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Disclaimer: before we begin our What to consider if you’re installing a new boiler and radiators guide, we have to tell you that we’re not trained plumbers or gas-certified technicians. All advice in this article is based on general best practices and if you’re unsure about any of it, you should consult a professional.
If you want to replace your heating system, what do you need to know? What do you need to look out for? We thought we’d break it all down for you, so here’s what to consider if you’re installing a new boiler and radiators.
What to consider if you’re installing a new boiler and radiators
#1. Think about why you are replacing your boiler or radiators
If you’re replacing your boiler and radiators, then it’s important to know why before you start tinkering and replacing things. If your heating doesn’t seem to be working right or your radiators are only heating up part of the way, there are other, cheaper things you can do before you replace everything.
British Gas have put together a great checklist of everything you can do to fix the problem yourself.
#2. Have a plumber inspect your boiler:
Because the cost of replacing a boiler can stretch into the thousands, it’s a great idea to call a professional to double check it needs replacing. In fact, replacing a boiler is often one of the most expensive repairs homeowners and landlords have to undertake. According to LoveMoney, the cost of replacing a boiler can range from £1,040 to £4,250, which, whatever way you cut it, is pretty pricey. Instead, call a boiler technician — your local plumber is usually qualified, to come and give your boiler a once-over. If it is broken, they may be able to fix it for a fraction of the price of a replacement.
#3. Bleed your radiators:
We talk about this a lot – but it’s a really simple job to do and can make a huge difference to the heat of your house and your energy bill. Plus, radiators that need bleeding are really easy to mistake for ones that need replacing: they don’t heat properly and/or can feel cold to the touch constantly. However, with a bucket and a radiator key, you can fix them again, lickety split.
Here’s a video – presented by none other than Tommy Walsh of Ground Force fame – that shows you just how to do it:
If you’ve done all of that and still feel you need a complete renovation, here’s what you need to think about
#1. Covering the cost:
As we’ve already said, the cost of a new boiler and radiators can be high. However, if you’re on a low income, there are government schemes to help you upgrade or replace your old boiler. The Ofgem website has lots of information, or ask your energy supplier about the Energy Companies Obligation(ECO) to see if you’re eligible.
#2. What type of boiler you need:
Based on your budget and the size of your home, of course, there are three types of boiler you can choose from.
A combi boiler: these provide you with heat and hot water like any boiler, but mean that you don’t need a separate water tank, making them perfect for small homes because they don’t take up much space.
A system boiler: these boilers are the kind with a water cylinder that usually sits in an airing cupboard somewhere. They’re bigger than combi boilers, but don’t have a tank, and can mean that water can sometimes take a while to run hot.
A regular boiler: These boilers are huge and have both a water tank and a water cylinder, so they’re usually best for big houses that need lots of hot water running at the same time. If you live in an average sized house, one of these is probably not necessary. If has a regular boiler but it has broken and you live in a regular sized house, you could probably switch to a system or combi with no issues.
#3. Radiator replacement advice:
Removing and replacing radiators that aren’t working is great for your energy bills, and easy to do. Of course, you’ll have to think of cost, as with any decision, but the cost of replacing radiators is cheaper than replacing boilers.
The first thing you do need to work out is the whether you need a plumbed or electric radiator. But before you can do that, you need to calculate how many BTUs (British Thermal Units) you need. B&Q have a great calculator that helps, all you need to know is what windows you have and how big your rooms are. Once you’ve entered that information, it lets you shop by the BTUs you need. Of course, other calculators are available, we like that B&Q makes it simple, so we’d recommend starting there.
The last thing you need to consider is fitting the radiators. And that’s a relatively simple job.
Here’s a great video from Wickes that talks you through the whole thing. If you are unsure of anything however, do call a plumber!
So, now you know what to consider if you’re installing a new boiler and radiators, don’t forget to head over to our blog and check out all of our articles on home improvements, from ways to add value to your property to whether it’s a good idea to borrow money to fund your next project.
- Author The Bamboo Team
- Posted 4 January 2019