It’s no secret that the cost of living is going up almost everywhere, whether down to inflation, supply chain issues, or the rising prices for everyday necessities. Soaring energy costs are one of the most centrally important expenses for just about anyone. No one is feeling this squeeze like families and individuals who depend on benefits to make ends meet.
When it comes to maintaining a home, gas and heating are among the most significant regular costs, accounting for an average of 60% of home energy bills. Unfortunately, many people across the UK lose substantial amounts of money annually because of old, inefficient, or otherwise sub-optimal boilers.
The boiler of a home is a hardworking and vital piece of machinery. This article will explore why this is, as well as offer tips on how to keep your boiler running as efficiently as possible for as long as possible!
When it comes down to it, the heart of the issue has to do with how efficient a boiler is. Boiler efficiency refers to the amount of energy (specifically, fuel) needed to produce the desired heat. In other words, a newer, more efficient boiler will be able to heat a living space for a fraction of the overall cost of a less efficient one.
Boilers can be categorised by their efficiency and ranked on a scale from A to G to indicate their efficiency. G-rated boilers run at less than 70% efficiency.
In comparison, A-rated boilers are above 90% fuel usage efficiency. To highlight the difference in this range, the Energy Savings Trust found that replacing a G-rated boiler in a mid-terrace house with an A-rated boiler would save owners an average of £340 a year.
It’s plain to see that the efficiency rating of a boiler is a vitally important quality in determining how much the average person pays a month to heat their home. Understanding how a new energy-efficient boiler can reduce heating bills can make the decision to switch to a more efficient boiler very attractive. However, there are other factors to consider.
Buying and installing a new boiler is an expensive endeavour, and one must consider these costs before switching to a newer, more efficient model. However, with careful planning and thinking on a multi-year timeframe, a newly installed boiler will pay for itself and even provide savings in the long run. And thanks to the ECO4 scheme, you may qualify for a new boiler at little to no cost.
Different Models of Boilers
There are a few factors that play a role in determining the overall efficiency of a boiler. We had mentioned age already – naturally, older boilers will be less efficient than newer ones due to the advancement and improvement of technology over time and overall wear and tear limiting the abilities of older machines.
However, perhaps the most important factor in determining the overall efficiency of a boiler is the model or basic category it belongs to.
- Conventional boilers are the oldest type and are more common in older homes. These boilers require the most space since they use a hot water cylinder to store hot water and keep it ready for use. For this reason, they will generally produce more hot water than the house needs. On the upside, this means more hot water is readily available (important in larger homes or spaces where multiple people may take showers or require lots of hot water).
- Combination boilers, commonly known as combi boilers, are currently the most common and popular boiler in the UK. Combi boilers are by far the most efficient and cost-effective option because they are designed to instantly heat water only once it’s needed, using the minimum necessary power to produce the exact heat an individual might need. They are also smaller and easier to install than other systems since they don’t need space to store hot water. The one disadvantage is that they will struggle to keep up with the water usage of a large family or household.
- System boilers are the final category and are very similar to conventional boilers. Both use extra piping and containers to store previously heated water and keep it hot so hot water is ready to use on-demand. Also suitable for larger homes with more people, they generally take up more space than combi boilers but less than conventional ones.
While combi boilers are the clear winners in terms of pure efficiency and cost, factors like family size, income, and previously installed boiler systems will always play an important part in deciding which kind of boiler best suits a home or flat.
Naturally, even the best, most top-end boiler will start to produce less than ideal results if not taken proper care of.
Many people will only have their boiler serviced or looked at when it starts to act dodgy or cause problems in the home. While this is certainly necessary, it’s a much better plan to schedule regular boiler inspections, generally once a year.
Not only will this help identify potential problems before they become full issues and start costing extra money, but regular inspections can also help alleviate the extra build-up of grime or limescale. While fully replacing a boiler can be too expensive for many households, having an older boiler serviced can still provide significant savings for a family.
Replace Your Old Boiler With Simply ECO, Ltd.
Undoubtedly, one of the surest ways to start saving on energy bills is to replace old, outdated, or deeply inefficient boilers. While this is a significant undertaking, the good news is that with the government-backed scheme ECO4, millions of homes in the UK qualify for assistance with a boiler replacement or First Time Central Heating Grant.
Here at Simply ECO, it’s our goal to provide quality and reliable service to boilers across multiple cities in the UK. Regardless of whether you are a property owner, tenant, or social housing occupant, contact us today to find out how you can take advantage of a boiler grant to improve your quality of life and start saving on your heating bills!