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Do you really need to change your boiler?

Posted on Monday, March 11, 2019 at 1:46 PM into NEW BOILER INSTALLATIONS by HSP

Do you really need to change your boiler?


The current practice of producing boilers with an expected short life cycle strikes us as not within the best interests of our customers. The customer, our end-user and the person or business organisation that should be able to trust us for skills and professionalism, is the mainstay and final reason for all our research, innovation and final product.  So why would our sector have produced a generation of boilers that don’t last nearly as long as those that were made 20 to 40 years ago?

The new condenser boilers certainly were designed to support far less fuel consumption, through their built in heat recovery features, and therefore should help the customer by reducing bills into the future.  Some makers of condenser boilers have claimed energy efficiency of over 90% compared with conventional boilers of up to 78%, but we can’t substantiate that.  The rational, of course, is that over a period of years, despite an initial outlay of several thousands of pounds to install a new boiler, the cost of heating your house would be less than it would with a conventional boiler over the same time. It has come to our notice that there is room for doubt over this.

Several of our customers – some professionals and some end-users of our spare parts – have boilers of over 20 years old, some over 30 years, and they are still doing the job of heating the house. They have not been persuaded to change their boiler, despite the promise of energy savings. Good maintenance through an annual service and speedy repair with genuine guaranteed spare parts has ensured a long lasting boiler installed at relatively little cost has provided heating and continues to do so.   Others, that we know, are now on their third condenser boiler in 20 years!  Could this be the critical issue that destroys the cost effectiveness arguments? We think it is very possible.

Given it has been mooted that savings per household gas bill per year, with a condenser boiler, are estimated to be anything up to £310, then we would suggest that the math just doesn’t add up.   Three new boiler installations in 20 years make a mockery of the £310 maximum saving per year! Give us a conventional boiler any day of the week.

Another alarming thing occurs to us in the condenser versus conventional debate.  This is that many people would not have chosen to scrap their conventional boiler but for the efficiency arguments made to them – by advertising, or by over-enthusiastic boiler repair specialists. Elderly pensioners, single parents – especially young women, those with disabilities or sickness and the housebound are vulnerable and dependent on sage advice!   Age does not spell a lack of performance necessarily and when small things go wrong on an old boiler, it has been all too easy to believe that because a heating boiler is old it can’t perform, and engineers – we know – have not been scrupulous in checking that boilers still have plenty of life left.  Customers, especially those that are vulnerable, really don’t know when a boiler is finished, and they are dependent on solid advice from experts.  

The law requires new installations to be condenser systems but if an old conventional boiler does not need replacing then we would say hang on to it.  The technological achievement of the condenser appliance is undoubted, but if households need to replace them every 8 years for several thousand pounds then the few hundreds saved on gas bills per year can’t beat the savings made on a boiler that will live another 15 years or so having already given 15 years good service.

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