When your boiler packs up, it is sometimes easy to just take the first quote you see and get your heating back up and running, but you could be making problems for yourself if you take the wrong option. A boiler will likely have to last you 15 years or more, so make sure you make the right choice upfront!
Combi or heat-only boilers
Combination (commonly known as combi boilers) and heat-only boilers (sometimes referred to as regular boilers) are quite different – heat-only boilers have a hot water cylinder where the heated water is stored, combis create hot water on demand, as and when you need it. There is no hard and fast rule as to what is the best for your home, and both can be very efficient. Typically combis go well in smaller properties because you don’t need a hot water tank or any cold water tanks – helping to save space, whilst heat-only boilers can provide hot water to multiple taps at once, so are more suited to larger households.
The cost difference for the boiler unit itself is fairly similar, just a hundred pounds or so more for a combi typically. The real cost difference comes when you are converting from a heat-only boiler to a combi (so you lose all the water storage tanks) which can add £800-£1,000 to the cost in some instances. You can find out more about the cost of boilers by clicking here.
Does the brand matter? A good boiler is a good boiler, whether it is a heat-only or a combi. Whilst there are some exceptions, if a company makes reliable heat-only boilers, they will make reliable combis too. For example, Vaillant are well regarded for both – their Ecotec models are generally seen as high quality boilers.
What is the price difference?
What you may be surprised to know is that the difference in cost between the cheaper budget boilers and the higher end models is just a few hundred pounds. Typically, around half the cost of the new boiler is the cost of labour to install it, and that will not change with the brand of boiler. What does that mean? It means that you could get a high end boiler for just a little bit more than the budget one you were looking at. You can find out more about how the job is costed here.
Is it worth paying extra?
The call out charge for a repair is getting very expensive these days, so if you can just cut the number of breakdowns by 1 or 2 over the lifetime of the boiler, you will have made back those savings from buying a cheap unreliable model. Not only is it more expensive in the long run, you have to deal with the inconvenience of doing without heating until the boiler can be fixed!
There is also the warranty issue, good boilers come with a 5 year + warranty (Vaillant offer a 7 year warranty on some of their boilers) where as the cheaper makes and models may only come with a two year warranty. We think the warranty length says a lot about the quality of the boiler – and so in our opinion yes – it is worth paying a lot.
What do customers say?
There are a few customer surveys knocking around online and these seem to be the general trend: Vaillant and Worcester boilers tend to be top of the pile among the big brands, while Ideal, Halstead, Vokera and Ferolli tend to have the most criticism.
What do we recommend?
Many of our partners who supply and install hundreds of boilers every year tend to recommend Vaillant and Baxi boilers. They tend to be very reliable and are good value for money. They can however, fit any almost any model of boiler you may require, so please do give us a call if you have something specific in mind.
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!