No home is complete without a boiler or central heating system and it’s only when our system breaks down that we realise just how important it is. Our boiler helps to keep our homes warm when it’s cold inside, allows us to have hot baths after a long day at work and enables us to wash our dishes in warm water – little luxuries that we all likely take for granted day to day.
When your boiler suddenly breaks down and you’re left with no hot water or heating, it can throw your household into panic. How will you stay warm? What about hot showers? If you need to replace your boiler but you’re not quite sure where to start, you’ve come to the right place. Remember, your boiler fires up and gets to work every single day to keep your family warm and your boiler hot, so it’s no surprise that it will need to be replaced at some point.
Today, we’ve put together a guide to everything you need to know about choosing the right boiler for your household. Choosing the right boiler for your property is a big decision and looking after it once you’ve made your purchase is equally as important. Read on for everything you need to know about boilers and how to find an experienced, qualified gas engineer to carry out the installation for you.
Different types of boilers
There are different types of boilers to choose from and the boiler you choose will depend on a number of different factors. Firstly, let’s take a look at the three basic types of boilers available:
- The combi boiler. The combination boiler is compact and highly efficient, making it suitable for small homes or properties that do not have much space for a boiler. These boilers act as both a central heating unit and water heater. As they work by heating water directly from the mains, they do not require a hot water storage cylinder or cold water tank. However, it’s important to note that it is not possible to run two baths or showers at the same time using a combi boiler and therefore this type may not be suitable for households with multiple bathrooms.
- The conventional boiler. Also known as the traditional or regular boiler, conventional boilers consist of both a cylinder and water storage tank and therefore they require more space. Conventional boilers can supply large volumes of hot water to multiple bathrooms and taps at the same time, and are therefore ideal for larger households. They are also compatible with solar thermal systems, making them an energy-efficient option.
- System boiler. Similar to a conventional boiler, a system boiler requires a hot water storage cylinder but not a water tank. This is because many of the main components, including the pump and expansion vessel, are built into the system. System boilers are generally easier to maintain as there is no need for a tank, eliminating the worry of any damage or leaks. If you own a home that doesn’t have space for a tank but has multiple bathrooms, a system boiler may be suitable.
Factors to consider when choosing a boiler
To ensure you choose the right boiler for you, there are several factors to consider. Whether you’re replacing an old boiler in your fourth home or this is your first time buying one, the following factors will help you choose the right one for you. It’s important to note that an experienced and qualified gas engineer will be able to advise you on the best boiler for your property and needs.
Size of property
The type of boiler you choose will depend on how much space you have and the size of your property. In addition to providing hot water, your boiler will also likely be the main source of heating for your property and therefore you need to select a boiler that is big enough to heat up your entire home. Domestic boiler size is measured in terms of heat output, ranging from 5 to 35 kW.
If your boiler isn’t efficient, you’ll end up wasting a lot of energy and therefore a lot of money too. An inefficient boiler can cause the cost of your energy bills to soar each month. When selecting the right boiler for your property, you should keep efficiency in mind; installing an A-rated high efficiency condensing boiler will save you lots of money and ensure you do your bit for the environment too. The last thing you want is to waste energy heating rooms you aren’t using.
It’s also important to take your current boiler system into consideration. Do you wish to keep the same system or would a different boiler be better suited to your property? In the majority of cases, retaining the same system is more practical and less expensive. However, there are cases when a change to a different system can save households money in the long run and run more efficiently. Older properties may prefer to update their boiler to a new system.
Choosing a qualified engineer
Finally, it’s essential that you choose the right gas engineer to install your boiler for you. When selecting a gas engineer, keep the following in mind:
Check the tradesman is Gas Safe registered
Anyone working with gas in the UK is required by law to be on the Gas Safe Register. The Gas Safe Register is an official list of gas engineers who are registered to work safely on gas appliances. First and foremost, you should check that the engineer you’re considering hiring is Gas Safe registered; ask to see a Gas Safe ID card as proof. You can also check online.
Choose an experienced engineer
You should always choose an experienced engineer who has specific experience in carrying out your job. Look for an established company or a tradesman who has been in the business for a few years; this will ensure they know what they are doing. Don’t be afraid to ask to see examples of their previous work or to read previous customers’ reviews.
Get a detailed quote
Finally, you’ll need to get a detailed quote with a full breakdown of the costs before you make any commitments. You should always be wary of a tradesman who only provides a quote over the phone; to give an accurate quote, they should visit your property to assess the job.
Select a gas engineer who provides you with a detailed written quote after they have viewed your property and discussed your exact requirements. The breakdown of costs should include absolutely everything, from labour and materials to additional costs such as travel.
West London Gas: gas specialists in West London
West London Gas are your local gas specialists in West London. We carry out installations, servicing and repairs. Our Gas Safe registered engineers have a wealth of experience working with a wide range of gas appliances and have served many clients across West London, delivering quick, efficient and safe installations.
Our professional gas boiler servicing will keep your boiler in safe and efficient working order, ensuring your boiler continues to run smoothly for years to come. If one of your gas appliances breaks down, you can also rely on us to sort it for you. Our team will provide a rapid response to your gas appliance issues, delivering quick and efficient repairs. Our 24/7 emergency call out service means you can reach us at any time of day or night.