Why should I replace my boiler?
The spring and summer months are always the best time of the year to look at your home’s energy needs – the heating is off, and so it is the only time of year when you can cope with the boiler out of action for a few days!
If your boiler is over 15 years old, it is safe to say it has reached the end of its economically useful life, and the longer you leave it without replacing it, the more chance you have of something going badly wrong (hard to source the replacement parts etc) at the most inappropriate time, i.e. in the middle of winter when you need your boiler the most.
DEFRA have stated that a new boiler installed today will have a useful life of approximately 12 years. Gone are the days of boilers running and running – companies have clocked on to the fact if they sell you something that is going to last for 40 years then they have no money coming in to them in the interim – hence a new boiler is now built to work perfectly for the 12 years and then break!
It is not just the lifespan of a boiler you need to consider though; boiler replacement is obviously an energy efficiency consideration too. For example if you have an old boiler installed in your home, the chances are you are missing out on potentially hundreds of pounds of energy savings every year by keeping hold of it. An A rated boiler vs. a G rated boiler could be worth £250 per year on gas savings on an average sized semi-detached property, therefore it makes sense invest in a new boiler from an energy saving perspective.
Boiler replacement is obviously not cheap and if you own your own home or you are a landlord renting a property out in London, you will know that replacement costs here seem to be far higher than in other parts of the country. Even in London itself though, the cost of replacing a boiler varies considerably – for example, a lot of the jobs commissioned in central London are tricky because very often boilers are installed in high rise flats with access issues; therefore the install is trickier and more expensive. This is the reason why an installation cost for the same boiler for a second storey flat in Bayswater is different to a boiler install for a mid-terrace property in Ealing.
However having experienced steep quotes from British Gas and other established players in this market, how do you know you are getting good value for your buck even if you live in central London? Also, how do you know you are getting only the necessary components installed with your boiler and not any other unnecessary extras – irrespective of where you live in the city?
Simple principles to follow when sourcing a boiler installer in London
- Credentials of the installer
This is the most important point about choosing the right installer. If the installer doesn’t have the right credentials or can demonstrate good customer service then we suggest walking away. In London, there are 1000s of boiler companies, so what exactly do you need to look out for?
Certification – we would always recommend going for a Gas Safe installer. This is the standard for the industry and a gas safe registered boiler install would comply with building regulations. Therefore don’t take a chance with a friendly handyman who can ‘do you a favour’. If the installer is not gas safe then find a new one – that is our no.1 piece of advice!
PAS2030 Accreditation – if a boiler installer also has PAS2030 accreditation then this is a sign the individual or company has gone through some serious hoops to achieve an excellent industry standard in terms of providing the whole end-to-end service. PAS2030 means the company has a quality management system and may well also be carrying out other Government funded projects (such as the Green Deal or ECO) as well as private household installations.
You can find a PAS2030 boiler installer by visiting the Government Green Deal Orb which you can access by clicking below:
- Manufacturer recommended installers
Companies like Baxi, Vaillant and Worcester Bosch have locally approved installers listed on their website and this could be a great place to start if you are completely new to this. Obviously this means you are constricted to just that companies’ boilers, but they are all decent companies so getting one of these installed isn’t a bad idea at all!
- Customer Satisfaction
A good boiler installer should have 100’s if not 1000’s of happy customers on their books and be proud to show-off this fact. Ask any potential installer about their history and ideally get a couple of names off them of customers they have previously installed – then you can check for yourself you are going to be happy with their standard of work.
A good question to ask is whether the installer has ever had any complaints and how they went on to deal with it. Just because there have been issues doesn’t mean they are not good at what they do – it is more important how they treat the issue or complaint. The way the installer responds here would be a good indication on how they would potentially perform on your job and how issues would be resolved going forward.
- Warranty period offered
It is quite common these days for new boilers to be offered at least with 5 years warranty for labour and parts. From our experience it is not uncommon to have installers offering 7 year warranty for labour and parts (subject to annual boiler survey), but they can only do that if they have the relevant accreditations and have the double confidence of the boiler brands that they are installing.
How much should you pay for a new boiler in London?
The cost of a new boiler will unfortunately vary from house to house. For a simple boiler swap, e.g. going from an existing heat only boiler or a combi for a like-for-like type of boiler should cost anywhere between £1,500 to £2,500; but obviously this will vary should any additional works be required. For example the following elements will have an impact on the cost:
- Brand of boiler – Vaillant and Worcester Bosch tend to be top-end of the market
- Relocation of boiler – you may have to move the existing position of the boiler therefore additional labour and parts will be required.
- Flue location – the flue is quite key. If the location of the flue is in an awkward place, say on a high rise flat, specialist scaffolding may be required to install properly. This may add a bit to the cost.
- Adding new radiators – not only are you putting the new boiler on the wall, you also have to run the pipes to and from it. This will cost approximately £400 per radiator and so these can quickly cause the costs to rise.
- TRVs and thermostats – if you install extras, this will add a few £100 to the final cost.
- Changing the hot water tank – obviously if you have a newly installed megaflo as well as the boiler then typically this will add another £1,000-£1,500 to the final cost.
Power-flush vs. chemical clean – according Nicholas Cotton, a boiler engineer from South London: “when swapping out a boiler it is recommended to do a power-flush, particularly if the condition of the radiators is a bit suspect. Older radiators are suspect to corrosion, even in a sealed system and with new boiler fine internal parts; you can have problems down the line if the heating system is not properly prepared prior to the install.”
Cotton, goes on: “if you are installing a system boiler a drain and chemical clean you may get away with the installation with just the TF1 magnetic cleaner, but if you install a combi, the heat exchanger pipes are so small, and any debris in the system can cause a failure of this part and obviously a call out.”
Where do I find a competitively priced boiler installer in London?
Here at TheGreenAge we have been working with a number of Gas-Safe and PAS2030 Gas Installation companies throughout all parts of the capital and can help you find the solution that suits you. Our partner installers have been installing a variety of solutions, including full combi and system conversions, to underfloor heating systems and megaflo hot water tanks.
Installing a new boiler
Are you thinking about getting a new boiler? We have scoured the country for the best tradespeople, so that we can make sure we only recommend those we really trust.
If you would like us to find you a local installer to install a new boiler in your home, just fill in the form below and we will be in touch shortly.