September 19, 2012

There is a lot of choice and sometimes it can be a little overwhelming. It is important you choose the right boiler. By selecting a boiler that is too small for your needs could cost you a lot of money. There are two very important factors in selecting the correct boiler, the size of your house and also how well insulated it is. The most common method to measure your boiler output is in kW. A general rule is: 1kW is required per 10m3.

If you are considering replacing an existing boiler and your boiler is ok go with a similar sized boiled but if you are choosing one from scratch you may want to consider:

Hot Water Usage

What number of showers do you have?

What number of sinks do you have?

How many baths do you have in the house?

Size of House

How many rooms are heated?

How big are the radiators in these rooms?

Heat Losses

What type of property: terrace, semi detached, detached.

Do you have cavity wall insulation?

Do you have loft insulation?

Do you have double glazing?

Aesthetic Considerations

Do you want the boiler to be hidden away?

Condensing Boilers

Condensing boilers are proven to be more efficient than normal boilers. As the name suggests, they use the hot water return to condense the gases in the flu exhaust to gain recovery heat to the water. This boiler can be one of the most efficient, around 90% + will save you money on your heating oil bill. A further advantage is that a condensing boiler will reduce the CO2 you emit into the atmosphere. An estimation of around 60% of the carbon dioxide generated by domestic use comes from home boilers. If every British home installed a high efficiency boiler we would reduce the amount of CO2 reaching the atmosphere by 13 million tonnes. The only disadvantage would be to squeeze every last measure of efficiency; there is more to go wrong with a high efficiency boiler, as they are more complicated. Nowadays though most are very reliable.

You may want to consider looking into government grants to upgrade your boiler. To check your eligibility at energy saving trust.


To measure the efficiency of a boiler it is given in terms of SEDBUK (Seasonal Efficiency of a Domestic Boiler in the UK) rating. It is measured on a scale A-G, with boilers in the top rating of A being 90 – 91.3% efficient. To make the maximum saving on your heating you should choose the most efficient boiler you can get. All new boilers will either be A or B. To check for the most efficient boiler you can visit this website.

With a drive to cut carbon emissions and further improve energy efficiency, a condensing boiler must be fitted by law to all new properties. It is within the building regulations that state for oil fired boilers.

Hot Water Tank or Combination

A combination boiler will provide both water for heating and an almost instant supply of hot water, this is where the name comes from. The popularity of these has increased. The popularity has increased so much that combination boilers now account for over half the domestic boilers installed in Britain every year. The advantages to a combination boiler are the boiler having a small reservoir of water that requires heating and no hot water tank is required so this could be seen as an opportunity to save space, oil fired combination boilers are in general slower to provide hot water than some gas combi boilers. Using a combination boiler in a large house where several people may be using hot water at the same time would not be suitable.

Everybody’s heating and hot water needs are different so you are best to seek advice from an expert when it comes to choosing a boiler but hopefully this has given you some helpful questions to ask. 

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