How can I afford a new boiler?
There are a lot of good reasons to get a new boiler. You may have an older one and a replacement will not only be more efficient and better for the planet but also save on your gas bills. You might finally have decided that the cost of repairs isn’t worth the expense.
The big question is how do you afford a new boiler?
While the prices have come down in recent years, replacing any boiler still involves a significant financial outlay. The good news is there are some excellent options if you don’t have the money readily available including boiler financing, bank loans and boiler grants.
Here we take at what you need to think about when it comes to affording a new boiler and the most common options that are open to you.
Do I Need a New Boiler in the First Place?
The first question is to decide whether your boiler needs replacing at all. If a good service and a bit of maintenance help reduce your utility bills, then all the better.
You should consider getting a new boiler system if:
- It’s making strange knocking or hissing sounds. This could mean that your boiler has worn parts which may need to be replaced.
- You’re constantly calling out the gas people to repair a fault on your boiler. This is something that generally happens with older models, usually during the winter when the usage is greater.
- The boiler is over ten years old. If you have been carrying out regular maintenance, your boiler could be in pretty good condition. It’s still, however, going to be less economical than a new one. When considering replacing an old boiler, it’s important to get good advice and weigh up the pros and cons.
- Your water temperature fluctuates and repairs down solve the problem.
- You find that your boiler is leaking.
- You have an old system boiler but no longer need that sort of capacity and want to downgrade to a lower usage combi system.
The Benefits of an Eco-Friendly Boiler
The main reasons that people decide to change their boiler are that it’s getting old and their fuel bills are rising or there’s a constant problem with repairs. Switching to a new boiler has several benefits:
- The first is that you’ll get a more efficient device. If you are changing from a very old boiler, it’s possible to save as much as £200 to £300 by installing a new one.
- The boiler should run to maximum efficiency and heat your home and your hot water much better.
- New boilers also tend to come with extras such as eco-mode where you simply press a button and it switches into the most economical setting.
- Another thing you’ll notice is that a new boiler is much quieter than your old one and takes up less room.
- On top of that, you’ll be contributing to lowering carbon emissions for your household and helping to save the planet.
What is the Cost of a New Boiler?
When looking to afford a new boiler, the first consideration is the cost, of course. There are two parts to this that you should consider carefully.
There’s the boiler itself and the installation. According to Which?, prices for different boilers can vary as much as £3,200, with the cheapest no-thrills options around £900 and the most expensive getting near £5,000.
A lot will depend on what type of boiler you need and which is best for your household. This latter point is critical. Many people have expensive boiler systems installed but don’t need them. A smaller combi boiler, for example, will be the best and lowest cost option compared to a larger system boiler.
Quotes for the same boiler and installation can also vary a good deal so it’s worth shopping around for the best price.
In addition to the boiler cost, there is also the price of installation. Labour costs can vary between plumbers and across different regions. You can expect to add between £600 and £1,500 depending on various factors.
Types of Boiler
The cost is going to be dictated mostly by the type of boiler that you are having installed and this can certainly affect affordability. You must get one that is appropriate for your house size and usage.
There’s no use getting a top of the range boiler that handles a large amount of usage if you are living alone and only use it once or twice a day. Similarly, there’s no point in installing a combi boiler if you are a family of five who use the hot water a lot.
The main types of boiler are:
- Combi boiler: This is a single unit and it does all the work for you. There is no storage tank, instead, your central heating and hot water are all managed through the same unit. You don’t need things like an expansion tank in the loft or hot water tank and it takes up much less room. It’s suited to homes with a smaller number of people.
- Conventional boiler: This is a boiler with a water tank above while the hot water is stored in a cylinder. It takes up more room and has more components. It’s ideal for larger households where there is a lot of water usage. The other difference is that it doesn’t give hot water on demand and once the tank is empty you will need to wait for it to heat up again.
- System boiler: This is slightly different from a heat-only boiler as it has fewer external components though it does require a hot water cylinder. This is ideal for a large household where hot water might be needed from more than one tap at a time. The downside is that this type of boiler is more expensive.
Should I Ask a Boiler Company for Advice?
Boiler companies are often incentivised to get you to part with your old boiler and put in a new one. There are several things to consider here. One is whether the boiler needs replacing in the first place. The other is what you are going to replace it with.
Quotes for new boilers can vary dramatically depending on what sort of system you are having installed. If you can find an independent boiler expert, it may be useful to have a conversation with them to find out which is most suitable and which fits your price range.
If your boiler is pretty old and you know that it needs replacing, make sure you get more than one quote for the work to be done and compare them in the cold light of day.
Boiler Grants: Do I Qualify?
If you are on a low income or benefits, the Government have introduced several different schemes to help energy efficiency costs.
The Government’s Energy Companies Obligation Scheme (ECO) allows some homeowners and private tenants to get their old boiler (over 10 years) replaced for free or for a much lower outlay. We’re all trying to reduce our carbon footprint and this scheme was introduced to help low-income families who otherwise would not be able to afford improvements.
The downside of this is that the qualifying rules are quite stringent. You need to be on at least one kind of benefit (such as income support or pension guarantee and have no higher earnings for the household than £20,000. The benefits included are:
- Carer’s Allowance
- Child Benefit
- Income Support
- Universal Credit
- Constant Attendance Allowance
- Pension Guarantee Credit
- Disability Living Allowance
- Attendance Allowance
- Mobility Supplement
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
- Personal Independence Payment
- Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefits
- Severe Disablement Allowance
- Tax Credits such as Child Tax Credits and Working Tax Credits
- Armed Forces Independence Payment
Another thing to be wary about is when you are contacted by an installer directly saying that they are part of the ECO scheme. This is not always the case. A quick way to check is that they are:
- PAS 2030:2017 (Publicly Available Specification) accredited and have a registration number.
- They are gas-safe qualified.
To qualify, you must be a homeowner or have permission from your landlord to install a new boiler. ECO can also be used for more than just boiler replacement, including improving insulation.
Can a Green Homes Grant be Use for a Boiler?
If you are considering switching from a gas boiler to renewable energy like a heat pump, another option is the Green Homes Grant, where the Government issues a voucher to cover two-thirds of energy efficiency changes in your home up to a maximum of £5,000. It is only available in England and cannot be used in addition to the ECO grant but it is open to anyone who:
- Owns their home.
- Owns a park home on a residential site.
- Is a private or social rented sector landlord.
Taking Out a Personal Loan
If you do not qualify for a boiler grant, you will need to find the money yourself. One option is to take out a personal loan through your bank. This can often provide a more competitive rate than if you were, for example, not eligible for financing.
Using Your Savings
The other option is to use your existing savings. If you have enough money in the bank, it makes sense to get the initial cost out of the way. Then you can start benefiting from the savings that a new, highly efficient boiler will provide.
Do Boiler Installers Offer Financing?
Financing is offered by many boiler installation companies, including AddHeat, and it essentially gives you the option of paying over a set period rather than finding the money upfront. With many companies, this is interest-free for the first two years. If you can pay off your boiler during this time, it presents a really attractive option.
For example, at AddHeat, if you were purchasing a boiler that cost £2,400 over 2 years, you would pay £100 a month, without an upfront deposit. Find out more here. If you compare this with the potential savings on your fuel bill, up to £300 a year, it can make a big difference.
If you want to take your payments beyond 2 years, energy companies and installers will normally start adding interest and this can vary between providers. For example, E.on offer a 10-year payment plan where you, for example, get a boiler worth £2,500 at an interest rate of 7.9% and the final amount payable is £3,580.80.
Our Top Tips on Finding the Right Boiler
There’s a lot to consider when choosing a new boiler and it’s critical to get advice from the right people. Here are our top tips:
- Do your research: It’s a big outlay when you are buying a new boiler so learn what you need to know before you start asking for quotes. It’s not that complicated and there are plenty of resources online.
- Pick the right boiler: This can sound easy but you need to look at the way you use your heating and hot water and which boiler is the most suitable for your home. It’s less about the size of your property as the number of people in it who will be using the facilities.
- Space: You’ll also need to look at the space where the boiler is going to be installed and how much of it is going to be taken up. If you are switching from a combi boiler to a system boiler, for example, this is going to be important.
- Budget: Probably the most important thing to consider is how much you want to spend. It’s worth investing in the best system that you can for your needs and managing the payments if you can. Don’t’ forget it’s not just the cost of the boiler but the installation as well. Always check the savings that you can potentially achieve and how this will offset the initial cost.
- Warranty: This means your boiler will be repaired for free during a certain period if something goes wrong. It’s worth checking this closely as it can make a big difference on the final price you pay.
It’s also important to choose your installer wisely. Don’t be in too much of a hurry, get more than one quote and take time to consider the pros and cons of each.
Which Boiler Financing Option is Best for Me?
When considering financing, it’s important to look at what you can afford and how this is going to impact your monthly ingoings and outgoings. Ideally, you don’t want to spend more on your boiler than you have to and extending the period you pay everything back can significantly add to the cost.
Why Choose AddHeat for Your New Boiler?
At AddHeat, we understand that installing a new boiler is a big commitment. As a family-owned business, we believe in providing our customers with the best service and a competitive price. That includes helping them to make the right decision when it comes to the type of boiler to be installed and advice on how it can be paid for.
Across the North West, we install around 500 boilers a year and each customer is different. If you find that you require a replacement boiler, but aren’t sure how to go about it, our professional team of Gas Safe registered engineers are on hand to help you make the right decisions.
If you would like to find out more, contact our team at AddHeat today.