When choosing a new boiler, you must take into account the following factors:
– the type of fuel
– the efficiency
– the combustion system
– the space available in your home
– your hot water requirements
– boiler warranty (most gas boilers come with a warranty between a 2 – 7 year periods Depending on the manufacturer) once annual servicing is carried out.
You may think that requesting a bigger boiler might give out more heat, but a larger boiler will still only generate the same heat but less efficiently.
Every type of Boiler loses efficiency with every passing year. When replacing your boiler, you should see savings from 30-50% on your bills as an older boiler takes more power to generate energy.
When you need to change your current boiler it is important to establish the current heating system you have and the type of boiler you are looking for. There are two types of domestic boilers as explained below.
A Combination boiler or Combi Boiler:
This is a compact unit suited to heating smaller homes that do not have a high demand for heating and hot water. Everything that the boiler needs is built into the unit which means there is no need for a separate hot water cylinder or cold-water tank in the home. A combi boiler takes care of both your heating and hot water, heating and hot water are controlled separately so there is no longer the need to fire up the whole system just to get hot water, it draws water directly from the mains and passes the water through a heat exchanger, which gives you instant mains-pressurised hot water to a tap, shower or Bath.
A Condensing System needs a hot water cylinder tank normally found in the hot press.
Most boilers these days are now condensing types.
Condensing boilers are also known as high efficiency boilers and can achieve in excess of 90% efficiency. If your boiler is older than 10 years old it could be operating at as low as 60% efficiency, meaning that for every €100 you spend on €40 could be wasted.
As boilers work to heat your home, waste gases are produced which are then emitted out into the atmosphere. These waste gases carry heat which is then lost, so your home isn’t benefiting from some of the heat being generated by your boiler. To combat this and get your boiler performing more efficiently, condensing boilers are fitted with 2 internal heat exchangers to ensure that less heat is lost. Thanks to this, the boiler doesn’t have to work as hard and uses less energy.
We recommend a boiler that is compatible with a heating app. This means you can control your heating and hot water remotely, via your phone, tablet or computer- no more timeclocks. Separate heating zones are set up so rooms that only need heat at certain times can be programmed which will save money.
Importance of Annual Servicing
Servicing isn’t just a way to fix problems with your boiler. It’s also crucial for preventing serious issues from arising in the future by looking after and maintaining your boiler properly. Your boiler’s performance and efficiency levels could drop over the years, however by having the appliance serviced regularly and replacing worn out parts, it could stay as good as new for longer.
Most boilers come with a five-year warranty as standard, in order for this warranty to stay valid for that period of time, your boiler should be serviced regularly.
Your boiler needs to be serviced regularly to ensure that no new problems have arisen, such as gas leaks. Every household should have a carbon monoxide alarm so that this issue can be picked up easily. However, without an alarm, carbon monoxide is virtually undetectable. This is one very important reason why your boiler should be serviced regularly by a suitably qualified engineer.
What does a boiler service include?
If your new boiler is coming up to 12 months old, you may be wondering what your service will include. Below, we’ve outlined each aspect of a boiler service and what it means.
It’s important to note that the installer must consult the product manual for any individual servicing requirements outside of the standard items.
The first thing a Gas Safe registered engineer will do is inspect your boiler and the surrounding pipework. The engineer will be checking for any visual problems such as cracks, leaks or corrosion.
Then, they will test the boiler and its controls to ensure everything seems to be working okay. They will remove the boiler casing to make sure there aren’t any cracked or damaged parts within the boiler. This should only be done by a suitably qualified engineer – you shouldn’t take the casing off yourself.
Flue and pressure check
Once the engineer has determined that everything looks okay, they’ll begin to check other important aspects that make your boiler run safely and efficiently.
They will check that the gas pressure and flow is correct and they’ll also check that the flue is fitted as it should be and that there aren’t any obstructions. This is important as a blocked flue could result in dangerous gases, such as carbon monoxide, re-entering your home. They may also use a flue gas analyser to make sure the boiler is burning the correct combination of gas and air. If it’s burning too much gas, you could be overpaying on your energy bill.
Cleaning of essential parts
Included in your boiler’s service is the cleaning of certain parts such as the heat exchanger and combustion chamber, the burner assembly and electrodes, and the condensate siphon (if necessary).
Expansion vessel air pressure check
Sealed boiler systems require an expansion vessel for excess water. As water is heated in the system, it expands and this can cause a build up of pressure. This additional water needs a place to go to reduce the system’s pressure. This is the purpose of the expansion vessel. It’s a way to store excess water until the pressure in the system has returned back to normal.
However, the air in the expansion vessel can be lost over time and the vessel can become filled with water. In some boilers, this water can be drained manually from a valve at the bottom of the vessel. The engineer will be able to check the pressure of the expansion vessel and will repressurise it if it is too low. They can do this using a foot pump.
Smaller component checks
The engineer should check any electrical connections, pipework, fans and seals.
Even if you have a gas or oil-powered boiler, the appliance will require electricity to power the pump that pushes hot water around the radiators. It is these electrical connections that need to be checked to make sure they’re safe and working properly.
The seals need to be checked as they can crack or harden over time. If this is the case, the engineer should be able to change them on site for you at an additional cost. The water and gas pipes need to be examined too. Leaking pipe fittings can be a problem if the seals have cracked or if they were installed incorrectly. The engineer should be able to determine the issue and arrange for it to be fixed. General wear and tear items such as the ignition or burner door seals could be replaced at an additional charge.
The engineer should also check that required safety devices, such as the flow switch, are working correctly.
Final safety checks
Finally, the engineer will restart your boiler to check for any working faults, such as funny noises or a faulty display screen. They may also check that your carbon monoxide alarm is working correctly.
Before they leave, ask the engineer to complete any required paperwork if they haven’t done so already. Your boiler should have a complete service history, and the engineer will need to complete this to make sure your boiler’s warranty stays in place. This could also be a good time to ask the engineer any questions you may have. They may be able to advise you on how you can make your heating system more efficient and additional technologies you could have installed, such as a smart thermostat.
For servicing we recommend
John Murray Gas services 083 1588154/045 241131 (covers Dublin & Kildare)
Brady Gas Services- Thomas 086 3856100 (covers Meath & North Kildare)