent and registered gas installer carry’s an identification card, which on its front shows the name of the company, a photograph of the individual, their registration number, and the expiry date. On the reverse of the card will be a list of gas appliances, which will be ticked if the installer has proved their competence on that appliance.
For gas boilers, a tick should be shown against gas boilers. If no tick is present, then that individual is not deemed competent in that activity.
Gas installers are currently required to prove their competence by undertaking examination every 5 years.
Note: Gas installers do not have to be competent in everything; only in the areas that they work in i.e. some may only install cookers, whilst others may install all types of domestic gas appliances.
Always check the ID card before letting someone in your home!
Q4. What budget should I expect to pay – give examples of products/brands on the market that are energy saving recommended.
A4. Difficult to detail pricing here as there is to many variables to include. However, typical charges can range from £1,800 for a straight boiler replacement (no additional work on the existing heating system), to £3,000 – £5,000 for new central heating system (radiators, boiler, controls, etc), to above £6,000 for large full heating systems.
All major boiler manufacturers produce high efficiency boilers complying with SEDBUK Band A or B, as well as modern fully integrated control systems which use little to no electricity (wireless radio frequency systems available) and which efficiently control both heating and hot water services.
Its important to note that there is more than just ensuring the boiler and controls chosen are energy efficient – the home is the single biggest factor for energy loss and therefore, if insulated to modern standards, will greatly enhance the new systems effectiveness as well as saving you money; many grants are available to home owners making improvements to insulation levels affordable.
For further guidance on energy saving products and services, visit www.energysavingstrust.org.uk or telephone 0800 512 012.
Q5. What savings should I expect to make after replacing my boiler to an energy saving one?
A5. There is not a simple answer to this question as many factors attribute to energy efficiency savings and not just the boiler. A 15 page report is FREELY available from the Energy Savings Trust – www.energysavingstrust.org.uk called ‘Central Heating Systems Specifications CHeSS Year 2008’ which provides what’s termed ‘basic’ and ‘best’ practice against a reference case. The report provides energy savings, cost savings, and emissions in table format against the reference case for both basic and best practice.
Q6. Care/maintenance guidelines for a gas boiler?
A6. Boilers should be serviced and maintained in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Typically, manufacturers will stipulate a 12 month servicing cycle, whereby:
If any issues are found, the registered and competent installer will advise you of the defects and, with your agreement, rectify the faults.
Maintenance activities follows that of Servicing, but should you notice strange smells, noisy operation, pilot keeps going out or system not working correctly, or other such faults, then turn off the appliance and contact your local registered gas installer for advice and guidance.