Heating Prices: Which Boiler is Most Cost-Effective?
Throughout the winter, central heating will have been a must for households across Britain and the quality of the boiler will make a great difference to how much energy is used. Deciding which boiler is right for you can save you lots of money on your future bills, and ensure that you gain a product that will last you for a considerable amount of time.
There are several different types of boiler available. The conventional boiler works by passing the water through a cast iron heat exchanger being hit by high-powered gas jets. This kind of boiler has relatively simple controls and consumes a vast amount of energy. However, this can be made up for by low maintenance costs.
A combination boiler heats water in the same way but can also provide taps with instant hot water. This hot water is fed from the mains rather than a storage cylinder. This type of boiler is useful for flats and small properties where there is limited space for a cylinder. The big advantage with a combination boiler is that not only does it deliver continuous hot water, but it also delivers it at mains pressure. This means you can have an effective shower without needing a Power Shower booster pump.
One problem with a combination boiler can be the flow rate of the water. This can be overcome by adding a storage tank, making it into a combination storage boiler. This means you can use a couple of taps simultaneously without a drop in performance.
A system boiler works by having all of its major components built in. For example, the pump which is normally remote from the boiler is built in, as well as the expansion vessel, the safety valve and the programmer. With this boiler, installation time is reduced and fewer materials are required, therefore cost is reduced significantly.
A condensing boiler is a modern adaption which maximises the efficiency of a conventional boiler system. The cooler water returning from radiators is passed through a secondary heat exchanger to be warmed by the hot flue gases which are normally expelled into the air. This water is then returned to the radiators. This boiler is set to become increasingly popular as a means to save money on fuel consumption, however at present they are still more expensive to buy.
Boilers are also rated according to how they convert fuel to heat as a percentage. An ‘A’-rated boiler will be more than 90% efficient at converting fuel and only ‘A’-rated boilers will be able to carry the Energy Saving Trust Recommended logo.
According to a Which? poll, the most trusted boiler providers are Vaillant and Worcester Bosch. With a customer satisfaction score of 83%, both brands are immensely popular and reliable. According to Which?, Keston boilers are to be avoided, with an enormous 79% of customers reporting dissatisfaction with their products. Other low scorers, Ideal and Halstead, left much to be desired by customers, with 53% of Halstead customers complaining of problems in the first four years.
The best buy for a combination boiler on the market at the moment is reported to be the Baxi Duotec C28 HE. It was voted Boiler of the Year 2008 at the Corgi awards, by people who use it on a daily basis. The boiler achieved 5-star ratings from Which? magazine for its efficiency, low Nitrogen Oxide emissions, features and installing. It was described as a great choice for smaller flats and houses. A Baxi representative said, “At a time when climate change, global warming and high fuel costs are constantly making headline news, we are delighted that the Baxi Duo-tec Combi 28 HEhas been recognised for its performance, efficiency and environmental credentials.”
Another high scorer is the Vaillant Ecotec Plus 824 – designed to be compact and low in weight for easy installation. The boilers come equipped with the AquaComfort system, providing a household with instantaneous hot water delivery and a controlling system to ensure a constant hot water temperature. As older systems can cost a household hundreds a year in escaping heat, the Vaillant Ecotec provides a cost-effective way to ensure heating bills stay low.
A third top model is the Buderus 600/28C boiler with a host of energy-saving facilities with high levels of performance. Impressive flow rates and easily accessible controls make this boiler a popular choice for customers.
As gas prices rise, it is important even for the average consumer to understand the options involved when buying a boiler, to ensure they gain a quality product. In order to save money, consumers should choose the most cost-effective boiler to suit their needs.
Author: garythomasThis author has published 3 articles so far. More info about the author is coming soon.