This winter has proven to be very cold, even if we didn’t get the snow storms that had been predicted. If your house is frustratingly cold, your energy bills are very high, or you are struggling because your heating keeps breaking, then you may want to get a replacement boiler.
These days, basic models retail for around £600, but there are more sophisticated models for bigger homes that can cost thousands. Buying a replacement boiler is not something that you should do on impulse!
If your boiler is several years old and you are on a low income, then you might be able to benefit from government funding to get a free new boiler from your energy supplier. The government says that energy companies are obliged to help low income families reduce their carbon footprint, under a scheme called the ECO, and this scheme will pay for a boiler for you. There are also schemes to help with insulation too so you could seriously slash your energy bills.
If you are forced to pay for a new boiler out of your own pocket, then things might be a little harder for you but it’s not impossible to do that. You can buy a new boiler on a “rent to own”, and there are a number of tariffs that include a boiler ‘free’ as long as you stay with the energy company for a set period of time.
A lot of the time, you might not really need a new boiler. It is possible to repair existing ones, and they are designed to last for a long time. So get an expert to check out your boiler before you spend a fortune.
If you do need a new one, think about the features that you want. An ‘eco’ feature that will keep the boiler ticking over to stop frozen pipes during the winter, but that uses minimal energy to do so, is useful. It’s also handy to have an instant heat feature that will turn on the heating for 30 minutes or so then automatically turn it off, as well as features for timers so that you can have the heating come on when you are on the way home from work. Sometimes, you can use your old boiler and wire these into the thermostat. Many modern boilers have these and other features built-in.
There are even some boilers now that can generate extra energy – ones that will take the waste gas produced when they make hot water or heat your home, and use that to power miniature turbines that will then generate electricity which can be put back into the grid on a feed-in tariff. These are expensive compared to standard boilers, but if you have a large home and you aren’t planning on moving any time soon then you will be able to save money in the long term. The boiler will pay for itself, and will then save you money on your gas bill.