Boilers -Gas

Your boiler is responsible for the majority of your energy costs so an inefficient boiler is costly to run (though not as costly as electric heating). Installing a new gas boiler is expensive but if you have an old G-rated boiler you will see immediate savings in your gas bills. An old boiler is not something you should hang on to just because it is reliable. It will be reliably wasting money and carbon.

The Severn Wye Energy Agency manages “Warm and Well” on behalf of Cheltenham Borough Council. They sometimes have grant funding for Gloucestershire households that do not currently have a central heating system, and can offer advice on boiler replacement.

All new boilers on the market are A-rated so look for the energy efficiency rating to make comparisons. This is now included as standard on the labelling and will also be listed on the Building Energy Performance Assessment database. This database includes details of old boilers and their efficiency ratings. You can use this information to work out how big a difference an upgrade will make.

All new boilers are condensing boilers, with an efficiency of 90% efficient or better. Your basic choice is between a combination boiler, which provides both heating and hot water on demand, and a regular boiler with a hot water cylinder. The former is more energy efficient, as there are no heat losses from the hot water cylinder, but the latter is usually necessary if you want to integrate a solar hot water panel into your hot water supply as this requires a hot water cylinder.

A condensing boiler means that extra heat is extracted from the flue gases as they condense, thereby improving the efficiency of the boiler. If you do not currently have a boiler, it is vital to think about where best to site the flue on your exterior wall in order to minimise its visual impact and keep the flue exhaust away from eaves so that moist air does not get into your roof. Flue pipework can be 20 metres or more in length so you may be able to direct the exhaust through a roof, out of sight, or through a less prominent rear elevation.