What’s the Most Efficient Boiler for you?

With winter fast approaching, it’s important to know what the most efficient boiler for you would be. There are several different types.

most efficient boiler

Between 55-60% of your energy bills come from the cost of heating your home, so you should be thinking what the most efficient boiler for you is. Depending on who lives in your home, an old, inefficient (or unsuitable) boiler could be costing a lot to run and wasting huge amounts of energy.

Finding out the most efficient boiler for your home would mean that £310 a year can be saved in wasted energy, your home’s CO² output is reduced and heat is distributed where it’s needed most. If your home’s insulation isn’t as good as it could be, this kind of boiler could also be endangering you and your family’s health, especially if you have elderly relatives living with you. If you can’t budget the potentially huge costs of installing better wall insulation, you’ll be pleased to know that installing a new boiler is much less, at roughly £2000 – £2500.

The most efficient boiler is a condensing boiler

All new boilers are condensing boilers, and for a good reason. While all good boilers burn their fuel efficiently in the first place, they can potentially lose a lot of heat when the hot gases go up the flue. This is where condensing boilers have an advantage. They have bigger heat exchangers and can therefore provide more heat, send cooler gases up the flue and more efficiently heat your home. Condensing boilers are so-called because the gases in the flu sometimes get so cold that water vapour in the gas condenses out. The boiler will extract even more energy from this condensing vapour and become even more efficient.

What’s the best boiler system for my household?

As mentioned above, the most efficient boiler is the one that’s going to suit you and your family’s lifestyle and makeup.

Most older oil and gas boilers have a separate hot water cylinder to store your hot water instead of just providing it straight from the boiler. You’ll have seen one of these hot water cylinders before, even if you don’t have one in your own home. They’re extremely common.

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There’s nothing wrong with these systems at all – they have the ability to be just as efficient as any other. When you replace your boiler you can either keep this kind of regular boiler system, and your original hot water cylinder (they have a long lifespan), or buy a combi boiler which eliminates the need for a cylinder and creates more space for storage of other things.

A combi is the most efficient boiler system for smaller households who don’t have a large, immediate requirement for hot water. For a larger household which uses lots of hot water for baths, showers and washing up, a regular boiler system is the most efficient boiler option. However, overall, a combi is the most efficient system. Some heat ends up being lost from hot water cylinders and this ultimately gets wasted but a combi will retain any energy that doesn’t get used. The only big issue with combi boiler systems is that they’re sometimes incompatible with solar water heating or unable to work as effectively with it.

What’s the most efficient boiler fuel?

A gas boiler is most often the cheapest heating solution, but they don’t necessarily save the most over time. If you were to replace an electric heating system with a wood burning system you could save up to £630 a year. Also called biomass boiler systems, they are certainly one of the greenest heating options as they are comparatively low-carbon and an eligible measure under the Green Deal scheme.

However, you may prefer a gas system because of how much cheaper and easier they are to install. This a very common choice and while gas isn’t the most efficient boiler fuel, they can be as equally green as biomass systems as long as you maximise your home’s insulation and don’t place radiators or underfloor heating systems where they’re not going to be needed.

How much money and CO² will I save?

The Energy Saving Trust claim that if your old boiler was D-rated, installing an A-rated gas condensing boiler system could at the very least save you £105 a year and 430kg of CO² a year. It all depends on how (in)efficient your previous boiler was. E-rated boilers will save up to £155 and 610kg of CO² a year, an F-rated boiler up to £205 and 820kg of CO², and a G-rated boiler up to £310 and 1200kg of CO². As with most things in life, the worse your old one is the better the benefit of buying a new one.

For further information on choosing the most efficient boiler for your personal needs, check out this Which? article and this thisismoney.co.uk article.

Images: nebirdsplus, IrishFireside

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