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How Much Does a Boiler Cost in 2017?

Man installing boilerHeating costs are one of your largest household expenses, especially if you’re using an old boiler. If your boiler is broken, older than 15 years, or low-efficiency, you could save money by upgrading to a new energy efficient boiler.

New boilers can reduce your annual energy bill as much as 50%, but it is crucial to ensure that you’re getting the best deal on your new boiler so that you can earn your money back.

  • The average boiler costs between £500 and £2,500, installation costs can vary between £300 and £1,000
  • Boilers account for approximately 55% of total heating costs
  • Total costs of purchasing a boiler and installing it are typically over £1,500, with an average cost of £2,300 for all costs.
  • A new boiler can save you 11-50% on your annual heating bill, and pay itself off in as little as 4 years.

In this guide you will find

 

What Affects Boiler Costs?

While most new boilers will cost from about £500 to over £3,500 for very large systems, it is important to be aware of what affects costs, how boilers are priced, and what you are paying for. In most cases, the size of the system or your home, the fuel type, the brand, energy efficiency, and the boiler type will be the most important costs.

Size – Your boiler size must match the needs of your home. If it is too high, you use more energy than you need, if it is too small, you don’t have enough hot water, or your system will not achieve the pressure necessary to heat your home or provide hot water.

SizeOutput House SizeCost
10-20 Kw1-5 radiators1-2 bedrooms£400-£800
24-25 Kw 5-10 radiators2-3 bedrooms£450-£990
28-30 Kw1-15 radiators3-4 bedroom£500-£1,200
33-35 Kw15-20 radiators4-8 bedrooms£675-£2,615
40-45 Kw20+ radiators8+ bedrooms£1,200-£3,500

 

The average home installs a 24-25 Kw system, capable of heating 2-3 bedrooms, with 5-10 radiators on the system.

BTU Output – BTU is the direct thermal output of the boiler. This measurement refers to the size and space that the boiler can heat. You should most likely estimate the size of your needs based on your house, and then allow your installer to perform the calculations to ensure that the boiler’s BTU will meet your home needs.

Fuel Type – Boilers are sold with a variety of different fuel types, designed to meet the needs of different households. In most cases, your cheapest option is to replace your existing boiler with a new boiler using the same fuel type. This will save you money, because you won’t have to worry about changing your piping, changing the standards, or otherwise routing a new energy source to your home.

These estimates are based on a 24 Kw combi condensation boiler, which is the most commonly installed boiler type. However, the electric quote is based on a 15 Kw (210 litre) system, as most electric boilers are not available in larger sizes.

Fuel Type Cost Fuel CostYearly Costs
Electric £1500 – £2,50013-15 p / kWh£1800-£2025
Gas£600-£2,1104-7.6p / kWh£550+
Oil£600-£3,5006-7.6p / kWh£700+
Biomass/Wood£5,000-19,0005.3-7.1 / per kWh£1650-£2,200

 

In some cases, you may be better off switching to a new fuel type based on your area. For example, if you have oil installed but natural gas is much cheaper in your area, it may be cost effective to make the switch. If you live somewhere without natural gas or oil, biomass is a very cost effective option. And, if you want to reduce your carbon footprint, you can choose accordingly as well. In many cases, you can get Green Deal grants for making eco-conscious choices.

You’ll also have to consider that if you are primarily home at night, you may qualify for Economy 7 rates, where you pay 6p / kWh for the night rate and 16p / kWh during the day, which can make electric boilers more cost effective, for an average cost of about £900 per year. Importantly, if you choose to install biomass, you will face more costs upfront, but you will qualify for Green Deal Grants, and the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) will compensate you per kWh of renewable heat that you produce.


Boiler Energy Efficiency

 

Energy efficiency will greatly increase the cost of your boiler, but it can often off in the long-term through reduced energy costs. In most cases, you will purchase your boiler based on the A-G rating. Boilers are rated from G (worst energy efficiency) to A+++ (best energy efficiency). Energy efficiency is important for you because higher energy efficiency means that you waste less energy, because you turn more of it into heat. This lowers your energy bill, means that you get more heat for less money, and reduces your carbon footprint.

As of 2010, the ERP mandates that all boilers must have a minimum energy rating of A, meaning that they are at least 88% efficient. This means that if you purchase a 100,000 BTU boiler, you put 100,000 BTUs of energy in to get 88,000 BTUs of heat out.

These estimates are for a 24-kW combi condensation boiler, replacing an old boiler with an energy efficiency of 60%.

Rating Average CostAnnual Energy Savings
A£565 +£122
A+£655 +£158
A++£850+£201
A+++£990+£237-350

 

Importantly, if you own a large home or an older and less efficient boiler, your energy savings could be considerably more.

Non-Condensing vs Condensing – Condensing boilers are up to 25% more efficient than non-condensing boilers, so most options on the market today are condensing boilers. In fact, the most common boiler sold in the UK is a condensing combi boiler, which provides high efficiency, does not require a lot of storage, and are safer. The average person who replaces an old non-condensing boiler (typically rated at 45-65% efficiency) with a new condensing boiler saves £310 per year on their heating bill according to the Energy Saving Trust.

Brand – Most people prefer to purchase good quality brands with long warranties and national respect. This is a good way to ensure that your boiler will last as long as-is possible. However, most nationally known brands are more expensive than budget brands, which is something to keep in mind and to consider.

BrandAverage Cost Average Warranty
Worcester Bosch£700-9505 Year
Valiant£700-8005-10 Year
Baxi £600-8003-10 Year
Intergas£800-1,2005-10 Year
Potterton £600-7007 Year
Ideal£526-9007 Years
Viessmann £960-4,2003-5 Years
Vokera £479-6595 Year

 

It’s important to balance a good brand and a good warranty with cost effectiveness, as you still want your boiler to pay itself off.


Types of Boiler

 

Different types of boilers cost more or less money, because the system is smaller or includes more components.

Conventional – A regular boiler features a cylinder and a tank, allowing you to heat and store water. This option is less energy efficient, but allows you to get hot water in multiple places at once, and takes longer to run out of hot water than the system boiler.

System Boiler – System boilers or sealed systems feature a water cylinder but no tank. They are small, easy to fit into a cupboard, and can provide heat to more than one place at once. However, they take some time to heat water

Combination Boiler – Combination boilers are easy and fast to install, require less space, and do not require a tank or a cylinder. Instead, they heat water on demand by passing it over a heating flue.

Back Boiler – Back boilers sit behind the recesses of a fireplace or furnace and therefore save space. However, they can be more expensive to install and to have removed.

Estimates based on a Worcester Bosch 24 kW boiler installation.

Type Cost
Conventional £767.39
System£930.08
Combi£851.9
Back £837.86

 

What Affects Installation Costs?

 

Installation costs are charged on top of boiler costs, and can be the same or more than the boiler. The simpler your installation, the more affordable it is to replace your boiler. However, if you have a large house, a very old system, or are making significant upgrades or replacements in the system, your boiler installation costs can be considerable. Here, your best option is to simplify the installation as much as-is possible and shop around to find a good rate for the installation.

Different types of boilers cost more or less to purchase, but they also cost more to install.  For example, installing a regular boiler in the same place as your old one may be very simple, but it might also be very complex. Importantly, you typically need an inspection to determine exact installation costs, because they will change depending on your home, the condition of your existing system and fittings, and other details. In most cases, boiler installation costs will start at around £600 and will go up to over £2,500 depending on the depth and complexity of the installation.

The following estimates include the cost of the boiler plus the cost of the installation.

Boiler Type Same Location New Location
Conventional£1,750£2,050
System£1,350£1,850
Combi£1,995£2,550
Back£2,000 +£2,900 +

 

Moving your boiler to a new location costs more because of the additional work with fitting.

Gas pressure – If you are using a natural gas or oil system, you may have to pay to have gas-pressure adjusted to meet your new system’s needs. This will cost from £50.

Building standards – If your current system is 20 years or older, it may not comply with new building standards. This may mean new piping, new flues, and flue diverters, depending on your system.

Flushing – If your home is very old, your system may need a mechanical flush. This will cost around £510 for the average system, but this cost will vary depending on the size and age of your home. You may also have to have your radiators flushed as well, which will cost more.


Upgrading Your Systems

 

Upgrading your system is optional, but it will help you to save money and it can help you to get more from your total system.

Replacement fittings – Replacement fittings and pipe work can cost £300 or more depending on the size of your home.

Radiator Valves – £7-£100 each + labour (typically £60+ each) for an average of £100 per.

Changing Controls/Thermostat – A new thermostat or controls can save you money and give you greater control over your system, but will be costly. Expect to pay from £100 for new radiator valves (per) and around £200 for a good quality thermostat.

Filter – Magnetic filters cost between £75-150

Online quotes aren’t 100% accurate

It’s important to keep in mind that no online quote will be 100% accurate. A contractor can estimate how much a project will cost, but because more than half of the costs of installing a new boiler are based on installation, you need a home inspection to get a good quote. For example, if you need home upgrades, your existing system does not meet building regulation, you have an underground fuel tank you would like removed, or other complexities, costs will go up a great deal.

Therefore, any online quote is a ballpark figure, not intended as a final quote.

 


What to Keep In Mind When Buying a New Boiler?

 

Purchasing a new boiler can save you money, but it’s important that you get a great boiler and a great deal. By looking out for potential pitfalls, you can avoid issues and make a purchase that represents a great investment.

 

1

Energy Efficiency

Know what you’re getting, how much it will save you, and what you’re replacing. If you’re upgrading an 80% efficiency boiler with a 90%, you might not be saving enough to make the upgrade worthwhile.

2

Fuel

Do your research and make sure you understand costs and pros and cons of your different fuel options.

3

Pipes and Ductwork

Inspect your pipes and ductwork yourself, and try to find out how old they are. Unless your system is over 15 years old, there’s likely no need to have it replaced. This applies to radiators and fittings as well, because while newer radiators will save you money, they won’t likely pay for themselves unless they’re over 15 years old.

4

Pressure tactics

Many sales representatives will try to pressure you into closing a deal same-day, and this is never a good idea. Take your time, do more research, and compare your options.

5

Compare your options

The best way to get a good price on a boiler and installation is to shop around and compare your options. It’s important to compare brands and models, but you should also compare installers. Try to get quotes from at least 3 different installers, and compare what they offer, any extra costs, and their installation warranty. In most cases, you can get a better deal by choosing smaller, local contractors, who pay less in tax and can therefore afford lower installation costs.


Can I Save Money With a New Boiler?

 

While the most common reason to upgrade to a new boiler is that your old boiler is broken down, many people also choose to install a new boiler because they want to save money. It’s important to keep in mind that upgrading to a new boiler may or may not save you money depending on the age and energy efficiency of your old system.

These estimates are based on installing a new A-rated gas combi boiler with an energy efficiency of 90%, with a total cost of £2,300.

Old BoilerEnergy SavingsCost SavingsTime to Break – Even
45%50% £5604.1 years
50%40% £3506.5 years
60%33%£2379.7 years
65%28%£20111.4 years
70%22%£15814.5 years

 

While your boiler contributes to as much as 55% of your total heating costs, it’s important to remember that your home contributes the other 45%. If you want to save money on heating:

  • Make sure your home is insulated and draught proofed
  • Ensure you have sealed windows with double or triple glazing
  • Check your heating controls (thermostat radiator valves, thermostat, and radiators to ensure you aren’t paying more for your heating)

Should I Replace My Old Boiler?

 

In most cases, you should replace your old boiler if it is 15 years old or older, has a rating of less than 70% efficiency, or is costing you significantly in repairs. Most boilers have an average lifespan of 15 years, but a well-cared for boiler can last for 40 or more. However, if you have an old G-rated boiler, you could be losing as much as 50% of the energy you put into it. If your boiler is newer, is not costing you significantly in repair costs, and has a high energy rating, it may not be cost-effective to replace your boiler.

 


Choosing a Boiler Installer

 

While most of us lean towards choosing large national suppliers, they can cost as much as 33% more per installation. For example, British Gas is one of the most expensive places to get a boiler and most homeowners pay an average of £2,500-4,200 for a boiler through their system. This is high in comparison to the average of £1,500-£2,300 that you will get elsewhere.

Your installer should be:

  • Gas Safe Certified
  • 5-Star Rated
  • HSE Compliant

How Long Does It Take To Install a New Boiler?

 

Installing a new boiler will typically take 1-2 weeks from start to finish, but may take longer depending on the complexity of the job.

Initial inspection for pricing and quote1-2 hours
Removing old boiler1-5 hours
Inspecting piping and gas or oil1-2 hours
Piping, re-wiring, re-fitting2-24 hours
System upgradesvaries
Replacing ductwork1-12 hours
Removing old fuel tanks1-24 hours
Clean-up and disposal of old fixtures and boiler1-2 hours
Total8 hours-7 days

In most cases, a typically replacement boiler will take one day. However, if you are installing in a new location, you can expect a minimum of 2 days. If you need new ducts or piping, or are removing an underground system, actual work can take as long as 5-7 days.

Buying a boiler direct from manufacturer

In some cases, you may be able to purchase a boiler direct from the manufacturer. This will typically save you anywhere from 25-33% on boiler purchase costs. However, because you can sometimes get a deal for installation and boiler purchase together, it may not be the cheapest way to go.

Can I install a boiler myself? 

No. Unless you are a Gas Safe certified engineer, it is illegal for you to install your own boiler.

Can I get a free boiler?

In some cases, you may qualify for a free boiler under the Energy Companies Obligation (ECO) Scheme. You can visit the OFGEM website to learn more or to find out if you qualify.

You may also qualify for rebates via the Green Deal and you may qualify for the Boiler Scrappage Scheme, where you can get as much as £400 for your old G rated boiler.

 


How to Handle a Boiler Sales Representative

Purchasing a boiler typically means getting quotes from multiple sources, which will mean bringing inspectors and sales representatives into your home. Unfortunately, while there are many quality boiler installers, many will also work to get the most money out of you, rather than giving you a fair price. It’s important that you know how to handle them so that you get a good deal.

Purchasing a new boiler can save you money, but it’s important that you get a great boiler and a great deal. By looking out for potential pitfalls, you can avoid issues and make a purchase that represents a great investment.

 

1

Know what you want

If you know what type of boiler you have, your general size requirements, and where you want to put your new boiler, you will be at an advantage. By asking for prices on specific boilers and installations, you can get a better quote, and avoid being charged more.

2

Know price ranges

Similarly, it’s important to know average price ranges. If your quote is higher than expected, ask why and what’s included for the extra money.

3

Mention competitors

Most boiler installers are highly competitive, and if they know you’ve been talking with their competitors, you may get a better deal.

4

Pressure tactics

Many sales representatives will try to pressure you into closing a deal same-day, and this is never a good idea. Take your time, do more research, and compare your options.

5

Don’t Agree Same Day

You have up to 14 days to close a contract by UK law. Any “today only” deals or sales are a scam, unless they are tied to a printed coupon that expires on that date. Be careful and take your time to decide.

 

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