Different Stokes for Different Folks; Choosing a Boiler and Boiler Insurance for Your Needs

Several factors will usually influence the kind of boiler you buy. You will want to mull over factors such as energy efficiency and options for renewable energy use. To help you decide which boiler is right for you, we’ve prepared this small guide:

  • For example, with certain customer habits such a family who have lots of showers at the same time (around the house), the professional opinion is usually offered of changing to a system boiler with unvented hot water tank, provided there is good water pressure.
  • If your home has older radiators or pipework cover in screed, it is better to choose or remain with an open vented, heat only boiler – for very important safety reasons.
  • For consumers with financial constraints, the usual recommendations are to replace their existing boiler with the same type of boiler in the same location. For low maintenance costs, the installation of a combi boiler with a 10-year warranty/guarantee from the manufacturer is recommended.
  • For property extensions and additional bathrooms, a system boiler with unvented hot water tank (if the water pressure is good) is recommended.
  • All of your good choices with your new boiler are rendered at risk without good boiler cover. Many boiler cover providers cover all kinds: Gas, Electric, LPG, and Oil boilers.

And here are the rest in an at-a-glance table:

Hot water demand


One of the first thoughts when deciding which boiler you need is how much hot water will you use or are likely to use in the future. For most households with a single bath and shower, a combi-boiler of between 24-30 kW is generally good. Where there is an additional en-suite bathroom, it may be recommended to choose a larger 30-35 kW boiler.  If, however, you have multiple bathrooms that are likely to be in use at the same time, a system boiler that stores hot water in a storage cylinder may be where you need to go. Also, the needs of a young family will likely increase as the little ones grow. A system boiler pre-heats and stores the hot water in a cylinder with the added benefit that its output can be sized on your homes heating demand, which is often much lower; therefore, a combi boiler of 30 kW can often be replaced by a system boiler of 19 kW. Your installer will be able to advise.

Size of property


As well as providing your hot water, your boiler will probably be the main source of heating for your property. This means that it is essential to choose a boiler that is large enough to provide sufficient heat output to supply your entire home. Domestic boiler size is measured in terms of heat output, which typically ranges from 5 to 35 kW.  There is little economic sense in picking out a boiler capable of supplying fifteen radiators for a flat that has just a few. Keep in mind, however, that the size of the space alone is not the most effective way of identifying the correct boiler size – it is recommended to calculate heat loss instead.

Should I oversize


Historically, it was not unusual to choose an oversized boiler that was as much as 30 % bigger than actually required to compensate for heat loss. However, with advances in technology, this is no longer always necessary and will result in wasted energy and leave you paying more than you need to for your gas bill.  As combi boilers are sized for their hot water performance, you should be aware that this means they are typically oversized when it comes to your home’s heating demand.

Available Space


The amount of space you have available within your property will be one of the factors which affects the type of boiler you choose. Most smaller properties have very limited storage space, which may make it impossible to house a separate hot water tank. It is for this reason that combi-boilers tend to be the most popular choice in the UK.  If you are considering upgrading an existing boiler to a larger model, also consider whether there is sufficient space for this to be accommodated in the existing location

Existing system


It is important to think about whether or not you wish to keep the same system as that already existing in your home. Usually, it is best to retain the same system from the perspective of cost and practicality, however, there may be occasions when a change to another system may be better. This is more likely to be the case for older homes as newer builds will usually have the optimum system in place. Bear in mind that different systems will also require different amounts of space and may not always be suitable. If this sounds pricey, just think about whether you have insulation in your walls or your walls, and how you can reduce draughts with excluders. Monitor your windows during the winters as well as any cracks around the frame.

Choosing the right boiler cover insurance policy that will cover the kind of boiler (combi, system, heat-only) you have and the type of fuel source it uses (natural gas, oil, hybrid-electric varieties etc.) Ensuring that you take out cover for yours, in particular, will mean that the policy will be written with your boilers in mind, and which means that they can arrange an insurance policy to meet your needs.

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